Hands

3 Tips to Get Over Your Fear of Speaking Up

We’ve all been there.

You’re in a meeting that has been going on for hours, and yet doesn’t seem to going anywhere at all. You have the answer, or at least a useful contribution. How do you speak up?

Is talking during a meeting public speaking? You betcha. Use these presentation tips every time you speak publicly- even in a room of your peers.

3 Tips for Speaking up in a Meeting:

  1. Prepare a few bullets in advance. One senior executive we worked with was deathly afraid of public speaking early in her career. In order to overcome that fear, she challenged herself to speak up at every single meeting and prepared comments or questions in advance. That executive is now a role model within her organization and is considered one of the most confident and authentic speakers in her industry. Don’t wait for inspiration to hit in the meeting; prepare in advance.

  2. Ask, “why you?” This is a question we recommend people ask before they craft a presentation, walk into a meeting, or even prepare for a networking event. It means, why do you care about what you do, about your organization, or about your role? Answering this question helps you connect with a sense of purpose and builds your confidence. It reminds you that you’re speaking up not to show off but because you truly care about the subject. It reminds you that your credibility doesn’t come solely from your title or years of experience but can also comes from your commitment and passion.

  3. Pause and breathe to build your confidence. Speaking up in a meeting takes courage. You have the ability to affect the trajectory of the conversation, potentially guiding your client towards saying yes to a deal when your colleagues have taken the meeting off track. Pausing and breathing helps center you and strengthens your voice so that when you do speak up, you speak with the full weight of your conviction. While you pause, ask yourself, “If one other person in this room has the same question, am I willing to ask on behalf of that person?” The answer should build your confidence. A client recently shared that she had used this technique to ask a question — in public — at a large conference, and her question changed the direction of the entire panel discussion, shedding light on a critical issue that the panel had been avoiding.

So what are you waiting for? Go in there and rock the room.

Stay Cool,
The Cool Beans Team

Business as Usual

In some places, folding, writing on, or even putting a business card in your back pocket can be incredibly rude.

You wouldn’t want to sit on your business colleague, would you? Then no matter the culture, treat their business card as an extension of the person.

After a card is handed to you, take it with two hands and place it front of you before putting away.

This demonstrates that you took the time to consider your peer or colleague.

Stay Cool,
Cool Beans Coaching

I don’t know what to do with my hands

Depending on the culture, what you do with your hands can be very important.

In Korea, for example, accepting anything with just your left hand can be considered rude.

Tip: When handed anything from a thank you gift to the clicker for the PowerPoint, accept with both hands or the right hand using the left to support it.

If you aren’t sure, ask.

Stay Cool,
Cool Beans Coaching