Speaking up during meetings

How can I make my voice heard at work?

Business English

von Lucy Kellaway

FTD.de, 03.08.2008, © 2008 Financial Times Deutschland, © Illustration: FT



Kellaway gives some very good advice to her reader who has a problem communicating his ideas during meeting. One of this person's problem is that he is soft spoken. Two of Kellaway's ideas is to think of the competence of the other people and to practice before a meeting.


As an English teacher I usually have to help people with similar problems but with the big drawback that they have to speak in a foreign language (English). Like Kallaway I also advice practicing but not alone. Find someone who is prepared to listen to you and practice with them. That is, after you are clear about what you want to say. If you cannot find anyone borrow a dog and practice with the dog. Dogs get bored easily, your objective is to keep them awake with your speech/talk. Your dog might also appreciate your ideas, unlike your colleagues, but I am not an expert on what dogs think about banking.

When you practice make sure you are a few feet away from your listeners, at least eight feet away. this means you have to project your voice. And to make it difficult include some background music as a distraction and sound level. Make your self heard above the music.

But as Kellaway implies, practice makes perfect. And as my public speaking teacher always insisted: remember to breath.

Bottom Line

If you know what you are talking about, you will know how to say it.

Tags: communications, meetings, speaking,

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