Congratulations – you can give a speech in public without bursting into flames. But can you give a good speech? No matter what your skill level is, you can always become better. However, you can’t improve if you don’t know how. It turns out that thing that we do each year around New Years, setting goals, is exactly what you need to do in order to become a better speaker…
Can we be honest here? If you don’t set goals, then you are never going to be able to achieve them. Simply by being aware of what you want to accomplish makes it easier to get there.
Setting goals sounds like something that should be easy for speakers to do, I mean just think about what you want to achieve, right? It turns out that you need to know how to set goals in order to be successful.
Based on some studies done back in the 1960’s of people who both set goals and then were able to achieve them, the following 5 goal setting criteria were developed:
- You Have To Be Able To Describe Them: this, of course, means that any speaker goals that you come up with need to be specific, measurable, relevant, and have a time by which you will have completed them.
- They Have To Be Hard To Do: : well, maybe not hard but at least challenging – if they aren’t, then you won’t be motivated to work on them.
- Lust Must Be Involved: : desire for what completing the goal will provide you with must be part of the game. If you set a goal to accomplish something that you don’t care about, then you won’t do it.
- Change Happens: : don’t set your goals in stone. Instead, leave some room to make modifications as you move towards achieving them. Stay flexible.
- This Is Not Mission Impossible: : don’t set speaker goals that you are not going to be able to achieve. Instead, set your next set of goals as something you’ll be able to achieve in the not so distant future and then set more goals once you achieve those ones.
Keep Your Commitment Level High
Having goals is all good and well, but it’s not going to do you a whole lot of good if you aren’t able to keep your motivation high enough to achieve these speaker goals. It turns out that there is a simply way to keep your motivation high, but you’re not going to like it.
If we tell the world, or at least our friends and family what our speaking goals are, then all of a sudden we have social accountability. What this means is that we can’t just ignore our goals any more – people that we know will be asking us about them.
The scope of your goals will also help with your motivation. If you have a mix of short-term and long-term goals then you’ll be able to have a string of successes even as you continue to work towards your longer term speaking objectives.
What All Of This Means For You
Hopefully the goal of every speaker is to find ways to become a better speaker. As daunting as that may sound, it turns out that it really is possible. All we need to be able to do is to set speaking goals for ourselves.
In order to make our goals happen, there are three things that need to be done. The first is that we actually need to identify and set our speaking improvement goals. Next we need to make sure that we fully understand why these goals are important to us. Goals without meaning will never get accomplished. Finally, it can take time to accomplish goals so we need to create ways to keep our motivation high.
In this life there truly is no sweeter taste than that of achieving a goal that we set for ourselves. The reason that this feeling can be so powerful is all tied to the level of effort that went into achieving the goal. The harder the speaking goal that we set for ourselves, the better we will feel about ourselves when we achieve it!
Question For You: How many speaking goals do you think that you should be working on at one time?
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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
All that I’m asking for is some simple rules that would govern our lives. Among these rules would this little gem: I’ve got no problem having to deal with being nervous as a beginning speaker; however, once I’ve been speaking for a while I should no longer have any problems with nerves. Dang it – it turns out that these rules don’t exist and speakers can have panic attacks at any time no matter how much experience they have…