There’s a question that many people have. But are afraid to ask.
I work with a lot of smart people! How do I speak up without looking stupid?
If you are the quiet one in the room, people notice. Whether they mention it to you or not.
You don’t want to be what I call the “audience” in a meeting. Someone who never expresses an opinion or idea. Someone who doesn’t ENGAGE.
I know this can intimidating as hell, but you simply need to start speaking up.
Here are some ways to help you prepare to take the leap and start being known as an active contributor.
Don’t go to a meeting unprepared.
If you are there to discuss the latest report, take the time to read & understand the report before the meeting. Jot down some questions or notes you might have. Do a little web research. Learn more from other colleagues before the session.
You won’t be in a place to speak up if you aren’t prepared.
Master content related to your role.
At any workplace, we all have different roles and responsibilities. As you are building confidence to speak up, use moments to speak on behalf of your team or capabilities or specialty.
Start with a small goal.
I used to actively have to think:
You will speak up at least once in this meeting.
It was stressful! When you start putting yourself out there, it’s a little scary. But here’s the good news. It gets easier with time and practice.
Start with a little goal and you will build and master this skill over time.
You CAN do this.
And I need to state this in uncertain terms:
In order to build your career as a badass,
You MUST do this.
You earned your seat at the table. USE IT.