Last Wednesday at our toastmaster meeting we discussed personalized communication and how to connect better with others. This topic was inspired by our very own Megan Mayer, every email, message and ping from her comes with a heartfelt and personalized message. Regardless of what the conversation is about, she lifts you up and offers words of encouragement, she is someone you look forward to emailing.
What is personalized Communication?
Personalized Communication is adding your personal touch to your correspondents. Whether that be for marketing your business, sending christmas cards to emailing your coworkers. When we use personalized communication we can relate and connect with others and make a great impression.
For more information on Personalized Communication see our blog post about the Four Pillars of Personalized Communication. https://womenleadtm.com/2021/04/26/personalized-communication/
Personalized Communication Table Topics
During the meeting Megan gave us thought provoking and stimulating questions. Below is a list of the questions she gave during the meeting. Many examples of table topics found online are one or two sentences and are nonspecific questions. The questions provided in the table topics section were anything but. Megan took the extra step and framed her questions to extract a personal answer from the meeting participants and in some cases gave her own personalized touch to the questions!
1.We will start with remembering a time you deeply connected to a stranger. Perhaps you were both Epicures! Have you experienced suddenly deeply connecting to someone through conversation? Please share a time you deeply connected with a stranger and how you think you could recreate that experience?
2.Audience-Focused. Their language, their focus and goals. When you present to a room full of people who are different from you in every way, how do you find language that lets you connect with them? Do you rely on language that is more formal and reserved? More contemporary language consistent with popular culture? Is your diction, your choice of words, more intellectual or more emotional? How do you use language to connect with an audience of strangers?
3.Assumption-verified. Check your assumptions of what your audience does and does not know. Mansplaining. Please share a time when you realized you had to correct your assumptions about your audience and how that turned out.
4.All About Listening. We’ve heard: Instead of thinking of the next thing you want to say, think about what they are saying now. Staying truly in the moment to experience fully what the other person is sharing. What tip can you share with the room on how to stay present when listening to someone else, especially if you would rather assemble your response to what they are saying?
5.Organized. Practice & rehearse to be concise, be brief, and increase your desired impact. Just last night, shared advice with event hosts about accurately posting the time of events. Later, I watched the recording and realized what I actually communicated was that attendees needed to pay attention to time. Exact opposite of my point. Have you experienced someone getting the opposite point of what you were trying to make? How did you handle that? If not, how would you?
6.Accurate. To create that personal connection, you must accurately share what you are contributing to the conversation. If your logic is sloppy, your sources unreliable, your audience will lose interest in staying with you to that shared meeting place. When did someone share with you inaccurate information that lacked a reliable source or logic, and how did you react?
7.Simple. KISS. “Keep it simple, stupid.” The best way to draw someone into common ground is to minimize the effort they must exert in following you to find that common ground. Toastmasters love the Rule of 3: breaking communication into three parts. How do you find this Rule of 3 helps to “keep it simple” – please share an example if that helps.
8. Honest. To truly connect with someone, we must share from our heart. I don’t mean we must bear our deepest emotions, but we must be truthful about who we are in that interaction. Using a façade prohibits real connection with your audience. Being genuine, rather than behaving as you think an employer wants, is more effective in job interviews. Why do you think that is?
9.Taking Your Own Pulse. On the journey to connection, we focus on the other party and take stock of where we are in the conversation. Is this a conversation we want to have? Do we like where the connection is heading? Are we moving away from common ground? These questions help guide us back onto the path of connection. Please share a time when a conversation started to take a wrong turn and how you brought it back on track.
See you at our upcoming workshop on vocal variety tonight 7pm PT.