Toastmasters – Communication
Mr President, Mr Toastmaster, fellow Toastmasters and welcome guests.
When I was preparing for this speech, I found a quote by Anthony Robbins that I thought summed up this particular project well, he said: “To effectively communicate, we must realise that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communications with others.”
The purpose of this speech is to learn more about the different communication styles and to identify your primary style, as well as discussing communication styles you have encountered and how they impact your personal and professional relationships.
The four main Communication styles are Direct, Initiating, Supportive and Analytical. When you are preparing for this speech, you need to go to the Speech objectives on Basecamp in Pathways and fill in a questionnaire as part of this project. It then ranks your Communication style according to the results of that questionnaire.
My top result was that I was Supportive, which means that apparently part of my communication style is calm, steady, approachable, sincere, and I may appear indecisive. It seems my listening skills mean I am seen as cooperative, dependable and loyal and this style also seems to like a relaxed, no tension environment and does not like conflict, but may mediate if needed. I can see elements of myself in this category. As I am a very loyal person and do try to listen carefully, I find conflict and unnecessary drama exhausting, unhelpful and pointless. This means that as a news junkie, I find watching the likes of the worlds most powerful Oompa Lumpa, both fascinating and baffling. How he has the energy for that level of poisonous chaos is beyond me. Sometimes I wish he would take the advice of the great American writer Mark Twain who said “If you have nothing to say, say nothing.”
The second ranking style on my results was Initiating, people who feature in this category are sociable, enthusiastic, spontaneous and fun loving, have a gregarious nature and are perceived as someone who talks more than they listen, they are also perceived as self assured and innovative and persuasive. They prefer a stimulating, personal and friendly work environment. Friends have told me that they wouldn’t put anything past me and that you wouldn’t know where I might turn up, so I guess there are some elements of me in this category too. I had the great pleasure of meeting and having a conversation with the actor Brendan Gleeson, and he seems to fit this category perfectly, he has an in-depth knowledge of whatever topic he is talking about, and speaks with great passion, though he does listen to the people he is in conversation with.
The third ranked style for me was Analytical, this involves being precise, exact, analytical and logical. The person is systematic and task orientated and sometimes perceived as a perfectionist, they are organised, self reliant, purposeful and diplomatic. They are motivated by certainty and will rarely give opinions unless asked. I worked for a man who liked to have all the information needed before he offered an opinion. At the time I took the questionnaire I was slightly surprised that this category was not a little higher on my list, as I do show some of the characteristics in this section. However, I now think it makes sense that it is third on my list.
The final style is Direct, this includes features like people being detailed oriented, focused, competitive, motivated to get things accomplished. They may be perceived as strong willed or demanding. They may seem impatient when bored. They like to feel in control and may become frustrated if dependant on others. They measure progress by achievements and successes.
In conclusion, there are many ways to communicate to other people, and you need to know how to best use the tools you have to endeavour that the person you are talking to fully understands the message you wish to communicate. Just because you are making noise, does not mean you are successfully communicating your point to your audience.
I will leave you with this thought from Catherine Pulsifer “Communication sometimes is not what you first hear, listen not just to the words, but, listen for the reason.”
Thank you Mr President, Mr Toastmaster, fellow Toastmasters and welcome guests.