Five Ways to Make a Bigger Impact at Meetings

Kathy Reiffenstein writes a great blog on persuasive speaking (Professionally Speaking…). I’d like to share some ideas from her June 30 blog, in which she describes five ways to make a bigger impact at meetings.

  1. Do your homework: Know the purpose and topics of the meeting, as well as your position. Then prepare how to communicate what you want the others to hear.
  2. Use body language: Sit up straight, maintain eye contact when you speak and listen, and manage your facial expressions.
  3. Listen more than you talk: Develop active listening skills to actively engage in the conversation even if you aren’t speaking. Use words and gestures (“I see,” nods and smiles) to show you are interested and involved, and refer to others’ comments and perspectives.
  4. Ask questions: Prepare questions ahead of time and ask them in an open, non-judgemental way. Become known as the person who asks intelligent, thoughtful questions that get at the heart of the issue.
  5. Speak up. Speak confidently, clearly and a little bit louder than your normal speaking voice when you do contribute. Eliminate words such as “maybe” and “perhaps”, which can undermine credibility and make you appear tentative. Get comfortable with phrases such as “…just let me finish this thought and then we can move on” or “…that’s a great point and I’ll come back to it in a minute” to help you deal with interruptions.

It may seem obvious, but a huge component of communicating well is the ability to speak and listen in a way that helps you achieve your objectives at work. And at complete communications, we understand that any type of new public behaviour may feel strange and uncomfortable at first. Practice is the key, and practice becomes easier as you start to reap the benefits and positive feedback of your new skill sets. Practice Kathy Reiffenstein’s ideas starting with your next meeting. And let us know how it turns out! #Kathy Reiffenstein #communication

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