Insert Yourself!

As an executive coach, I’m often asked to help my clients improve their ability to speak up and get their ideas heard. I call this Dynamic Speaking. Often, all that is needed are starter phrases to jump-start the interactions that will get you engaged in the discussion and recognized by the group. Try some of these techniques the next time you find yourself becoming invisible in a meeting.  

Be the First to Express an Idea or Comment
“It sounds to me like the issue is…”
“In my experience, I’ve found that…”
“Let me float this idea out there”

Be First to Tag On to Others’ Ideas
“That’s a very interesting idea.”
“I agree with…”
“That’s what I was thinking, too.”

Orchestrate the Discussion
“Let’s explore some possible solutions.”
“I’d like to offer a couple of suggestions.”
“Let’s take a moment to brainstorm some ideas.”

Ask More Questions – to Invite Dialogue
Fact-Finding – “Describe what you’ve seen happening here with this problem.”
Feeling-Finding – “How did you feel the meeting went?”
Clarifying – “Are you saying…?”, “Do you mean…?”, “Are you referring to…?”
Expanding – “Can you give me an example?”, “What other ways could we do this?” “How do you propose implementing that idea?”
Directing – “What was the other point you wanted to make?”, “Can we talk more about your first idea?”

Be the First to Present a Solution
“Here’s what I recommend we do.”
“I’ve got a suggestion on how best to handle that.”
“I have a proposal that could help resolve this problem.”

Remember, it can be detrimental to your career if you never speak up. Others start to wonder why you were invited to the meeting. They may even start to question your impact overall. So jump in, speak up, and make your mark!