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The path from quiet to quiet confidence: 5 strategies for getting your voice heard at work

Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

1. Start with a question.

I often found myself in meetings, waiting for my opportunity to say something, but the moment would pass. 20 minutes into a 30-minute meeting, my voice hadn’t yet been heard, and my confidence was low. At that point, it felt easier to just stay quiet. However, I found that jumping in early with a question would almost warm up my voice in a way, giving me more confidence to then speak up again, and again.

2. Sign up to facilitate meetings.

As valuable as it is to ask questions, it’s also valuable to facilitate a meeting. Facilitation can come in many forms. It can be as simple as pausing a conversation to draw complex concepts on a whiteboard (ever been in a meeting where people are swirling around a topic?). I realized how much value I could add by taking a step back and whiteboarding it for people. I could wrap my head around the concept more easily, and everyone else could, too.

3. Find places where it feels safer to speak

When it doesn’t feel comfortable to speak up in a meeting, try to find other places where you can get your voice heard. For example, make it a goal to be more active in your company’s Slack. You can set yourself up as an expert by sharing links to valuable resources, by jumping in to answer questions, and by engaging in conversation around important topics. This may also feel scary, but, if it feels less scary than speaking up in a meeting, try to consider it as a step outside of your comfort zone.

4. Capture your accomplishments

I often urge folks to keep an accomplishments journal, or a hype doc. A hype doc, according to Marie Chatfield, is a running list of all of your accomplishments and successes. This doc not only allows you to look back and feel proud about all you’ve accomplished, but it empowers you to advocate for yourself to your manager. Be “noisy” about what you’ve accomplished by capturing examples of your work.

5. Follow up after the fact

This strategy comes from my dear friend Olga Perfilieva, Product Design Manager at Botkeeper. After a meeting, if you didn’t have the chance to get your voice heard (or even if you intentionally didn’t speak up because it didn’t feel comfortable at the time), gather your thoughts in a message or a document, and send it out to the meeting attendees afterward. Plus, this gives you the opportunity to process after the meeting, while still having the opportunity to share your thoughts.



Ladies that UX Boston is a monthly catch up for talented and creative women in the UX and design community. The group aims to provide an inspiring, collaborative and supportive environment through informal networking, lively discussions and events.

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Lara Greenberg

Director of UX at Notarize, Co-organizer of Ladies That UX Boston