I was speaking to a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) this evening, and we were discussing goals for members in her club. Then we turned to discussing her goals. “I’m working on my next CC, as always” she said, “but I don’t really have a goal.”
As a Toastmaster, have you ever fallen into that trap of thinking of a manual completion, like a CC, was a goal unto itself?
You’ve likely heard of SMART goals. I’ve always thought of the R in SMART as meaning Realistic. When I was doing some research for this article, I found Relevant as the “official” word for the R.
Makes sense. Why would you set an irrelevant goal? Better yet, why pursue that next Competent Communicator (CC) or other manual goal if it isn’t relevant to you?
Better still? Make it relevant!
1. Work on a specific aspect of your speeches – Such as improving your speech openings, your closings or your transitions. Give speeches that highlight that opportunity.
2. Work on a style of speaking – Not everyone is naturally inspirational, humorous or informative. Keep practicing to improve that style that matters to you.
3. Work on your impromptu skills – This could be by just using the CC when there are cancellations at your club, or like in the Specialty Speeches manual where you give your evaluator 5 topics and they pick one for you.
If you put your mind to it, I’d bet you can think of a dozen (well…10 for sure) ways to use the CC manual to improve your speaking, and maybe even complete a Relevant goal.
That would be SMART, right?
If you’re stuck, there are a few more ideas here: You finished your DTM, now what?