I’ll admit right here and now that planning ahead is NOT one of my natural strengths. So, at times like these when I reach the end of the calendar year and I am faced with some extra time on my hands, I need to use some of that time productively to plan for the coming year. I would encourage you to invest some time in doing the same. I’ve outlined a few simple steps below that I use to make the process just a bit easier.
The first step of planning ahead is to take time to reflect on the year just gone. Did you accomplish what you intended to? If so, take a moment to celebrate and give yourself a pat on the back! If not, ask yourself why you didn’t reach those goals. Was it a lack of resources, skill, motivation, time, momentum? Try to pinpoint what went pear-shaped so that you can put steps in place to avoid repeating those mistakes in the coming year. I’m not saying this is easy, but it is an important step in making forward progress.
The next step is to set fresh goals and targets for the year ahead. Remember, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.” You can set all the fresh goals you like, but if you do not make some sort of change in HOW you’re going about reaching your goals, you will fall short. I follow the same process of tweaking HOW I do what I do in order to obtain better results, both for my audiences when I provide a keynote address, my business coaching and training clients (through my relationship with 10X) and myself. Does it always work? No. Do I reflect on why it didn’t work and try something different? ABSOLUTELY.
The third step is to create an action plan, or step-by-step roadmap to help you reach those goals. Chunk them down into bite-sized bits that you can easily manage, and at the end of the year you’ll be surprised how much you’ve accomplished. If you need help with this process, give me a ring. I can help provide that “helicopter view” of your business to help you see strategise the bigger picture, then we can break down your goals into weekly, monthly or quarterly chunks that you can tackle one at a time.
Finally, enlist someone to hold you accountable for achieving what you set out to do. We all break promises to ourselves far too easily. Have someone who will support you but check in with you on a regular basis to ensure you’re making progress.
I travelled to Tauranga today to get a new client rolling who has engaged my services as a Business Coach (via my affiliation with 10X). This client has been in business for a l-o-o-o-ng time yet she has never asked an ‘outsider’ for help with it.
When I asked her “why now”, her response was “I guess now I’m ready to listen.” Fascinating. This exchange brought back to me that EVERYTHING in life is about timing! Often when I speak to an audience during a keynote presentation or a training session, the information I’m asked to deliver is not earth-shatteringly new and different. Often, the concepts are similar and are things that people have heard many times over in life. The difference is that THIS TIME that information might just be hitting their ears and minds at the right time for them to really receive it and take it in.
Take a moment today to think about something that YOU have recently become motivated about. Is it something that you know you’ve needed to do for some time now? What was the key thing that pushed you over the edge and made you take that first step? I’d love to hear your “motivation moments!”…
People often remark that they don’t know how I can stand up in front of a room full of people (3,000 a few years back!) and say something besides ‘uhhhhhh….’!
You’ve heard the old cliché – people would rather die than speak to a group. I think that’s going a bit far; however, we all speak to groups of people every day. The key difference is that the folks we speak to every day are usually work associates or friends. When we get up in front of a proper ‘audience’, those people are usually strangers and have the strange power to terrify us.
Here are a couple of things to remember that will, hopefully, help you deliver a BETTER presentation the next time you find yourself in front of a group.
1.) PREPARE & PRACTICE what you’re going to say. I know most people think, “I know my material – I can wing it!” I’m here to tell you that is a mistake. I know from personal experience that as soon as my nerves kick in before a talk (as they always do), no matter how well I ‘know my stuff’ I can STILL come across as a babbling idiot if I haven’t practiced my talk.
2.) The audience members don’t know what you’re supposed to say! If you omit something or flip two points around – and you will – they’ll never know it!
3.) People don’t come along to a talk (generally) to be educated – they come along to be ENTERTAINED! Be sure to use visuals, stories, case studies based around REAL people, etc. in your talk. “Death by Powerpoint” is SOOO last century!
4.) Your slides are not your presentation – YOU are your presentation. So, as much as feasible, leave the slides behind and just talk to your audience like you would tell a story to your friends.
That’s enough for today. I have a lot more, but I remember learning these things and it took time to digest them and move away from my old (bad) habits.