Monday, October 24, 2011

The all-in-one on workplace speaking and presenting: 13 resources & tips

Most of us do our "public speaking" in work meetings, conference calls, Skype interviews or video conferences. That doesn't make it easy. Women (and men) can boost their skills with these tips, resources and tactics for every kind of business meeting:

  1. Men are more likely to speak in meetings: Read "Who talks more: Men or women?" to get rid of a common myth about women and speaking, but here's your takeaway: Men are more likely to report out in meetings, women more likely to confide in smaller pairings.
  2. How do you start meetings? If you want to signal "Let's get down to business" without rolling up your shirtsleeves, here are some options designed for women.
  3. Keep an eye on your speaking options: Here's what it takes to get on the program as a woman speaker. Even if your profession is dominated by women, research shows that it's more difficult for women to present at their professional membership groups' conferences. The one plus: You stand out more on the program, but have to work harder to get there.
  4. Watch out for other women: Women often deter the progress of other women in workplace situations, so it pays to think about why and when that happens.
  5. Learn how to speak up in meetings: Women often don't do this, and a book that looked at research about whey women don't speak up in meetings tells you how to get better at taking your turn, using questions to get into the conversation and other practical tactics.
  6. Sometimes, you just need support: Send this memo to the boss on why you need training to make the case for improving your speaking and presenting skills.
  7. If you get talked over in meetings, you have good company. Even Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg complains about it.
  8. Learn to dive in and interrupt in meetings: Madeleine Albright advises women to learn to do just that, but how? Here are 7 ways to interrupt to get your point across.
  9. Don't be too respectful. Hesitating might just hold you back, so learn how to be less respectful and more confident when you speak up in meetings.
  10. Young? Young-looking? You can still establish your credibility when your age and looks work against you. This is one of the best-read posts of all time on the blog, for a reason.
  11. On video, webinars or conference calls? Learn how to do better as a speaker on Skype calls or videoconferences, speak more effectively when you can't see the audience, and break into a discussion on audio or video calls by using a visual signal.

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