Let me guess. Your meeting participation strategies could use some help.
Imagine this. You want to be useful, to support your company and to advance its mission, but you feel overpowered by colleagues who always hijack meetings. That is, your talent is eclipsed by the over-talkers and the verbose like dark clouds prevent the sunlight from reaching the earth.
I know what you are feeling. Their incoherent talkativeness annoys you. Obviously, they prevent you from having enough airtime in meetings. In other words, they are in your way.
Even worse, when you finally speak, no one cares about your input. You get no follow up questions, no acknowledgement, and no consideration for your ideas. Therefore, you feel belittled, ignored— invisible and dissatisfied with your performance.
The challenge is, if you don’t fix this issue now or find the right meeting participation strategies, you might become worthless on the job. Is that what you want? I don’t think so.
What if I told you can turn things around. Really? Yes, using the appropriate meeting participation strategies can help you regain your voice, your confidence, — and your mojo.
If you really want to change things, below are 3 meeting participation strategies that CBL shares with professionals that want to increase the value of their input and make their voice heard. Let’s go over them one by one.
The 3 meeting participation strategies
1- Before Meeting
Do your homework. Prepare your meetings.
Research the topic ahead of the meeting
Read what the thought leaders in the field are saying about the topic
Find out who will be in the room and who will lead the show
List challenges and potential solutions related to the topic at hand
Identify what strategies other companies implement to control or lead the field and/or the market
Listen carefully and take notes.
Let everyone empty their chest first
Summarize everyone’s input and prepare yours from a different angle
Identify the gaps or the blind spots in what your colleagues say so you can prepare your remarks or contribution
Identify where the leaders want to go with the meeting or topic at hand
Write down your key interventions in simple steps or bullet points
Lean in, claim your airtime, and speak confidently to advance the conversation.
Speak with confidence and don’t stop when a colleague interjects. Ask them to let you finish your point (Example, I will yield to you as soon as I finish my point).
Cite research or data to make your points
Use short stories that resonate with the audience (keep things brief)
Make your point fast. Be clear and concise. End on an open-ended question.
Be prepared to take follow-up questions
Ask time to research anything response you don’t have at the moment
Refrain from talking too much.
Learn from Justice Clarence Thomas’s speaking strategy. He never spoke during oral arguments for about 10 years. As a result, his colleagues became curious to know what he thinks about the cases. Why? He is not desperate for attention. He knows his stuff but only asks the questions his colleagues fail to ask.
- What I am trying to say is, If you speak too much, there is a chance your colleagues will take your interventions for granted. The lesson? Speak only when your contribution will tip the scale. Otherwise, refrain from repeating what is already said.
3- After Meeting: Do More Homework and Execute.
Research what was said and review and act on the action plan
Complete related tasks ASAP
Keep researching solutions, tools, and breakthroughs
Offer to share your research or information with the lead person or project manager. That will turn you into a linchpin in no time.
Prepare the next meeting and repeat this cycle
The bottom line is, as Steve Martin said, ”be so good they can’t ignore you.”
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