Do you show up when you’re trying to be heard?
How often do you attend a meeting, conference or event and this happens: someone asks a question or requests some information and they don’t give you, the audience, their details?
When it comes to showing up at a networking event or a meeting, never underestimate the power of this simple strategy. Say your full name, your company and where you’re from.
Obvious when you read it? Yes. A waste of opportunity when you don’t do it? Definitely yes. Here’s why and a key example.
As a woman, it’s something we don’t always feel comfortable with. Owning and expressing who we are, where we’re from and then asking or sharing information in a group. It’s often a case of “let me just rattle off what I want to ask and then keep quiet again”. Well, I’m all for keeping things brief and to the point and I’m also all for leveraging moments of influence.
When you speak up, when you ask a question or offer information, you have a moment of influence – a moment where yours is the only voice sharing or asking and everyone else is listening.
So, why is it that so few women actually position themselves when they go to speak? I’ve lost count of how many times a really good question was asked and no one had a clue what the woman’s name, title or company was. If the facilitator doesn’t invite the woman to say who she is, then she’s lost a valuable moment for follow up and personal profile.
It often goes like this when the floor is open to questions. Let’s use me as an example, so you can get a sense for what I mean about a moment of influence when you have an opportunity to draw people to you.
- Hi, I work for ABC Ltd and I want to know …. (no personal information)
- What’s the main reason why …..(no name, just launching at the question)
- Hi, I work for ABC Ltd and I want to know …. (no professional value-add information)
Can you see what I mean? It doesn’t have to be you reading your CV out, it’s about owning the moment:
- Hi, I’m Kay White, Founder of Way Forward Solutions, London
- Thanks, I’m Kay White, Communication Expert for Women In Business, London
- I’m Kay White, author of The A to Z of Being Understood, London
Now, when you look at the above you could say ‘oh my, that’s a lot of information’ or ‘don’t you feel like you’re showing off?’ No. It’s all true and, you know what, it actually really helps both you and the audience lean in more closely and be drawn to your question or comment. You’ve positioned yourself and you own what you’re about. No apology. Facts.
This is why it’s so important and why you can miss out on opportunities and quick-routes to what you want.
3 quick observations I’ve actually experienced myself:
1. If the question wasn’t fully answered, it gives people a way to find you to get in touch.
2. If, at the networking afterwards, people want to follow up and talk to you, they can approach you knowing your name and information
3. Who knows who else is noticing who is asking about what – they can find you to discuss further and, of course, give you what you want.
You tell everyone in the room you’re open to being known and in touch and, if you want even more impact in your moment, stand as you ask the question as well – now you’re really talking!
Let’s make it your time to shine, in your own way. When would now be a better time to go for Promotion, Recognition and Rewards?
For more information and immediately helpful tips on how to connect and be valued and heard in business visit my website.
Here’s a helpful, immediate Gift for you. Q is for Questions – A downloadable PDF of a chapter from my # 1 best-selling book The A to Z of Being Understood.
Use the chapter to lead conversations, to be more compelling when you first meet someone and – crucially – connect with colleagues, clients, customers by the power of your confident questions.