The Introvert’s Guide to Speaking Up in Meetings

For many introverts, the idea of speaking up in a meeting can be challenging. Unlike extroverts who get their energy from being around other people, introverts feel best alone or in small groups of people they know well. However, participating in meetings is a key part of career development and something that is required in almost any position introverts will apply to, from paid and unpaid internships to entry-level jobs.

Luckily, even if you’re a deep introvert, there are several things you can do to make your voice heard during meetings and to make being in a meeting (surrounded by people) enjoyable for you.

Prepare something to say

Introverts generally prefer to assess the situation and the group dynamic before speaking, integrating this information into what they say. They’re also more likely to spend a lot of time thinking before they speak and can sometimes miss opportunities to talk in situations where things move quickly.

A great strategy for counteracting the fast pace of most meetings is to prepare a few key points in advance and mention at least one of these during the meeting. This will not only make it easier to speak up but will also ensure that you’re adding value to the conversation.

Pro Tip: Email the meeting organizer ahead of time and ask for the agenda. This will help you structure your thinking and also ensure that you’re addressing the main points of the meeting.

Speak up early

As anyone who’s been in a group setting or class discussion knows, the conversation can shift gears rapidly. By speaking up at the beginning of the meeting, you can establish your presence early on, while the conversation is still structured and not too fast-paced. Having made an impact in the meeting, you can then take additional time to decide whether you want to say anything else. This is also a great chance for you to guide the conversation and make it happen on your own terms.

Pro Tip: If you’re feeling unsure about how to speak up, try observing those who usually take the lead. Make note of what they say and how they say it, then adapt it to fit your style.

Follow up after the meeting

Even with pages of notes and a full meeting agenda, chances are that there will be a few things you want to think about more carefully before you share your opinion. That’s absolutely fine and, in fact, it’s where introverts can really shine.

As Susan Cain, leading introvert expert, explains in her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, having time to think through things on your own often leads to better ideas. If you do have something to add after the meeting, don’t be afraid to share this with the team by sending out an email with ideas and action points. This will likely keep the conversation going and result in some great outcomes for everyone.

Contrary to popular belief, introverts and extroverts are not at odds with each other. In fact, the two personality types are two sides of the same coin and often balance each other out, especially in professional settings. Although you may not feel as comfortable speaking up in a meeting as some of your more extroverted coworkers, by using these tips you can make an impact while staying true to who you are.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 10 Tips on the Perfect Cover Letter and find answers to common interview questions such as What Are Your Hobbies?

The Extrovert’s Guide to Meetings

work culture, entry-level jobGroup dynamics are an important part of any work environment and finding an effective way to communicate with your co-workers is especially important. For teams that include both introverts and extroverts, this means finding a good balance between different styles of communication. If you’re an extrovert, you may be wondering about the best way to connect with your introverted co-workers while setting yourself up for your own success.

Whether you’re working at a paid or unpaid internship or an entry-level job, here are some tips to help you handle workplace interactions in a sensitive and effective way.

Pay attention to group dynamics

In order to make the most of each meeting, take a moment to assess group dynamics before speaking and be sensitive to each person’s needs. For example, if you have a co-worker who feels easily intimidated by group interactions but has great insights, try to set up smaller meetings (or one-on-one chats) to ensure that they are comfortable sharing their ideas. This will create an environment where everyone can express themselves in the best way possible.

Have an agenda and prepare ahead of time

One of the wonderful things about extroverts is that they’re able to keep the conversation flowing in both professional and social situations. Although this skill is quite useful in furthering conversations, it can sometimes lead extroverts to approach business meetings as collaborative brainstorming sessions rather than as structured meetings. While this isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, having an agenda will ensure that the goals of the meeting are met before any additional brainstorming or idea sharing takes place.

Pro Tip: If you’re leading the meeting, circulating an agenda ahead of time is a great way to ensure that everyone is on the same page before the meeting begins. And if you want to carve out time for a brainstorming session, this is the perfect way to do it — just reserve 10-15 minutes at the end for everyone to share their thoughts.

Time your presentations

Many extroverts are also great presenters who are likely to be more comfortable with public speaking than their introverted co-workers. However, this natural comfort with presenting can sometimes be accompanied by a tendency to go off script and talk for longer than planned. In order to ensure that you stay on track and don’t run over your allotted time, it’s important to time your presentations and to stick to your topic as closely as possible.

Pro Tip: Always practice your presentations. This will give you a sense of how best to discuss the information you’re presenting and it will also give you an idea of where you can go off script and improvise.

Always ask questions

Since extroverts are great at facilitating conversations, they are naturals when it comes to getting those around them to share their ideas. One of the best ways to do this is by asking questions to gauge everyone’s thoughts on the meeting and find out the key takeaways and action points. Asking each person to share their thoughts will ensure that everyone gets a chance to talk and that the team benefits from each person’s individual expertise.

Contrary to popular belief, introverts and extroverts often work very well together. In fact, the two personality types tend to balance each other out, creating a cohesive dynamic. If you’re among the more extroverted members of your team, there’s a lot you can do to ensure that you’re actively participating in meetings while creating a productive environment for everyone around you. This will likely lead to success for the whole team while also highlighting your leadership skills.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Be a Team Player and find answers to common interview questions such as Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

How to Dress for a Job Interview at a Bank

Whether you’re interviewing for a paid or unpaid internship or an entry-level job in banking, there are a few things you need to know about the dress code that will help you put your best foot forward.

Here’s what you should keep in mind when deciding what to wear.

1. Know what’s appropriate in the industry.

Many bank positions require you to interact with clients all day long, so you’ll want to make sure you maintain a professional look at all times. In general, the banking industry is known for its upscale, clean look. In the past, a three-piece suit was required. Nowadays, things are a bit more relaxed, so you’ll want to wear something that falls within the realm of business casual.

2. Pick a conservative outfit that fits your style.

Men should wear a dress shirt, slacks, dress shoes and properly matching accessories, such as a tie and belt. If you do decide to wear a suit or blazer, make sure that you choose one with dark, muted colors.

Women should stick with a suit — slacks or a skirt on bottom, a blouse and a blazer on top. A classic black dress will also work, and can, depending on the style, be paired with a colorful blazer. If you’re going to go the dress route, avoid anything without sleeves. Go light on jewelry since subtle details are best for interviews.

As far as colors go, neutrals are best. You can add a pop of color with accessories such as jewelry for women or a vivid tie for men. If you’re traveling far for your job interview, go with lightweight, breathable fabrics that don’t wrinkle easily.

3. When in doubt, ask questions.

Potential employers want you to excel in the interview, so asking the right questions is a great way to set yourself up for success. Don’t be afraid to ask the hiring manager (or the recruiter who set up your interview) what would be most appropriate to wear for your interview. This simple question will ensure that you start off on the right foot.

Pro Tip: Don’t skimp out when it comes to footwear. Believe it or not, people really notice them. Good-looking, polished shoes convey attention to detail, so be sure to wear your best pair.

By picking an outfit that’s appropriate for the interview and fits your style, you’ll be sure to impress the interviewer while being comfortable and confident.


Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Get an Entry-Level Job with No Experience and find answers to common interview questions such as How do I get an Internship?