Local Aberrant Toastmasters Chapter Open to New Members – Develop Variety and Confidence in Your Communications
I was my husband’s spokesperson / business manager which meant I faced uncomfortable conversations. He was a competitor and coach in an international sport, and he led teams of amateur competitors and Olympic hopefuls to compete in the sport in the United States and Europe. At one point, he was approached to play the role of host and off-camera trainer for a cable TV series in which, for the sake of entertainment, celebrities were competing. We were on a speakerphone with the producer, and they asked if he would play the part for free, suggesting that he would get more coaching work by being on their show. My husband looked at me with a frown. Fearing to lose the concert, he motioned to me not to say anything. As if! My years as an active Toastmaster would not let this affront to his professionalism pass.
In my nicest voice, I started by thanking them for the opportunity, followed by “We have a few questions”. I started asking them what their expectations would be about who would be on the show, air times in which markets, the show’s cast, sponsors, etc. Asking for more information is always a good way to delay what could be a conflicted response. At the end of the day, I summed it up with “We want to understand. Do you want a host with a recognized place in the sport, but don’t think the role is important enough to pay for that talent? I could have said “We will think about your offer and get back to you”, but the silence would have wasted time, adding more incongruity, not less.
Here are tactics to use in a confrontation – put this list next to your phone: ask the other party to repeat the problem / idea; ask questions for more information; listen to changes in the original request; completely change the subject, then go back to the original issue and listen to the changes again; insert humor; ask when they need to know; implies that you have to consult other people; explain that without a guarantee of income, opportunity, promotion, you will have to weigh the options. Words, pauses, vocal variety and, if you meet in person, eye contact, facial expressions, gestures all blend together to show that you are confident in your position. End with “I have been told you are a righteous person. Is this your final offer? “
Result: My husband got the job, got paid, and enjoyed every minute of the production. Come to Outliers and we’ll put our variety of communication choices into practice together – your confidence and skills will increase exponentially. Call our VP of Education Tom Iland at 661-313-3323 or his email is [email protected]