Do you ever feel nervous in meetings? Like you’ve got so many ideas, but it’s hard to get a word in edgewise? Or no one ever asks your opinion? Or someone else gets credit for your great idea?
Meetings can be very stressful, especially if you are working in a foreign country and in a language that’s not your native tongue. But there are definitely ways to prepare for meetings in advance so that you shine! Here’s how to embrace meetings as a creative challenge.
1.Do Your Homework
Prepare before the meeting. Read the agenda and do some research on the topics to be discussed. Think about what you know and what you can offer, based on your own experience and expertise.
Write down some key points that you will offer in the meeting, on small notecards. Keep your points brief, but be prepared with some details. Anticipate questions you might be asked and prepare responses. Practice in front of a mirror. Visualize yourself shining in the meeting.
3. Cut In
Find polite ways to interrupt. Practice these at home; “That’s a great idea and I have something to add.” “I’d like to offer something.” “I have a different perspective.” Don’t be afraid to offer a divergent opinion. When you do this make eye contact, call others by name, keep your face and body language relaxed but confident.
4. Make Alliances
Look for what you have in common with others in the meeting. Offer your expertise. Acknowledge innovative perspectives. Pair up to find new solutions.
5. Follow Up
A lot of great ideas are exchanged “around the water cooler.” After the meeting, approach a co-worker informally to ask more about an idea discussed. Or write a more detailed and formal response as a memo, with ideas about how to expand a particular idea from the meeting. Keep it brief but specific and include deadlines.
You’ve got this! Now go shine!
Thank you to our contributing expert :
Dayamudra Dennehy lives in San Francisco and is a communication consultant with 22 years of experience. Her global business, Speak English Now, trains individuals and groups in effective public speaking, accurate pronunciation and cultural competency. Her own passion for language learning, for international travel, and for culture keep her passionate about her work. www.speakenglishnow.biz