BIG Goal: Give a Speech Every Week

There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.

– Aristotle

Yesterday, I wrote about my BIG goal of writing a daily blog post.  Today, I’m writing about another goal of giving a speech every week.  Last year, I had the goal of giving a speech every month but I hardly completed anything until mid year.  By June, I had only completed three speeches which was enough to earn my Toastmasters Competent Communication and Competent Leadership awards but I couldn’t get into a rhythm because I’d procrastinate and then push my speech to the next month. I found myself continuously saying, “I’ll do it next month.”

There is always an excuse when you’re trying to step out of your comfort zone

Finally in October, I got fed up with my lack of progress and I gave a speech titled, A Speech Every Week.  In this speech, that I gave in front of my local Toastmasters club, I told them that I was planning to give a weekly speech until the end of the year.  I’m sure a few people chuckled to themselves when they first heard this idea.  In this club most of the members might give a speech every few months.

I was determined and, in the end, I was able to complete this goal.  The only week’s I didn’t give a speech were the weeks during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.  In that time frame I gave eight speeches at two different Toastmasters clubs, a presented a seminar at the my local District Toastmasters Conference, and I was the Toastmaster at a Toastmasters information session during a conference my company sponsors for young professionals.

Now I want to continue with that goal I started at the end of last year.  In my October speech I outlined how I’d create content on a weekly basis.  Every day I usually spend some time in the morning writing.  I want to use some of that time to craft a new speech each weekend with the goal of having a draft completed by Monday.  Then I’ll have the next three days to revise and practice my speech before I present it on Friday.

One of the most difficult parts of completing this goal is finding a venue to present. At the end of last year, I was finding time at my two Toastmasters clubs but I can’t keep that up for an entire year because there are not enough speaking opportunities.  Then I realized a simple solution.  Post them online to this blog and YouTube.  My goal each week will be to find a venue to present but if I’m unsuccessful then I simply record and publish them.  Even if I do find a venue, I want to record the speech so I can still post it on this blog and probably YouTube.  That way I can rematch my presentation to find out what I need to improve and it will be a part of my trail.

This is going to be difficult but I believe this could be the most important goal I achieve this year.

The important thing I need to remember about this goal is to treat it like I did my goal of writing a daily blog post. Every speech is not going to be perfect.  Most of them will be awful but it’s about the process of creating a new speech every week and publishing my work.  It’s about improving, learning something new, and then trying it out. This goal is about continuing to move further out of my comfort zone.  I want to find new places to speak, new people to meet, and see where those opportunities take me.

In the beginning, I’m going to be using the projects from the Toastmasters advanced manuals.  There are 75 projects in the 15 advanced manuals so I’ll have more than enough projects for the entire year.

I’ll be posting a new speech on this blog every Saturday.

I hope you come back every week to see my progress and get motivated to start your own BIG goals.