One of the most frequent frustrations I hear from people is that they struggle to be heard in meetings. This isn’t exclusively women, although this is a particular challenge for many women.
This week’s Superstar Communicator podcast focuses on some top tips for ensuring you get heard in meetings. Listen here. Whether you struggle to be heard; get frustrated that other people claim your ideas for themselves, or that you feel meetings are a waste of time because you can’t get your ideas across, it would be worthwhile listening to the tips!!
Meetings have a bad reputation: they can take too long, are badly run, are a waste of time – and other negative connotations. Yet, if you perform well in them, they are a great opportunity to raise your profile and be noticed by your bosses, decision makers and colleagues. Never a bad thing!
Here are three top tips to being heard and taken notice of in meetings.
Preparation: Take time to read the agenda, work out who is going to be at the meeting and what you need to say. If necessary check with your team to discover the progress on specific projects that are mentioned in the agenda. If you are having a less formal meeting – such as a coffee one to one, find out about the person you are meeting and if necessary confirm what you are going to discuss.
Posture: Make sure you sit up with open body language. If you have your arms folded and legs crossed this will send out negative non-verbal messages to other people in the meeting as well as your voice not being as strong and resonant. Slightly lean in to the table to show you mean business, and have eye contact with others.
Keep your voice calm: it can be very easy to get frustrated that you are being spoken over, ignored or not being listened to. It is far more effective to maintain a calm, low pitched (but not low volume) voice where you can assertively contribute to the conversation. Listen here. to the podcast.
For readers who wish to develop their meeting skills and in particular struggle at being heard in meetings, we are about to launch our online Superstar Meeting Skills course. For more details go here.