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How Do I Speak Up More in Meetings

How To Speak Up in Meetings (A Video For if You’re Feeling Unsure)

by | Aug 21, 2021 | Asking For a Friend Featured, By Karin Hurt, Communication |

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Techniques to Speak Up in Meetings and Ensure Your Voice is Heard

“Hey Karin, I just had my 360 Feedback review, and I heard I should speak up more in meetings. But it’s hard. How do I get better at this?” #AskingForaFriend

4 Ways to Speak Up More in Meetings

This question came in from a really good friend of mine, whom I’ve known for over 30 years. And here’s the thing. She’s so smart with so much to offer. And, sometimes she holds back and doesn’t speak up in meetings. Which is tragic.

So here’s my advice for her and for anyone struggling to speak up more in meetings.

1. Start before the meeting begins.

The best way to have more confidence and speak up more in meetings is to be really prepared. Ask for the agenda in advance. Or, inquire about the topics to be discussed and decisions to be made.

A little advanced notice about the conversation gives some time to gather your thoughts and prepare your point of view.

2. Imagine the players at the table.

Before the meeting, picture who will be in the meeting and what could be on their hearts and minds.

Anticipating other people’s contributions and ideas can help you be more prepared to jump into the dialogue and add value.

3. Consider your most important points and write them down in advance.

It’s easy for conversations to go all over the place in meetings, particularly if you’re in a team full of extroverts.

Try writing down your most important points in advance, so when the conversation goes sideways, it’s easier to bring the conversation back and speak up more in meetings.

“One idea I why employees don't speak up more in meetingshave that I want to ensure we consider before we close is _______”

Or, you can frame it as a question.

“In preparing for this meeting, I’ve been wondering if we might consider ____. Would that be a topic worth spending a few minutes on?”

4. Position your ideas using our Courageous Cultures I.D.E.A. Model.

If you’ve read Courageous Cultures, attended one of our leadership development programs, or have hung out much on this blog, you know we’re big fans of the I.D.E.A. method for positioning your ideas. This is a great approach to help you speak up in meetings as well.

You can read more about the I.D.E.A approach for positioning your ideas here (or simply watch the video).

How do I speak up more in meetings?

Your turn. What are your best practices for speaking up in meetings?

Want more human-centered leaders in the workplace? Share this today!

  Want more human-centered leaders in the workplace? Share this today!


  1. Richard Maltzman

    This is important, meaningful, impactful stuff. Pay attention: what Karin says may change or save careers or even lives.

    • Karin Hurt

      Rich, Even lives… wow 😉 Thanks so much for the endorsement!

  2. Anne Demaret

    HI! Thank you for sharing that, really love the spirit of it, to give a feeling on how we can have our voice being more heard. Since you asked though, what I would add, about the very good point you make about imagining in advance the players at the table and anticipating their contributions : it can only happen if you know what their expectations and current concerns are. And it takes a lot of time to align, make the propoer interviews and get to know all those things, that, I fully agree, are so much more comfortable when you know them.
    But we don’t always have time to get around with everybody before the meeting and know what’s in their heads.
    Do you have any suggestion for either gathering the information, or deal without it when you couldn’t get it?

    • Karin Hurt

      Thanks for expanding the conversation, Anne! I certainly agree with you that a lot of the time you don’t have time for full stakeholdering. In that case, what I normally do is think about what people in their role would be most interested in, and what questions might be likely on their mind. For example, what would be on the CFOs mind (, what might the sales manager think etc, how about the HR Director…


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Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders find clarity in uncertainty, drive innovation, and achieve breakthrough results.  She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Workplace Conflict, and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

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