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Issue #14 January 2009

SWaynePow'Rful Presentations Newsletter
January 2009 - Year end review and new goals
Pow'Rful Presentations is a relatively monthly investigation of ideas, strategies and techniques to assist PowerPoint® Presenters communicate clearly with audiences.
In my effort to please the widest range of readers and knowing that adult learners acquire new skills in different ways, you may find typographical or grammatical errors in this newsletter. No need to point these out to me. Some readers learn best by analyzing text for errors. 
Also, depending on your background, and my South African origins, you may find some of my spelling and grammar to be, well let us just say "imaginative".
© Wayne Botha 2009
Preparing to make the most of the new year. 
We have come to the end of 2008 and are looking forward to 2009. We don't know what opportunities and obstacles lie ahead. Looking back at my 2008 goals, I realize that I have achieved some goals, moved forward on some and abandoned others. This is normal. We reach some goals each year but usually don't reach all goals each year.

This raises two questions.
1. Why bother setting goals if there is no guarantee that I will reach them?
2. Is there a foolproof method for setting and reaching goals?

Definitely, we need to set goals. Your goals must be written down. You need to set goals so that you can see if you are making progress towards your goals, or not. If you don't reach a goal then it does not mean that you have failed. I don't reach all of my goals for manifold reasons. However, there is no way to evaluate progress without a written goal to measure against. Written goals give you a target to work towards but leave room for mid-course directions.

There is no foolproof method for setting goals. I have tried many systems over the years. You will find the incredibly burdensome and detailed systems that make you set 15 short-term, medium-term and long-term goals in each category of your life such as financial, health, family, and spiritual realms. I lose interest after an hour of goal setting with these systems. On the other end of the spectrum you find systems that state "Live Goal-Free, set themes and not specific goals". Yeah, right!! How can you measure progress if you don't have a goal to measure against?

What works for me is to find a balance between setting goals each year and milestones for each quarter of each year to see how much progress I am making without too much detail. I believe that you can't make realistic plans in each area of your life for more than a few months into the future. Why burn brain cells to work out the details of a plan to reach a goal that is a year or more in the future?

Therefore, now is the  best time to set your goals for 2009. Write down your goals and a few points for each goal.

1. Why do you want to reach this goal? What will it mean to you to reach this goal?
2. What are potential challenges or obstacles that can impact you from reaching this goal?
3. What is likely to be the time and money investment required to reach this goal?
4. What will you not be able to do, in order to reach this goal. For example, I want to spend more time at Boy Scouts with my son in 2009. This means that I will have less time to write and read. What will you not be able to do, if you work towards each of your goals?
5. What are some action steps that you can take this week and work towards each goal?

Now that you have your goals written down (I recommend that you limit your goals to no more than 2 pages), keep a copy of your goals handy. Put them on your desk, or on your wall so that you see your goals from time to time. You have a better chance of reaching your goals if you remind yourself of your goals during the year.

During the summer of 2009 - look over your goals. How are you progressing towards them? And in December 2009 review your goals again so that you have the additional experience to set goals for 2010.
Good luck as you work on reaching your goals in 2009. I am working towards mine.
Here are four specific actions to help you make the most of your new year.
1. Reduce your tolerations.
What are you tolerating in your life? Is your garage or basement full of stuff that is getting in your way? Are you frequently looking for your car keys or stapler? Does your office chair have a sticky wheel? These little irritations in life sap small amounts of energy and we get used to them. Now, at the start of a new year, is the ideal time to take note of the little tolerations in your life and make an effort to fix them. You will feel better as you remove the tolerations from your life, and  become aware of new tolerations. You don't have to live with tolerations. You have the power to clean up many aspects of your life and removing small tolerations pays big dividends.

2. Celebrate your small and large successes.
Remember to celebrate along the way. Large goals take a lot of energy to reach. Celebrate your progress towards large goals with a few kinds to yourself and tangible rewards as appropriate. Celebrate when you get to the office on time. Be grateful to have a job when many people are being downsized and suffering from "workforce reduction". Pat yourself on the back when you drive through traffic without getting angry.

3. Schedule a complimentary call with a Professional Life Coach.
I am experiencing tremendous growth as a result of working with my life coach. Search on the Internet for an ICF Credentialed life coach (with ACC, PCC or MCC credentials) and experience the value that a personal coach will bring to your life. If you want a better chance at reaching your goals at 2009, then you absolutely need to get a coach on your side.

4. Aim for success in reaching your goals, not perfection.
Forget about trying to achieve the perfect goal - determine what constitutes successful accomplishment of your goal and work towards success. For example, if your goal is to become a better public speaker, then perfection requires you to attend every Toastmaster club meeting and deliver every speech perfectly. Success can be defined as attending many Toastmaster club meetings and learning as much as you while delivering great speeches and accepting the fact that you are imperfectly human, just like the rest of us.


Tips for Toastmasters.
If you are in Toastmasters, then this tip will help you to get more out of your journey. 
Visit a meeting of your local National Speakers Association (NSA) as a guest. Observe a professional speaker in action, and observe how professional speakers entertain, inform and interact with an audience.
Although professional speakers have different objectives than your typical Toastmasters speech, many of the basics remain the same. Professional speakers use vocal variety, audience interaction and gestures to keep the audience awake and involved.
Stretch yourself in 2009 and step outside of your Toastmasters club - visit a monthly meeting at your local NSA chapter.
Bonus tip of the month for presenters.
I am preparing a presentation titled "The history of South Africa in a nutshell" for a local Rotary club. I am co-presenting, which reminds me of the additional time that you must plan for when rehearsing. I would normally schedule ten hours to rehearse a 20 minute presentation.
In this case, my co-presenter and I have already spent ten hours rehearsing and I expect to invest another ten hours. Remember to double your preparation time when you are presenting with other speakers, because you have different presentation styles, skill levels and expectations.
Do you need a speaker for your conference? Contact me and let's discuss if I am the right speaker for your event.
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Email me with any questions that you have about presentations and I will attempt to address them in a future newsletter.

More next time!

Wayne Botha

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