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15 Ways to Speak Up Confidently in Work Meetings

Mar 23 2023
15 Ways to Speak Up Confidently in Work Meetings

As someone who attends meetings regularly, you might find it difficult to speak up and share your thoughts. Whether you're new to the company or are naturally shy, there are ways to help you feel more confident when talking in meetings. In this blog post, we'll discuss some tips to help you overcome your fear of speaking up in meetings and become a more active participant. 

Why It's Hard to Speak Up in Meetings 

There are several reasons why you might feel nervous about speaking up during a meeting at work: 

  • You're an introvert who has a hard time speaking in front of others. 

  • Your co-workers tend to dominate the conversation, making it difficult for you to get a word in edgewise. 

  • You worry about saying something others disagree with or see as foolish. 

  • Working in a virtual atmosphere can also bring new challenges, making it harder to read social and physical cues. 

Tips to Help You Speak Up in Meetings with Confidence 

  1. Come with an agenda: Before you attend a meeting, make sure you know the topics being discussed and how you can contribute. If you're heading into a brainstorming meeting, jot down your ideas. If the meeting is more formal, create a detailed agenda of what you'll be presenting and discussing. 

  2. Keep your hands busy: If you have nervous energy in meetings, keep your hands busy by bringing a pen and notebook to take notes, along with a bottle of water. This will help you stay engaged and focused, as well as give you something to do if you feel nervous. 

  3. Interject to ask a question: Asking questions is always worthwhile, and it's a good starting point for finding your voice in the meeting. By asking thoughtful questions, you can demonstrate to others that you're engaged in the discussion. 

  4. Practice active listening: Listen actively during the meeting and stay engaged in the discussion. You'll have more to say if you know what's being discussed and can make relevant points or ask follow-up questions. 

  5. Work on your speaking skills: Even experienced professionals feel nervous about presenting in front of their peers. Practicing your presentation in advance can help you feel more confident. 

  6. Set professional goals related to speaking up: Setting goals related to speaking up in meetings can help you hold yourself accountable and demonstrate your commitment to your team's success. 

  7. Back up a team member: If you're uncomfortable putting your ideas out in the open, you can always ease yourself into speaking in a meeting by vocally supporting another team member's contribution. 

  8. Know when to jump in: Speaking up in virtual meetings can be especially challenging, but you need to be ready to jump in quickly if you have something to say. 

  9. Make your contribution less personal: If you feel uncomfortable sharing your ideas with personal language, try making what you have to say a little less personal. This can help you feel less vulnerable and more confident. 

  10. Use visual aids: If you have trouble expressing your thoughts verbally, using visual aids such as slides, graphs, or charts can help you communicate your ideas more effectively. 

  11. Practice before the meeting: If you know you'll need to present or speak up during a meeting, practice what you'll say beforehand. You can rehearse in front of a mirror or with a friend to help build your confidence. 

  12. Take a deep breath: If you feel nervous or anxious, taking a deep breath can help you calm down and focus. Remember to breathe slowly and deeply, and take your time when speaking. 

  13. Don't be afraid to disagree: If you have a different opinion than others in the meeting, don't be afraid to speak up and share your perspective. Disagreements can lead to productive discussions and innovative solutions. 

  14. Follow up after the meeting: If you didn't have a chance to say everything you wanted to during the meeting, follow up with your colleagues afterward. You can send an email or schedule a follow-up discussion to continue the conversation. 

  15. Be yourself: Finally, remember to be yourself and let your personality shine through. Your colleagues want to hear your unique perspective, so don't be afraid to show who you are. 

By following these additional tips, you can continue to build your confidence and become a more effective communicator in meetings. 


Speaking up in meetings is essential for building relationships with your colleagues, demonstrating your knowledge and skills, and contributing to your team's success. By implementing these tips, you can overcome your fear of speaking up and become a more active participant in your meetings. Remember that your attendance is valuable, and your colleagues want to hear what you have to say.