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This simple hack will win you respect in meetings (especially if you don’t normally speak up)

Originally published in the print version of Psychologies Magazine, This article explains a simple technique that you can use to get noticed in meetings - especially if you are quiet, introverted or need to grow your confidence.

Q. I find it so difficult to speak up at work. I’m really great at my job but feel overlooked and invisible. How can I increase my confidence?

A. Confidence is best built in a series of tiny steps. In a work environment, it’s hard to gather all the courage you have and start talking in a team meeting. Suddenly you find everyone’s eyes are focussed on you. The danger is that you dry up or fumble your words. 

Here’s how to focus people’s attention on your ideas and take their gaze away from you.

Prepare a simple document that summarises what it is that you want to present to the group. This could be a mind-map, a flowchart or a simple bulleted list of ideas. Make it visually appealing and keep the word count low.

Ask whoever is leading the meeting if they will add it to the agenda – that way it’s not you trying to break into the flow of the meeting. Or, enlist a more confident colleague to introduce the topic and hand over to you. Give everyone a copy, and lead people through your ideas – the document is your script and it will keep you on track. 

Let people know you’re willing to talk about your ideas one to one afterwards. Your colleagues will appreciate the fact that you’ve given them something structured to think about. Your team leader will be very happy that you’ve spoken up.

Don’t worry about being a bit wobbly at first. This technique works well and, over time, will help you build confidence and gain respect.

Let me know how you get on!


Pete Mosley PCC

Pete Mosley PCC


I work with quiet, thoughtful and purpose-driven individuals to help build confidence in both life and work, for example by supporting them to find a voice, speak up, pitch or talk in public without feeling intimidated by louder voices. As a reflective person myself, I'm drawn towards working with others who find the cut and thrust of everyday life to be a challenge. I also help business owners work out how to promote themselves and build an audience for their work. I'm a graduate of the acclaimed Barefoot Postgraduate Certificate in Business & Personal Coaching, and I now teach for Barefoot. My book - The Art of Shouting Quietly - a guide to self-promotion for introverts and other quiet souls – has sold in 25 countries around the world. I'm very experienced - I have 15 years of track record as a mentor in the Creative Industries prior to training as a coach in 2008. Please don't hesitate to get in touch - I'm always happy to talk with you about coaching/mentoring on the phone - with no obligation.