This morning, I spoke at the Silver Tongued Cats; I had hit the point in my current Path (Presentation Mastery) where I had to present the “Understanding Your Communication Style” project. Again.

I like a lot of what Toastmasters did when they created the Pathways program, and they’ve been improving it since they rolled it out. But Level 2 in the program shows their interest in appealing to corporations – it has a mandatory project on mentoring and most of the paths also require “Understanding Your Communication Style”, “Understanding Your Leadership Style”, or both.

I’d presented “Understanding Your Communication Style” on my first Path, and I wasn’t thrilled with it then; I was even less excited about repeating it, but there was no alternative.

Part of the project requires filling out a 12-question multiple-choice questionnaire which shows your preference for each of four styles: Direct, Supportive, Analytical, and Initiating. Once you’ve filled out the questionnaire, you can’t see your answers – you can only see your scores. I guess that’s to keep you from gaming the program.

I went to bed last night unsure of what I was going to talk about; this morning, I had an idea – what if I compared my scores from 2019 and today and discussed what had changed?

A couple of minutes of fiddling with Excel, and I had a lovely bar graph to use as the visual aid for my speech, and I was ready to go.

I wish I’d recorded the speech, because people liked it – I even won “Best Speaker”!