Some people always have something to say. Regardless of the subject matter or their personal involvement, they feel the need to chime in at every opportunity. Although this may simply be someone’s personality, others may see it as a deliberate strategy to get noticed and have an impact in the office.
Unfortunately, that strategy can often have the opposite effect. Speaking up at every possible opportunity can actually diminish the perceived value of one’s input. A better strategy could be to actually limit input to situations when one can truly provide genuine value.
Focus on Providing Value
Instead of worrying they might be forgotten, those considering speaking up in a meeting should focus on doing so only when they believe they can provide value, such as when they have specialized and relevant expertise or exclusive knowledge or insights or if they identified a point others missed. It doesn’t mean repeating points others have already made or getting the last word in.
Leave a Positive Impression
People can come away from the last thing you said with a positive, negative, or neutral impression and, by extension, you. When someone provides valuable insight or wise counsel, the impression is likely to be positive. When someone speaks just to be heard, the impression is likely to be neutral at best and possibly even negative.
It may sound cliché to say that time is money, but it’s absolutely true, and when multiple people are engaged in the same meeting, the value of every minute of that meeting is magnified. This means it’s important to be not only judicious when providing your two cents but also efficient when you do decide to speak up.
A best practice is to make clear, concise points and wrap it up. People often remember best what was said last. Rambling on once a point has been made adds no value and diminishes the value of the previous points.
While it may seem counterintuitive, sometimes the best way to ensure one’s input is heard and even sought out is to be judicious when providing it in the first place.