Toastmasters & communication
People with the StrengthsFinder Communication strength like to explain ideas. When Communicators encounter a new idea, they want to express it and bring that idea to life. They also want to entertain and capture people’s attention. Communicators love finding the right story or the right image to express an idea. The Toastmasters organization helps people develop their communication and presentation skills. I have been a part of Toastmasters for the past ten years. It is an incredible organization for anyone who wants to grow their communication and leadership skills.
Communicators are often wordsmiths.
They love vocabulary and like to use dramatic, inspiring words, making them, not only great speakers, but great writers, as well. Communicators know how to use words to influence, sell, and open your mind. One way a communicator can maximize their strength is to keep a story or quote file. I’ve been doing this for years. When I have a personal experience that I think is worth sharing, I write it on a three by five card and keep it on file. (Some people keep story or quote files on their computers.)
A sounding board
Communicators want and need a sounding board in order to identify which stories are exciting to other people. Having a sounding board for feedback helps a communicator hone and refine their storytelling skills. A book for communicators that I absolutely love is called Money Talks: How to Make a Millionas a Speaker by Alan Weiss. He’s a skilled speaker and communication consultant, and, in his book he talks about how people with communication and presentation skills need to have a balance of savvy, steak, and sizzle.
Communicators can develop their skills by being savvy about what makes a great communicator and creates the best connection with an audience—understanding the ins and outs of the communication world.
In addition to savvy, you also need steak—content. Make sure you are not only entertaining others but offering something of real substance, something “meaty.” (By the way, that’s what Strategic thinking individuals are looking for—content.)
Most communicators are great at finding sizzle—taking that steak and pouring a delicious mushroom sauce on it. My wife is a wonderful, gourmet cook, and she creates the best sauces. Last night we had grilled Rosemary chicken and she made this incredible lemon zest cream sauce that made the chicken sizzle, come alive. It was a delight to eat because it was so savory and flavorful—that’s exactly what people with Communication strengths do, they create a sizzle that draws you in and makes you wantto “taste” more of what they are selling or communicating.
Communicators are also highly skilled at conversation.
But communicators need to remember to actively listen and take care not monopolize conversation by talking in excess. If you are in a relationship with a Communicator, you know they love storytelling but sometimes one can feel like shouting, “Would you really listen to what I have to say?” Good communicators must be conscious of this. One should keep in mind that Communicators are often willing to communicate on behalf of anorganization or cause for a fee—or free. They are excellent choices to be company spokespeople and are often willing to speak up for their family or friends—at no cost. At the same time,Communicators can monetize their strengths by developing their skills as professional speakers.
The National Speakers Association, like Toastmasters, helps Communicators develop their presentation skills.
About the author: Brent O’Bannon coaches individuals, teams, and organizations as the first GALLUP Certified Strengths Coach in the world. He is an Amazon #1 Best Selling Author and you can learn more at brentobannon.com.