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How To Add Emphasis In Meetings That Will Increase Your Influence

Expressing disbelief or frustration can sometimes get you into hot water. But how can you express frustration or emphasize your feelings in meetings?

Unleash the power of the pause

If you start huffing and puffing, raising your voice or showing other signs of frustration and distress, then you are not going to come across as very professional.

Learn to use the power of the pause when you find yourself in a frustrating situation. It may sound typical, but taking a breath, counting to ten and pausing will stop you from making an emotional outburst.

Pausing can also make your words hang in the air and make them sound even more impactful. Great speakers know how to use the power of a pause for effect.

Think back to your mother, remember how with just one stone, cold look she could send a shiver down your spine. No words needed. 

Use vocal variations

Change your voice when expressing different feelings. For example, you can say "Really?!" with a cold tone or say, "Wow!" with a frustrated tone. This adds emphasis and energy to your emotions. Controlling your pitch and tone is a great way to express to people that you are annoyed or frustrated.

Try and remember that using a flat monotone is the fastest way to becoming emotionless. This will make it very difficult for listeners to interpret your real mood. If you are happy you will sound flat and bored, and if you’re angry, well, you will sound flat and bored.

Quick note, shouting and screaming is not generally recommended when trying to add emphasis that will increase your influence. It may add emphasis, but it will negatively impact on your influence.

Use gestures

Obviously, hand gestures play a massive role in non-verbal communication. You can use hand gestures to add emphasis to everything you are saying.

I think it is important to note that banging your fist on the table won’t win you any points with the team in a meeting.

Shaking your head on the other hand, or dropping your head to look down can clearly transmit that you are annoyed or disappointed.

Some other hand gestures can include a raised index finger that is moved from left to right. This expresses that you do not agree with something.

You can also try showing two open palms of your hands and a look of disbelief on your face. You can even mouth the word “what”, without actually vocalizing it.

Finally, remember that running your hands through your hair nervously will transmit to someone that you are very nervous and quite possibly frustrated.

Being aware of your body language is very important if you want to come across as professional. Sometimes, if we are not careful, our body language can betray our true feelings to someone, even when we are trying to keep our cool 

Use some common expressions

Of course at the Art of Business English we want to arm you with useful language that you can use in your day-to-day business. So, if you want to add emphasis and show that you are a bit annoyed or frustrated (without losing your cool), then you can safely use some of the following expressions.

  • It does annoy me when (you/he/she/they) + verb                    It does annoy me when staff don’t follow the established protocol.
  • It is extremely irritating when people/staff/customers don’t + verb                                                                                          It does annoy me when staff don’t follow the established protocol.
  • There is no way I would + verb                                                      There is no way I would contract their services again!
  • Where on earth did you + verb                                                      Where on earth did you find that company? That was the worse customer service I have ever experienced
  • They’re the ones who are always + verb                                    They’re the ones who are always taking cigarette breaks and gossiping
  • So + adjective                                                                                This coffee is so bad!
    John is so loud!
  • Such a + adjective + noun                                                              Mike has such a messy desk.
    This is such a lousy proposal. 

Final thoughts

Knowing how to influence people effectively in a meeting is important, especially if you work in an office. You may know how to make a decision based on clear evidence, but getting others to agree with you when you go against their decision isn’t that easy. You need to add emphasis and personalise your feelings.

Please keep in mind, that controlling your emotions while at the same time expressing your frustration is an art that for many takes a considerable amount of practice.

Try using some of the tips and language in this episode to help you get on the path to becoming an influential meeting participant or leader.

Well, that is it from me. See you next time for more free episodes of the Art of Business English

Need help in your business meetings?

A Step-By-Step Guide To Participating Confidently in English in Your Next Business Meeting.

Do you get embarrassed when you need to attend a meeting in English? Maybe you feel frustrated when you can't express yourself clearly. Do you want to be invisible in a meeting, hoping that you won't need to answer any questions?

If you would like to learn how to confidently participate in meetings that lead to successful outcomes and more business for you and your company, then I've got the answer
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Andrew


Andrew is the CEO and founder of the Art of Business English. Besides teaching and coaching native Spanish speakers in Business English, he is also passionate about mountain biking, sailing and healthy living. When He is not working, Andrew loves to spend time with his family and friends.

Andrew Ambrosius

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