In-Depth: How to Make Yourself be Heard at Work

We’ve all been there. Maybe you’ve just started at a new company, or maybe you’ve been there for some time. When it comes to making yourself heard at work, so often, we can find it incredibly frustrating to do so. 
There’s always someone else with a louder voicer that gets listened to or, when you do make a point, you get interrupted and then, gradually, your point, and the memory of you even speaking, is forgotten about. 
And now, with the world embracing a work-from-home or hybrid lifestyle, this is made even more difficult when you then have to compete with video calls and delayed speech, trying not to interrupt anyone, and yet, at a loss as to when the best time to speak up is. Ugh! 
Want some suggestions on how help yourself be heard?



The phrase may be an old one but it’s true: ‘Fail to prepare. Prepare to fail’. 

If you want people to listen to what you have to say then you need to make sure that YOU know what you want to say.

Before you speak to anyone about something important such as an idea for the company to help improve a particular area, or an issue you’re having with another colleague, WRITE DOWN ALL OF YOUR POINTS! This will help to present your ideas in a much clearer way as you can cut it down bit by bit until you’re left with the main, clear ,and concise points you want to discuss.

Once you have this finalised, be sure to add in some evidence or proof relating to your point. So, for example, if you have an idea on how to improve productivity, show that you’ve done your research and what the benefits are; if you have a problem with another colleague then have evidence of times when this has affected you most. Having this to hand adds weight to your presentation and therefore shows why it’s important and/or why it will work, meaning your listener is more likely to be engaged with what you want to discuss.

Practice your points

Now you have everything you want to say consolidated down, you need to practice how you’re going to say it. 

This doesn’t mean spending hours in front of a mirror saying it until you’ve got everything rehearsed. Just have a go at saying your points and look at the following:

The volume at which you’re speaking

  • Be clear but firm
  • Avoid mumbling

The way you’re saying it

  • Avoid using fillers such as ‘um’ or ‘like’
  • Change how you begin a sentence (in person or via email). So, instead of ‘sorry’ (weakens your point), instead try: “I’d like to say…” 
  • Keep it at a nice pace (avoid rushing through / droning on)

Your body language

  • Comfortable eye contact 
  • Avoiding crossed arms

Where you position yourself (in-person meeting setting)

You want to be heard by the people that can help the most or, in some cases, as many people that will listen. In a meeting, often, it can be best to seat yourself in one of the centre seats. 


Because if you were to sit at the end of the table, you could be left out or miss parts of conversations. By being in the centre, you can get a better understanding of the room’s views and therefore having a better understanding of questions or problems. This allows a greater chance of preparing how to answer rather than someone catching you off-guard. Plus, you can discuss things much more effectively by speaking to as many people as possible. 

Feeling shy?

We know for some people, the above is easier said than done. So, if you’re nervous to make your point so outright, then there’s another option.

Depending on the situation you’re in, you’ll need to find a way to get your point across by finding an ally, someone shares similar thoughts as you, and agreeing with their points. For example, in a meeting setting, if said ally were to say “I think we need to focus on XYZ”, you might jump in and say “Yeah, I was thinking the same” or “Completely agree”. Just a few comments such as these will relay the message to your other colleagues and/or boss that you share these views.

Another suggestion is, instead of directly stating your own point, you could ask questions instead so you can build up talking to people which can help make you feel more comfortable come the next meeting. Then, who knows? You may find the courage to ask the question!


Sorry to say, but this is almost always going to happen. People naturally want to speak and be heard and so when something else is preventing them from doing that, you can get the dreaded INTERRUPTERS!

But that’s okay!

If someone interrupts you, respond calmly but firmly with…

  • “I’ve almost finished speaking but…”
  • “Great point but I just need to say…”

If they continue, be direct, stating…

  • “[Name], I’m speaking”

Calling someone out on their behaviour will make the point resonate much more.

following up

You’ve made your points and people seemed to listen and agree with you but, be sure to follow up with something like:

  • “What would be something we could do as a next step?”
  • “I’d love to get started. I’ll draft some ideas and send them over”
  • “Do you have any questions about what I’ve just said?”

All of these will give some urgency about moving forward. Be sure to reiterate these points after the meeting too! During the day, during the week, during the next meeting—whenever you think it’s most appropriate.

Be persistent!

Being heard is not a simple task and, depending on the company you work for, will likely be something you have to re-visit and work at for some time, but don’t give up on your voice being heard and don’t let your thoughts be dismissed!
Good luck!
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