How to Communicate Confidently and Show Up Powerfully In Meetings

Meetings are an ideal time for you as an emerging leader to show up powerfully and establish your executive presence. You have a seat at the table, this in and of itself can sometimes be the most difficult part. Your colleagues and important decision makers are all expecting your input and contribution.

You’re in an ideal situation to showcase your credibility and competence to the people who can potentially have a large impact on your future career.

Do you take this opportunity and get your voice heard? Or do you shy away from it?

In initial discussions with my clients, they often reveal that in meetings they clam up, get their thoughts muddled, or are spoken over by dominating personality types. They often walk out of meetings not having said a word.

This is a shame because through fear of speaking up or not knowing how to get your ideas across in a way that others hear and respect, you’re damaging your professional reputation, credibility, and future leadership opportunities.

To help you communicate confidently and show up powerfully in meetings, I want to share with you some tips that will help you get your voice heard.

1. Invest Time in Pre-Meetings

You have an idea that you would like to raise at your next meeting. Instead of waiting for the meeting to share it with others, you could start by sharing your idea with your colleagues in the days leading up to the meeting.

Pre-meetings will help you in two ways. First, you can sound out your idea before you formally announce it. Maybe your idea needs a little tweaking or adjusting. Pre-meetings will give you time to do this.

Second, you can test out how you’re going to communicate your idea (what words you’re going to use). This will help you choose the style of communication that will have the most impact at the meeting.

Pre-meetings are a great idea for people who are new to speaking up in meetings or for those who are more introverted. They will take off a lot of the pressure you likely feel during meetings and will help you to be heard with a lot more ease.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Put Forth Partly Constructed Ideas

Many people hold back from sharing an idea because it’s not completely constructed. Certain parts of their idea may be clear, but other parts may be hazy or unclear to them so they hold back and refrain from sharing it publicly in the meeting.

I believe this is a mistake. Meetings are a place for you to share your ideas with other team members, even if those ideas aren’t fully formed. It’s teamwork, group contribution and diverse thinking that leads to great ideas in business.

If you’re hesitant to put forth a partly constructed idea, try wording it the following way: “I have an idea that I’d like to share with everybody. It’s still an idea in progress but with your input, I think we can get some clarity on it”. Then announce your idea.

3. Ask for Input

Once you’ve announced your idea in the meeting, ask for the input of others. This shows you’re confident in the ideas you’ve communicated but you also value the contribution of your team.

Perhaps there is an issue you’ve not yet considered. Maybe there is a new piece of information somebody can contribute to strengthen (or break) your idea.

Opening up a discussion around your idea is a great way to get the input of everyone involved, and more importantly, keep the conversation focused on your idea instead of being redirected somewhere else.

Meetings may seem like a mundane part of your workday, but they contribute a huge amount to your level of credibility, leadership reputation, and relationships with others.

Remember, you’ve been asked to have a seat at the table; this is an incredible achievement in and of itself. Bravo! The next step is to make the most of your presence at the table and communicate confidently. I hope these tips will help you do that.

Communicate confidently and get your voice heard in meetings

If you struggle to get your voice heard in meetings and you no longer want to waste opportunities where you could establish your credibility and leadership potential to decision-makers in your company, then private leadership coaching is what will give you the most impact. I offer two coaching packages, a 3-Session Power Package or a 6-Month Coaching Program (intensive) available online or in-person (Perth, Australia). Please e-mail for more information.

If you’re an emerging leader and you want a course that will give you a solid foundation to leadership development, my leadership workshops are a good option for you. I run the Leadership Presence Masterclass and the Leadership Communication Masterclass in Perth, Australia. Please visit the above web pages for information about upcoming sessions.

If you’re not located in Perth, Australia and coaching is not for you, I offer a range of online video courses which can still help with your leadership development.

About Kara

Kara Ronin is the founder of Executive Impressions. She is an executive coach who specialises in leadership presence, social skills and business etiquette. She is also the creator of Bestselling Udemy course, Business Etiquette 101. Kara’s advice and unique perspectives have been featured in Time Inc., Business Insider, Ignites Europe (a Financial Times Service), The Muse, The Local France, The West Australian, and more. Kara works regularly with lawyers, investment bankers, and finance professionals to help them build presence, authority and influence in business. Get Kara's insights delivered straight to your inbox