"A Guide To Getting Your Voice Heard At Work"
A fascinating article by ASHIRA PROSSACK as featured in Forbes Magazine on Mar 5th 2018
You’ve got a great idea, so how do you make sure people listen when you pitch it? Women face more challenges than men getting their ideas heard at work, so it’s more important now than ever to make our voices heard and make a difference. No matter what your role is, at some point in time you’re going to have to speak up.
Effectively communicating, pitching ideas, and getting your point across in meetings are all ways to speak up. Being intentional in the way you speak and paying attention to how you deliver your idea can help make sure that people listen. This is your guide to becoming a master communicator and getting your voice heard at work.
SPEAK WITH CONVICTION
Don’t downplay an idea by treating it like a mere suggestion. Avoid disclaimer statements like ‘I think’ or ‘this is just my idea, but…’ and avoid filler words such as ‘um’, ‘like’ or ‘you know’. Replace phrases like ‘Do you think you could get this done by tomorrow?’ with ‘I need this by tomorrow please.’
SPEAK WITH INTENTION
Speak clearly, emphasize key points, address the entire room if you’re presenting to a group, and maintain eye contact, especially if you’re pitching one on one. Be assertive, not aggressive when you speak. Don’t be afraid of pauses, use them to your advantage. A slight pause gives you time to gather your thoughts and gives your audience time to reflect on what you’ve said.
MAKE IT A CONVERSATION
People lose interest when they’re listening to a long monologue. Invite them to be a part of your idea. Frame your pitch in a way that makes them want to ask questions and learn more. When you give them time to ask questions, they’ll be more interested, attentive, and engaged. The more you can engage them, the more they’ll truly listen. Let people weigh in with their opinions and participate in the discussion.