In a world that is more connected than ever before, there is an increased need to connect. Confused? Let us unpack this a little. While things like timing of your speech or talk time during a conversation are very important, you should always be aware of your audience. Effective communication is all about your audience and getting through to them in a relatable manner. Toastmasters understands this and helps individuals hone audience awareness by evaluating this skill with each prepared speech and provides opportunities to interact with a diverse group of individuals.
Let us unpack this further. For example, consider your social media feed and what you post in your social media account. Chances are your directory of friends or followers or accounts you follow are a collection of people or brands that you connect with. Chances are the posts they share are things you resonate with and are interested in hearing about. Chances are these individuals and brands are curating their posts based on their audience.
We all know that social media is an extension of our real world interactions and the posts we browse through or engage with are things that are of interest to us. While it is easy for individuals and brands to carefully time and curate content based on audience preferences in a social media world with the help of all the engagement data, how do you do this in the real world? The same logic extends to our real world interactions.
For example, if you are presenting a prepared speech, understand the crowd that you are speaking in front of. This will allow you to prepare anecdotes and examples that are relatable to the crowd you are addressing. In a conversation setting we already do this to a certain extent subconsciously. If you are speaking to your boss, chances are the language you use is a little more formal and you are more likely to be a little more guarded during professional interactions. Similarly, a conversation with your peers is likely to have a more relaxed and candid vibe.
Effective communication is all about understanding your audience and setting the tone of your conversation or speech accordingly. This is also a skill that requires practice and honing. Each Toastmasters meeting allows individuals to practice speaking in front of an audience and allows individuals to improve audience awareness. The informal chit chat and networking session after the meeting allows individuals to interact with a diverse group of individuals and practice honing conversation skills with a diverse group of individuals. This audience awareness can help one practice effective communications within Toastmasters and beyond!
TM Kriti Panth
Secretary, Professionals Toastmaster Club
Area O2 CGD