By Perminus Wainaina
It is said that it is better to remain quiet and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
Well, I disagree.
Sometimes even “fools” have wise things to say. Their ideas may not always be smart but they are not afraid of expressing them anyway.
These people know that even though they may not produce the best solutions or ideas, they would rather take the risk than not speak at all.
And this is true even in the workplace.
If you have noticed, sometimes the people who speak up the most during meetings don’t always have top-notch ideas, but they are the first people the boss will go to when they need something.
Those who are outspoken do so with confidence even when they know they are not right!
If you want to get that promotion you have been eyeing, then speaking up is all you need to do.
You must be willing to suppress your fear of speaking in public and make your ideas, solutions or strategies known.
But why do you find it so difficult to speak during meetings and what do you finally need to do to start getting noticed?
1. You second guess yourself
So you are in a meeting with your boss and colleagues. Everyone is contributing to the meeting except you. You only speak when spoken to.
You second guess yourself every time you want to speak because you think your ideas are not good enough or you tell yourself, “Everyone has said what I wanted to say”.
This kind of second-guessing has made it difficult for you to contribute in meetings or add value.
And if this is the kind of behavior your boss has seen from you, then getting that promotion may well be a far-fetched dream.
Solution >>> Just go ahead and speak. Yes, your idea or suggestion may not be perfect, but the confidence to say it and the self-initiative to contribute will position you very well for future promotions.
2. You’re afraid of being judged or rejected
Have you ever wanted to say something so badly but chose not to because you were afraid of what others would say?
I used to be like that. Constantly refusing to speak my mind because I didn’t know what others would think of me.
I was afraid people would think, “What a stupid idea”.
I was also fearful of how others would perceive me because of what I said. I didn’t want to be labeled a certain way.
You could be going through the same challenge. You would rather keep your ideas to yourself than be judged.
Solution >>> Be courageous enough to speak your mind knowing that you are responsible for what you say and not how others perceive it.
3. You believe that your introverted personality is hindering you from speaking
So you are now content that simply because you are introverted, you are automatically barred from being outspoken.
This is a very nasty lie I have seen introverts tell themselves.
As an introvert myself, I can assure you that you can overcome your fear of public speaking by simply learning the techniques of mastering confidence.
Solution >>> You don’t need to suddenly become an extrovert or constantly speak, you just need to leverage on opportunities where you can speak and make your impact felt.
4. You don’t want to bear any responsibilities
You are afraid that the more you speak, the more will be required of you especially as a leader.
And the very thought scares you because you don’t want to carry any responsibilities.
You don’t wish to have any failures fall back on you so you chose to remain silent.
Solution >>> If you chose to remain silent because you are afraid of taking responsibilities, chances are high that others who are even less qualified than you will always surpass you by getting promotions which you deserve. So don’t be afraid to fail, take risks; that’s how you will grow.
Start speaking confidently today…
How can you do that?
Like everything else, practice makes perfect.
Learn more about public speaking, as well as get an avenue where you can practice your public speaking skills. Join our public speaking class today, and grow in communication skills.
In the public speaking class, you’ll get to interact with C.E.O.s, top managers and professionals in different fields all looking to improve their confidence and presentation skills as you also network.
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