Ever been in a meeting and you did not know what to say?
This happens for several reasons. At times, a meeting could be very technical and you are out of depth. Other times, someone says exactly what you wanted to say just before you say, and you run out ideas. The thing to do is not to remain quiet. There are ways in which you could still make a contribution to a discussion in any sort of meeting, and it is not rocket science.
Connect Loose Ends
When you have a handful of people discussing a matter, there will be various ideas being put on the table. Someone has to do the honors of connecting the dots. And this is where you come in. Your role here is to listen to whatever ideas are being put on the table, look out for the patterns in the thought lines and offer a coherent account as briefly as possible. What you are doing here is not drawing conclusions. You are simply summarizing, making the rubber meet the road: “this is what has been put on the table, this and that are seem to be the points being underscored, this and that are debatable; could this or that be where we are driving at?” To do this, you need to listen attentively to what is being said and be quick to relate ideas. However, beware not to be mansplaining (or is it femsplaining).
When in a meeting, you are unable to deliver a good idea; you should at least be able to contribute to the strategy of how to deliver the good idea. Think collaborations. Think about which important partners you could work with that are not being mentioned. If all the usual suspects have been mentioned already, think about other ways in which you could collaborate with the same partners. You are thinking methods. You are proposing business unusual. However, beware not to sound overly ambitious, the idea is to be as practical as possible in proposing more exciting and efficient ways to deliver on the good ideas.
Really, if you do not have anything to say, rather not say anything, at all. That is all.