What I have found with the various groups I have addressed through the years, whether it is a business versus an organization or a club, is that the there are two groups of people who are very good at listening. Their job or the purpose of their organization almost guarantees that they have strong listening skills.
By and large, I have found the two best audiences to be Toastmasters and teachers, both of whom can be easily explained.
1.Teachers enjoy teaching and they also enjoy learning. They pay attention and always ask questions afterwards.
2. Toastmasters are good listeners because of their roles as members of this club. As they are interested in honing their own presentation skills, they become very adept at listening in order to better judge others as well as themselves.
In both cases, you will probably find that both groups of people will be more attentive even if your delivery skills are not as good as they should be. In other words, both teachers and Toastmasters will be more forgiving if your presentation skills are not up to par because both groups are interested in learning.
This is a bold statement for me to make but it is true. However, it is definitely not a reason to ignore your delivery skills. Those who teach would still prefer to listen to someone whose speaking skills are dynamic which is one of the reasons you should be practicing your delivery skills on a regular basis. Without practice, athletes, musicians, and singers will not be able to perform at their best. The same holds true for the public speaker.
And, while Toastmasters will also be forgiving if your delivery skills are less than stellar, they will certainly be quick to point out your weaknesses. That is one of the reasons people join this organization. Being a member of Toastmasters also teaches you to think on your feet and to become more comfortable giving a speech or presentation.
While both teachers and Toastmasters may be your best audiences, your other audiences can be just as attentive if you have a good message and strong delivery skills. One of the best ways to keep their minds on you and not on their iPhones is to involve them in your delivery by asking questions. In addition, being aware of their reaction to you is the ‘conversation’ that is happening when you speak. This can only happen if you are making eye contact with them and are observant of their response to your words.