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Getting to the Top for Women in Business

As women, do you often find ourselves in the position of having to ask for what you want? - Whether it's a raise, a promotion, or simply better working conditions.

Public Speaking isn't just work presentations...

Asking for what you want doesn't have to be a scary or uncomfortable experience. In fact, it's an opportunity to have a negotiation and find common ground with the person we're talking to.

So, how do you prepare yourself to make an effective ask?

Follow these five steps:

Know your value. Take some time to reflect on what you bring to your company or team that they wouldn't have without you. This could be tangible accomplishments like clients you've won or time you've saved, or even intangible things like improving team morale. It's important to be able to quantify your value, whether that's in terms of money or simply explaining the benefits you bring to the team.

Do your research. It's important to have a good understanding of what others in your field and at your level are being paid. You should also look into how fast others in your company have been promoted and whether you're being fairly compensated. This will give you a good starting point for your ask and help you determine whether you should be making more than others based on your level of responsibility or expertise.

Develop your strategy. Think about your manager and how best to approach them. Are they more receptive to conversation first thing in the morning, after a difficult project is finished, or over drinks on a Thursday night? Also consider whether you should make an appointment or just have a casual conversation, and whether they need time to process your request or feel pressure to make a decision. And don't forget to think about the argument that will win them over - what can you say that will make it clear that giving you what you want will benefit both you and the company?

Plan your speech. Don't leave this important conversation to chance - take some time to work out exactly what you want to say. Structure your thoughts, or simply make a list of points you want to cover. And don't forget to practice, practice, practice!

Don't let your feelings hold you back. It's normal to feel uncomfortable or even scared when asking for what you want, but it's important to push those feelings aside and focus on your preparation. Remember, you're not asking for a favor! - you're simply opening a negotiation to find common ground with the person you're talking to!

So go out there and ask for what you want, even if it feels uncomfortable.

It's the best way to get it!

Mark Westbrook

Speaking Coach


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