I still remember the day I decided I wanted to make a living out of public speaking. It was a dream that, at the time, I thought could never be achieved. As a young, 18-year-old college freshman, I had no idea where I needed to go – let alone where to begin. So I did what every good millennial does and conferred with the all-knowing Google where I found tons of resources to help me navigate the industry. The most useful of all those resources was an article I read about the importance of setting goals.

That article was a turning point in my career, and now with 10 years of public speaking experience, I have learned some important tips on how to develop meaningful goals that have changed my career trajectory. I hope by sharing those tips, I’m able to help you take your public speaking to a new level, too.

Whether you are like me and looking to make public speaking a profession, or you are just trying to prepare for your next presentation, here are 3 tips that will help you set great goals and, in turn, elevate your presentation and wow your audience.

Begin with the end in mind.
This step is vital in any goal-setting process. In order to set effective goals, you have to know where you are going. You must have a clear picture of your endgame; otherwise, you’ll spend all of your time and energy spinning in circles.

The key to any great goal-setting regiment is taking the time to think about where you want to be at the end. This acts as your target. Beginning with the end in mind allows you to have a measuring stick along the way to help you identify if you are moving in the right direction or not. It gives you the lens through which you can judge all of your progress as well as the freedom to say no to opportunities that will deter you from that target.

Set SMART Goals.
According to an article written by Mind Tools, setting SMART goals helps you clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time and resources productively, and increase your chances of achieving what you want in life.

Simply put, SMART stands for…

Specific | Simple, Sensible, Significant
Measurable | Meaningful, Motivating
Achievable | Agreed, Attainable
Relevant | Reasonable, Realistic, Resourced
Time Bound | Time-based, Time Limited

Setting SMART goals helps you stay on target and prevent the headache of confusion and misdirection as you set out to achieve your dreams and aspirations.

Follow through.
As an 18-year-old, this step was the most difficult to pick up and has taken years of unfinished goals to sink in. The reality is that we are all busy and often times that busyness coupled with a lack of motivation stops us from following through on our goals. Author and nationally known speaker Jon Acuff in his newest book Finish, says “The world is littered with half-finished books, almost started businesses and nearly done diets.” That statement is so true in our culture today. It is not enough to just set goals – we have to learn to follow through on them, too.

Stop saying that you will start tomorrow or next week. Instead begin with the end in mind, set a SMART goal, and follow through on it today! You don’t have to become the best public speaker in the world over night. Set attainable goals and move towards them one day at a time to see just how much you can accomplish when you stick with your plan.

If you are looking for tools to help you jump start your public speaking career, sign up now for our newest online training course at www.PresentationMentor.com.

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