Trouble having your voice heard? Here’s how you can get started to find your voice.
Well, this had been one of the biggest challenges I faced in face-to-face meetings or hangouts. The folks who were more assertive and fast-to-move, were usually the ones who got the spotlight leaving me and others like me kept waiting for our turn (if it was to ever come).
A more serious and direct impact of it was seen in the mock-up group discussion rounds we did before the actual GD round as a part of the selection process for the companies (as a part of our preparation for the campus placements).
A more general implication of it was seen in any first-time meetings. First-time meetings are as it is new and slightly awkward. Above that, the pressure to strike a conversation or contribute to it can easily leave you off-balance.
So what were the cues/ tips I followed for starting (& joining-in) conversations that still continue to work for me every single time? Here you go:
- In case it's a professional meet-up, most likely there would be a certain agenda of the meeting. This is great as you now have a theme to can prepare yourself on for a conversation can give you a great starting point and points to keep looped-in.
- If it's an informal meeting, pick a topic that is light-headed, candid or something you are genuinely interested in or good at. That ways, you always got something that makes you excited or twinkles your eyes whenever you talk about it or even if somebody refers to it. And guess what, the interests and energies you have, gets transferred to the other person you're speaking to.
- In case the discussion is driven by people who are seemingly more active participators and have engaged the meeting and you weren't able to put forward what you had to. Just one tip, be patient. Each meeting or discussion has its highs and vice-versa. There will definitely be a moment where the energies of the discussion are not at the same peak/high as before, this is the time for you to dive-in. Maybe start by picking up a point you felt to be striking until now, the ones that stood-out for you or add-on your own points to it.
- Another great point if you want to be heard is to listen. As simple as it may sound, it's one quality that's increasingly depreciating in this fast-paced competitive world where almost everyone just wants to speak and very few actually want to listen. Hence, you being a good listener is priceless quality and one that will definitely give you an edge over others. It will also implicitly make others listen to you when you have got something to share, not because you listened to respond, but because you listened to actually understand. So naturally, your contribution in what points you will bring to the table will be substantial and make more sense, hence will get the due attention they rightfully deserve.
Hope you found these tips useful. Also, would love to hear some of your personal stories, experiences, opinions or tips that you would like to share, please do share on Opined!