Insight

How to be more vocal and convincing at workshop meetings

By David Lawrence |

Have you ever left a meeting kicking yourself for not getting your views, questions or information across?

It’s not just a matter of personal frustration. The results of the whole enterprise could be diluted because you didn’t manage to speak or achieve your aims.

Business people spend many hours in meetings during their career. In fact, according to research, UK employees waste 441,827,088 days every year on ineffectual or unnecessary tasks, including unproductive meetings!

(source: https://www.personneltoday.com/pr/2017/07/uk-employees-waste-400-million-days-a-year-on-unnecessary-office-tasks/)

If this is a workshop designed to enhance or assess your skills, melting into the background could limit your chances of getting a job or promotion. If this is a sales pitch, being soft in your pitch could lose you the business!

Information is power


Tips on being vocal and convincing in workshop meetings include doing as much preparation as possible. Having facts, figures and evidence of your assertions builds confidence. You can also be more agile and responsive to questions from colleagues or business contacts. 


If this is a learning or recruitment scenario, the same applies. Getting as much background research done as possible creates fertile ground for you to contribute to discussions and ask relevant questions.


Delivery counts


Technology provides valuable tools to help you to deliver what you have to say in a measurably effective way. In fact, it could be possible to get your point across better by relying more on technology than the spoken word.


For example, if you have a multimedia presentation to show, all eyes will be on the screen. Or, you could even use telecommunications systems to deliver personal presentation material to each person in the meeting. We all know how much attention mobiles command!


Keep to the point


Let’s be honest, attention spans are shorter than ever these days. Everyone else in that meeting will have their own “agenda” and possibly multiple thoughts and reactions that distract them. To be successful in passing on information, changing opinions or influencing an action, you need to cut across all that. If you start to waffle or go off subject, it’s like cutting concrete with a wet cloth!


Being effective in presentations hinges not just on what you say, but how you say it. Visual stimulation (using presentation technology) helps, but so does clear, concise speaking. The rule of is to keep it simple and to the point.


Use virtual “white space


Don’t rush what you say, no matter how much pressure you feel or how self-conscious you are. Occasional pauses in your presentation can be important. They offer a chance to take a breath, then switch smoothly to your next point. Measured pauses, and looking directly at people, can also help to attract or retain their attention.


For more ways to make an impact in meetings, contact us for clear and concise information.

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David Lawrence

Written by David Lawrence

David is the founder of Vine Resources.