I recently did a officer training for Toastmasters online on “How to be an engaging communicator” and really enjoyed the active participation of the officers in training.
We discussed the ACE method for being an engaging communicator. We used impromptu speeches “Table Topics – Toastmasters Talk ;)” to dive in and explore the method.
One of the officers talked about his brother and an activity that they did together in his younger years. When the listeners were asked why they felt it was authentic, we heard some interesting things.
One was his eyes. They were sparkling with excitement while he was recounting something he was doing with his brother. My eyes light up when I remember or recount something I did with my sister.
Second was his smile. He had a genuine smile when he was talking about his brother. These two things immediately connected us with his authentic self. We opened up to this story.
One of the officers talked about increasing his club membership fees. He explained why he wanted to improve the quality of the club meeting and how it cannot lie with one or few officers.
One listener noticed that he had talked about improving quality of the club meetings. However the case for increased membership fee was not clear.
One listener noticed that it was about working together to improve club meetings. However the clarity on increasing the membership fees was still missing.
Clarity in our message is one of the most difficult things to achieve. When we can get our message clear and simple we will earn the respect of the listener.
I have to admit the officer had only seconds to come up with his arguments. Normally you would brainstorm it together with officers and come up with a clear case.
One of the officers talked about her next vacation. She talked about why vacations were for her about spending time with her friends and less about seeing new places.
One listener noticed the joy in the eyes of the speaker when she was talking about spending time with her friend. This joy transcends from the speaker and gets to the listener and is infectious.
One listener also mentioned that he was willing to consider his next vacation to be one to be spent with a loved one or a long lost friend.
The ACE method helps us use simple tools like “Authenticity, Clarity and Enthusiasm” to get be an engaging communicator.