Stand up and Speak

A manager passes on an opportunity to raise an objection during a meeting, fearing her youth and petite stature will keep her from gaining the respect of older male colleagues and subordinates. A government public information officer simmers as senior leaders debate solutions for improving local news coverage without asking her opinion.

Today is International Women’s Day, the day marked to recognize the economic, political and social achievements of women across the globe. As this year’s theme reminds us that “equality for women means progress for all,” I can think of no better day to urge women to stand up and speak.

And by “stand up” I mean just that. Push yourself away from the conference table, your desk or the speaker phone — and get on your feet. You will be able to project more clearly, your voice will sound more commanding and your audience will listen. You will feel more confident and energetic as oxygen flows freely through your body. And best of all you won’t have to remind yourself to keep breathing.

Standing up while speaking makes a difference whether you’re conducting a media interview (radio especially!) by telephone, presenting your point of view during a management retreat or simply reinforcing your smarts. Your customers, your community, need to hear from you — so stand up and speak.