So you’ve given a few presentations (or maybe you’ve give a lot of ’em). You feel relatively comfortable when you stand in front of a group of people and talk. You may not really like doing this, but you are reasonably sure that you are not going to faint or burst into flames while you are doing it. What’s next? The key to getting better at giving presentation is to dig deep down inside of yourself and find the answer to one very important question: just what are you trying to accomplish?
The answer to this question can be any one of a whole bunch of things. These include acceptance by your peers, more money, a promotion, admiration, or even simply to be seen as being successful by others. There is no wrong answer here – you get to choose what will motivate you to become a better public speaker. Now it’s time to BAG it. Yep, we’re talking about crystallizing what drives you and using that to create a Big Audacious Goal (BAG). This is some big presentation goal that you have not yet achieved but that if you became better you could. This BAG goal will serve as a constant reminder as to what you are trying to improve towards with your presentation skills.
If your BAG is where you are trying to get to, then it’s time to come up with a way to get there. You may have heard this before but one of the best ways to make measurable progress towards an objective is to set SMART goals for yourself. What does S.M.A.R.T. stand for you ask? Why that must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-lined. Perhaps a bit of an explanation is required:
- Specific: You need to be very clear on exactly what you want to accomplish. “I want to be a better presenter” is too vague. “I want to give 5 more presentations” is very specific.
- Measurable: Business loves metrics these days and so do your goals. How are you going to track your progress? If you want to give 5 presentations, then you need to track how many you are giving each month. If a month goes by and you have not presented, then you are falling behind.
- Attainable: I call this the Tony Robbins syndrome. If you set a goal to be as good/successful as Tony Robbins, then you are probably going to fail (how many Tony Robbins does the world really need?). However, if you set a goal to be the best presenter in your department, then you just might be able to do this.
- Realistic: Once again, let’s keep your goals real. If you want to get paid $1M to give speeches to your company, then perhaps you should create a more realistic goal.
- Time-Lined: What do you need to accomplish by when in order to make this goal a reality?
There you go – with a BAG and SMART goals you now have the ability to become the presenter that you always dreamed that you could be!
Have you ever created a BAG for yourself? Are you still working towards it? Have you set SMART goals to reach this BAG? Were you able to stay with those goals? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.