Do you find it difficult to get your ideas across during meetings, or do other people constantly talk over you? Get some top tips for asserting yourself.
Struggling to make ourselves heard in meetings can be extremely annoying and frustrating and makes us feel undervalued. Here we look at how you can assert yourself during meetings and make sure that people listen to what you have to say.
Create a personality
Having a personality is essential if you want to get your points across. After all, if you can’t put your ideas across with clarity, confidence and conviction, you are effectively wasting your time and energy.
You need to make people sit up and take notice. To do this, create a personality that oozes self-assurance and control. Speak with authority when your time comes and stand up for what you believe in.
Know your audience
Preparation is key when it comes to shaping your message and delivery. You need to win over your audience as quickly as possible. This means knowing who they are and understanding their personalities.
Figures of authority, for example, are often autocratic, independent and strong willed, demanding instant results no matter what it takes. You therefore need to cut to the chase, rather than beat around the bush.
Hear your colleagues out
Everyone wants to be heard. But if everyone is shouting at once then the likelihood is that no-one will be heard at all.
You should be less forceful and listen more. Believe it or not, this counter-intuitive approach is often the best way of getting your point across.
Trying to understand another person’s conflicting points of view, no matter how much it pains you, will open up the door for them to do the same for you when it’s your turn to have the floor.
Acknowledge others’ points of view
Giving someone the freedom to express their thoughts and opinions creates a much more receptive audience, so listen to what they have to say and acknowledge their points of view. This shows you’re willing to entertain an alternative view to facilitate solving the problem, whatever it is, moving forward.
Then, when it’s your turn to speak, start by complimenting what the other person had said. Look for one thing you can agree with, or simply speak positively of their intentions. Doing so will make them less likely to interrupt you.
Don’t seek permission to speak
The golden rule to getting your point across is to not seek permission to speak. For example, you should never say “May I make a point?” or “Can I interject?” as this just makes it easy for them to say “No”.
Instead, say “I have a point to make” or just speak out with your comments. Remember to be loud and clear though. Speaking softly means your comments will more than likely fall on deaf ears, so be well spoken and vocal.
Just make sure you don’t waffle. Get to the point and hold your ground.
Posted by Julie Tucker
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