On Speaking in Meetings

The quote below shows a very cultural perspective. In some cultures, everyone must speak in a meeting. Cultural though it be, I subscribe to it.

John Woolman, a late 1700s Quaker, made an interesting point about speaking in meetings in his Journal. Although his point was about the large quarterly meetings held by Quakers, his advice can easily be applied to our meetings today: Bible studies, congregational meetings, elders meetings, committee/team meetings, etc. (I’m thinking about religious contexts only, for the purpose of this post.)

“It is a weighty thing to speak much in large meetings for business, for except our minds are rightly prepared, and we clearly understand the case we speak to, instead of forwarding, we hinder business, and make more labor for those on whom the burden of work is laid. If selfish views or a partial spirit have any room in our minds, we are unfit for the Lord’s work; if we have a clear prospect of the business, and proper weight on our minds to speak, we should avoid useless apologies and repetitions.” (Journal, chapter 6)

via Quaker Wisdom on Speaking in Meetings – Jeremy Hoover.

Persuasion

Your voice may not be strong and your appearance may be unbecoming, but by the force of your ideas and the clearness of your vision, you will win hearts and convince minds.