During a recent Azkua community call we discussed the topic of speaking up in meetings. The question was raised by someone who saw herself more of an introvert and who didn’t see the point in wrestling herself into a conversation simply to be perceived as adding value.

And yet! Our society puts so much focus on being confident, assertive and, dare we say it, loud in meetings, that as an introvert showing up ‘fully’ can feel like torture.

Sound familiar?

Then we have a few tips for you, starting with a great reminder from Adam Grant:

Don’t confuse being a fast talker with being a deep thinker!

Yes, remind yourself that ”sometimes the best ideas come from the least assertive voice in the room”!

And start inviting yourself, or the introverts in your team, to share your/their thoughts by using our top tips to make yourself heard:


1. Just because you did not contribute during the meeting does not mean you can’t still contribute afterwards.

Many of our clients share that they come up with their best ideas five minutes or five hours after the meeting. Don’t ignore them. Send an email to the host or the whole team and tell them ‘I’ve been reflecting/sleeping on and … (insert your suggestion/thought/challenge/idea).


2. It’s not about you – it’s about the project, the deadline, the team.

Don’t start your suggestion/thought/challenge/idea with ”I think, suggest, believe…”. Many times what you’re about to say is not about you but about the project, the deadline, the team. So start your sentence with what it’s about, the subject, and go from there. ”I’ve been reflecting on our discussion yesterday and… the team needs further support to complete the project. …more time is required to distill all information. …not responding to the client in this scenario will back-fire.” You get the gist.


3. Make it easier for you – go for one on one.

If you feel uncomfortable sharing your new idea in front of a group but you feel at ease discussing it with individuals, then introduce it to key stakeholders one at a time. Bring them up to date with your latest thoughts and get their input. This will not only allow you to fill any gaps in your process thus far but will also allow you to gauge people’s interest and support. Once you’ve got their support you might either feel confident enough to bring it up yourself during the next team meeting or you can ask one of your allies to introduce the idea and bring you in. The idea here is that it does not have to be hard and don’t hesitate to ask for help.


Let us know how are you doing implementing these tips.

And if you fancy even more on the topic of powerful language make sure to download our workbook here.

To your success,

Manuela Damant
Visionary Collective Leader at Azkua

At Azkua we are on a mission to turn businesses and organisations into a force for good. And we believe that it is professional women who will be at the forefront of this transformation. Purpose driven, caring, grounded and influential women like YOU!