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Time for you to speak up in meetings

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Introverted? That’s just fine—but making your presence known in meetings is both important and totally doable.

Reflect on the issues beforehand. Go through the agenda and take note of your thoughts and ideas about the issues. Write down your questions and opinions so you’ll be prepared when the topic comes up.

Ask to return later to a topic of interest. If there’s an issue you’d like to think about and contribute to, ask if you can have some time to consider it and circle back to it later.

Remember that your opinions and ideas are valuable. You’re in the meeting for a reason, and that’s because someone thinks you add value. Accept that you communicate differently and recognize that it’s OK.

Let go of the fear. You might worry about having to give an immediate response, and that fear can cause you to remain silent or tie up your words when they do come out. If you notice anxiety or fear creeping in, turn your focus to something more positive. Consider the value you can add to the conversation and think about the message you want to share.

Just do it. The more you practice, the better you’ll be. If you force yourself to voice your opinions more often, you’ll become more comfortable with doing so. Over time it will become easier for you to speak up when you have something to say.

— Adapted from “5 Tips to Help Introverted Leaders Speak Up and Voice their Opinions in Meetings,” Carol Stewart, LinkedIn.

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