By John Worne

It comes with practice and with confidence – but being put on the spot in a big meeting can be anxiety-making.

Top tips from HBR below; but as always with public speaking the essential is: pause, breathe; then speak slowly and clearly.

My own top tip is: ‘get in, get on and say no less or more than is necessary’ then and get off. More is often less.

Neat and tidy is best.

When You’re Put on the Spot in a Meeting, Don’t Panic

Being put on the spot during a meeting can be an unwelcome surprise. But if you’re prepared to speak up and say something useful, you can turn it into an opportunity to show your expertise. Before your next meeting, look through the agenda and write some notes about questions you have and any points you might raise. If you’re called on in the meeting, speak slowly and confidently, and introduce your comments with some context so that colleagues know where you are headed. Of course, if someone asks you a question that catches you off guard, don’t be afraid to say you don’t know the answer.

Adapted from “How to Respond When You’re Put on the Spot in a Meeting,” by Paul Axtell

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