The Power of Setting Public Speaking Goals
“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” Business leader, Lee Iacocca, best known for introducing the Ford Mustang to the world, used his public speaking skills to get his points across to a variety of audiences.
While most of us are not on the world stage, knowing how to get your ideas heard in a business setting is a critical factor for career success.
If you want to improve your public speaking skills and deliver an amazing presentation every single time, it’s important to set public speaking goals to guide you there. Whether you want to inform, inspire, or persuade your audience, or whether you’re just starting out and you want to gain confidence, setting goals is an important skill for your personal and professional success.
Here’s an easy process to help you set three public speaking goals for yourself.
Step #1: Understand why public speaking is important to your career.
We know deep down that if we can speak with clarity and confidence, we will have a better career track and more job opportunities. A 2016 study of over 1,000 executives by Distinction Communications, indicates that 86% of participating executives attributed a direct correlation between their public speaking skills and their career success.
How about you? Why is public speaking important to you specifically?
Step #2: Break your public speaking goals into three categories.
Category #1: Confidence
Category #2: Delivery
Category #3: Structure and Organization
Step #3: Set a Goal for each category
Once you have the three categories, you have to set goals for each. Each goal has to be specific, timely, and measurable. This works best to get it down on paper. For example:
This is a foundation category. Without it, nothing else matters. You can have the best content ever, but if you can’t stand in front of a group without shaking in your boots, everything gets thrown out the window. Here are some examples to guide you:
- By August 1, I will speak in front of (insert a number here) groups of people and feel comfortable
- By September 1, I speak in front of the executives at my company – with the same confidence I feel when speaking in front of my direct reports.
- By October 1, I feel comfortable applying for a leadership position that requires public speaking
How to keep your audience engaged; how to move while on stage; and what to do with your hands. Some examples to guide you:
- By August 1, I know how to engage my audience using three different methods
- By September 1, I move on stage with purpose and know how to inflect the tone of my voice to gain attention or to temper a sticky point.
- By October 1, I will learn to use my hands with intention
#3: Structure and Organization
How to structure executive briefings, project updates, and conference calls.
- By August 1, I know how to structure a presentation from beginning to end.
- By September 1, I can structure my thoughts on the spot at executive meetings.
- By November 1, I know how to add rhetorical devices to my presentation in order to engage my audience. I know how to structure business stories.
Whatever your goals may be, following this process will bring you one step closer to becoming a more impactful public speaker. It takes time and intentional practice.