As leaders, you may need to schedule and lead many meetings and sessions. Typically, leaders fall into two categories.
- People who think methodically and formulate a response before speaking
- People who take a less structured approach and speak out loud to reach a final decision.
None of these styles is right or wrong.
How you lead meetings boils down to the team structure and dynamics and the company’s culture and goals.
Also, given the virtual world we live in, one needs to take virtual meetings and brainstorming sessions into account.
Tips to Get Your Point Across in Meetings
Share that you’re thinking aloud: This enables you to give your manager and/or teams context into how you communicate.
This might look like saying, “I am brainstorming out loud to help get to our solution.” Or, “I am speaking in rough draft here and welcome your input.”
Being open and upfront about thinking aloud may also encourage others to do the same. This may overall lead to a more productive meeting.
Communicate in “Tweets”:
Try not getting into long monologues in meetings, and that is where “speaking in tweets” comes in handy. This essentially allows you to sum up your thoughts without losing the essence.
Be sure to practice this tactic before you put it to use. To do that, go over one sentence at a time and see how that plays out. Read it out aloud. In the case of an in-person meeting, practicing in front of a mirror also may be a good idea.
Think and speak in an outline:
Consider formulating a rough outline (the main point and 2-3 subpoints) to emphasize your ideas and give them some structure. If you process visually, try mapping your outline on a whiteboard for others to see.
Having an outline also works well when making presentations or going in for impromptu speaking.
Set a time limit for idea sharing:
Remember you don’t have to go all out at once. Set a time limit for yourself. This enables you to move quickly and track your audience’s pulse.
You can always go back and share more ideas later during the meeting.
Emphasize your strengths:
Schedule meetings and discussions to suit your strengths. For example, if you excel at ideation, schedule more brainstorming meetings.
Play to your strengths.