No matter how good one is with numbers and information, he/she can be bad at expressing where it really matters. A lot of intelligent people who are generally extroverts would not, in any case, raise their voices at a meeting in the office.
Whether you are a new joiner or an experienced employee, it is important to fight the hesitance and gain confidence to speak up in the meetings. Here are some tips for finding the courage to speak at workplace meetings:
Before the meeting begins, take some time to gather your thoughts and brief yourself about the agenda of the meeting. As the meeting begins, be the first one to speak. Doing so will give you the opportunity to lead the meeting and drive it in the direction you want. Also, this will ensure that your idea is put forward before someone else did it.
Speak it Aloud
Most people are guilty of being at ‘loss of words' while speaking at meetings and then they rely on space-fillers like "kinda," "um," etc, which makes you look unprepared. To ensure you speak flawlessly, it is a good idea to write down your pitch and practice speaking it aloud before the meeting.
If you have nothing new to add, it is a good idea to agree with what others are saying or asking questions regarding it. This will show you are paying attention and are involved with what is going on in the meeting. Also, asking questions may open up new avenues which might give you a chance to further speak up
Be Firm with Phrases
When you speak during meetings it becomes important to make strong statements to emphasise your points. Start your speech with statements like, "I recommend", or "I strongly believe", etc.
Believe in Yourself
Many people hesitate to speak in the meetings due to the fear of being wrong or the fear of being mocked at. Do not let this fear overtake you. Your ideas and opinions are as important and valid as anyone else at the table. And that is the reason you are present in the meeting in the first place. Be fearless, own your belief and speak with conviction.
Don't get intimated by the seniors or managers present in the room. Whether you are the leader or a junior employee, every opinion matters. Do not censor yourself and voice your real opinion.
A person who speaks his/her mind is always fearless with path-breaking ideas. Find the courage to speak up, and you will be glad you did it.