Do you struggle to get the words out in meetings?

Face the fear: How to speak up in meetings


Are you afflicted by glossophobia? While that may sound like some exotic disease, it is in fact a fear of public speaking. You may not be stepping out in front of a cast of thousands, but even the most confident people can feel anxiety wash over them in the workplace.

The modern enterprise environment will often include several meetings. Whether it’s discussing budgets or thrashing out business strategy, getting a group discussion going can often prove fruitful.

Putting an opinion forward in such a situation can be nerve-wracking, but keeping these things in mind can help the whole process run more smoothly:

You’re not alone

Over 75 per cent of people have a fear of public speaking. Surprisingly, when asked about their main fears, more people mention expressing themselves in front of a group than they do death, all according to research published by the University of Wisconsin in the US.

What you should take from this is that it’s only natural to have some anxiety when talking to a group. It’s highly likely that the majority of the people you’re addressing feel similarly and remembering that fact can help you realise that you’re not alone in your tension.

Get to the point

Much of any fear of speaking to a group is centred on how you’re going to get your points across. Worrying that you may not say the right thing or trip over your words will only increase any anxiety.

Plan ahead and aim to be succinct. If you can, make sure that the key message from what you’re saying is summed up in one sentence. By doing this, you can cut out the waffle, get straight to the point and be assured in your ability to speak up, be heard and feel confident.

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