The basics I’m talking about are your goals and getting clear on what you want to achieve. Without a clear end in mind, it can be pretty hard to achieve as much as you are really capable of.
I was motivated to write this after seeing what some people posted as ‘goals’ in a speaker training survey. In my survey people were indicating desires to improve their confidence to speak, to be able to craft a captivating message or to engage their audience. These are great desires but they don’t really count as goals.
Goals are measurable and specific, and improvement is a never ending journey.
When I think of goals I am thinking of a specific action or experience that you can achieve because you have mastered these skills. So you have mastered certain areas of speaking, or whatever you are working on – SO WHAT? What will that now allow you to do?
For example, you want to learn the piano. Your motivation to learn the piano gets intensified when you set yourself a reason or purpose to accomplish the skill – it could be that your goal is to play a certain piece, or to play the piano at a particular occasion or for a certain person.
Now you have a reason WHY to do the work, to do the lessons, to practise.
Now, imagine if you have a date to accomplish that goal. Without a date, there is less urgency to do the work. With a date or deadline, you now have to show up for your lesson or you are not going to be able to achieve your goal.
Can you see how having a specific reason for improving can drive you to succeed more than just having a desire to improve ever will?
As you are here, reading this on a blog about ‘speaking’ then I ask you to consider….What will improving your confidence and ability to speak allow you to accomplish?
Some questions to help you get more specific with your goals for speaking:
1. How will you know you have acquired or improved a skill? For example, “I know I am improving my engagement of a room, when I get everyone to respond to a question by a show of hands.” – this goal is specific and measurable.
2. What will improving a skill allow you to do? eg Gaining confidence to speak will allow you to speak for 20 minutes on your topic of expertise to your local rotary group.
3. What do you really want to do with speaking? What groups do you want to speak to? What result do you want from speaking – a standing ovation? X number of sales? $X income from speaking in a certain month or year?
Goals drive you.
Without goals you are like a boat bobbing at sea without any clear direction. Some might be content to let themselves be guided by the waves and end up wherever the tide takes them. Exciting for some, and frustrating for others. If you are anything like me, you want some purpose to get up and you are driven to succeed.
While you are thinking about your goals, don’t let current results limit your goals. If the thought of speaking to 20 or 100 people terrifies you now, don’t let that stop you from writing that down as a goal – if that’s what you really want. Set high expectations for yourself.
Goals are great when you have no idea on how to achieve them. These are the goals that stretch you and allow you to achieve beyond your current means and expectations. I dreamed of going to the Olympics when I was 10 years old – it’s great being 10, because you can do anything. So imagine being 10 again, and daring to dream. Daring to do anything you want.
And finally, notice I did say to WRITE them down. Writing helps you to get really clear and helps you commit to a goal.
Write down some big goals that are inspiring, meaningful and give some thought to when you want to achieve them by.
One of my goals is to give a TED Talk in 2014. What’s yours?
Want some help achieving inspiring goals with speaking? Contact me for a Complimentary Strategy Session and let’s work together on a plan.