Boss: "I'd like you to attend the leadership meeting tomorrow."
You: "Thank you, I'll be there!"
You (to self): OMG, this is so nerve-wracking...what if I get asked my opinion about something!?
Take A Deep Breath
If you’ve been invited to the meeting, it's because you're a valuable part of the team and they want to hear from you.
That's great news!
So take a deep breath (or two) and get ready to make a good impression.
Prepare for the meeting by reviewing the agenda (if available) or reflecting on the purpose of the meeting.
Make notes on any points that you might want to comment on. Bring your notes to the meeting.
Share From Your Perspective
Remember, there's a reason you're at this meeting.
Your role and skills are what got you here.
When making comments, in most cases you should speak from the perspective of your unique role at the company.
Luis is a sales associate. When asked how things are, which of these answers would be most appropriate?
Sometimes a discussion will come up where people are more freely expressing their thoughts in a group brainstorm.
Don't wait to be called on...feel free to speak up and voice your opinion.
Hilda is a receptionist. During a brainstorm about ways to get more customers, how could she express her opinion?
Raising A Problem
It's best not to complain during a meeting; any grievances should be handled in a more private setting.
If you need to bring up a problem, be prepared to offer a solution.
Example: "Our new software is slowing us down right now, but I am willing to stay late this week to work out the bugs."
Keep It Brief
Unless you have been asked to give a presentation, it is best to keep your comments brief.
People will ask follow-up questions if they want to know more.
If you don't know the answer to a question, simply say that you are not sure and that you will get back to everyone with the answer.
After The Meeting
You did it! You made it through the meeting and spoke up confidently!
If you forgot to mention something important or were asked to follow up, send an email or written memo to the relevant people within 24-48 hours.
Speaking up in a meeting can be intimidating, but you will get better at it with practice.
Bring on the next meeting!