Public speaking is all about connection, and that’s hard enough when your audience is right there in front of you. It’s crazily more difficult when they’re also online, as the pandemic taught us all.
Vancore Toastmasters — and many other clubs — are now experimenting with hybrid meetings. This means you can attend in person and you can attend virtually.
The extra convenience for members amounts to a big challenge for presenters.
Club president, Jonathan Buchanan, faced the conundrum head-on.
Jonathan made “connection,” with each and every listener, both in the room and “out there in vacuum-land” (as the late-night deejays used to say) his primary goal. He was going to try like heck to make every single attendee feel he was talking to them alone.
Making up the Vancore Community were twelve members and guests, six live in the Van Cave and six scrubbing in from cyberspace (including a couple from out-of-country: California and Texas).
As Jonathan spoke, he made eye contact with everyone in the room. He glanced at his notes. He looked deep into the eyes of the Owl, which stared unblinking back at him from the middle of the table. The Owl (a camera/microphone thingee) transmitted him into the craniums of the folks in the metaverse. Somehow, he pulled it off. That’s why he’s the club prez.
Folks, this is the future. Hybrid meetings are what we’re increasingly going to be dealing with as more and more people work from home.
Would we all prefer to speak in front of live humanoids? Absolutely.
But will the challenge of having to try to dial in to everyone, live and online, make us better presenters?
Absolutely. It’s the future of what Community Connection will look like.
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