Goal Setting – Present or Future? How to State Your Goal

There is often some debate in the goal setting and self development community about the best way to structure an effective goal statement.

Some practitioners argue that it is vital to state your goal in the present tense. For example, if you are aiming to quit smoking, then your goal statement should say, “I am now a non-smoker”. This, they say, is the only way to ensure that when you think about your goal, you think about it in the here and now, as if it had already happened.

Placing it in the future, by saying, “I will give up smoking at the end of the month”, they suggest, will only emphasize the distance between the here and now and the place you want to be and they feel this works against your motivation to get there.

Personally, I believe that it really doesn’t matter whether you are speaking in the present or the future tense. I frequently state my goals completely differently. My usual structure is to say “My goal is to give up smoking by the end of the month”, or “To recruit 1,000 new subscribers to my opt-in list in the next quarter”. This format works just as well for me as any other.

However, where the present or future tense debate is really important is when you are formulating your visualizations and affirmations. Then it is vital to place yourself in the mindset of someone who has already achieved their aims.

“I am a non smoker” is what you should be repeating to yourself many times daily. “I enjoy the benefits of my 1,000 name subscriber list”.

In other words, the goal is the treasure you are seeking. It already exists, it is just not in your reality yet. However, the tools you are using to dig for your treasure must always be the finest and the sharpest and that is only true of tools forged in the present tense.

6 Quick Tips For Your Business Presentations

Practices that help people design presentations and the practices that help them deliver successfully do not overlap much. A systematic approach helps busy executives discover how to win results faster.

Thomas Sechehaye has determined two distinct sets of behaviors and practices necessary for effective design and delivery.

Practices associated with successful design only were:
• Participate in audience research
• Look for new information about design
• Learn story structures
• Design for visual impact
• Plan specific calls to action
• Structure dramatic flow
• Follow brand or company guidelines
• Adapt to diverse media

Practices associated with successful delivery only were:
• Adapt to specific audience insights
• Refine vocal quality and tone
• Practice effective eye contact
• Use authentic personal strengths
• Build high impact body language skills
• Share personal experiences with anecdotes
• Get 1:1 coaching and feedback
• Rehearse for face-to-face and virtual delivery

As the two stages demand and require different practices, then executive and sales presentation training needs to guide people about key strategies for each phase. While many organizations target presentation skills training, these two phases are often merged. The skills are rarely broken out as discretely different.

Some people are extremely anxious about delivery skills. All they can think about is previous experiences of feeling anxious, losing their voice, or feeling queasy. Successful delivery skills help professionals reinvent the experience of presenting.

But many of the challenges of delivery can be solved with careful attention to design.”

Professionals who want dramatic improvement in presentation results should emphasize 6 key best practices, listed here.

Key Practice 1. Identify Design Process
Define how presentations are built from the ground up. Find out if every individual or team is doing this differently, or following a proven and systematic design process.

Key Practice 2. Share Best Practices
Once you have determined the best practices for your business, share them. Remove inter-departmental barriers by sharing best practices. This may be done informally amongst peers; or more formally in design debriefs.

Key Practice 3. Storyboard Presentations
You would never build a house by just grabbing a 2 x 4 lying on the ground. Yet many business presentations are built in such a haphazard manner. Use a storyboard to plan powerful presentations from start to finish. This is critical to increase productivity-and streamline processes across your business.

Key Practice 4. Learn Skills For Design & Delivery
Begin with the end in mind. Learn the skills for design and delivery success. Approach each area as a unique skill set. Solid design sets the foundation for high-impact delivery. Therefore, learning design skills first is a smart approach.

Key Practice 5. Provide Training Options For Individuals
Different people learn in different ways. Some people prefer the freedom of online learning. Others learn best in a classroom environment, with shoulder-to-shoulder instruction.

In an ideal environment, provide options that encourage individual freedom of choice. If travel budgets are tight, provide online training that offers freedom in instructional design. This recreates a friendly, open environment for learning new skills.

Key Practice 6. Strengthen Skills With Coaching
One on one coaching is one of the best ways to create rapid improvement. With new advances in virtual coaching, this is now much more available and affordable than in the past.

With a step-by-step approach to the unique skills of presentation design and delivery, busy professionals can make rapid progress and not leave up to chance.

Skill In Handling Your Product During A Presentation

If you are to succeed in selling a product during a presentation you must exercise skill in presenting that product. You must build up confidence in the prospect by immediately showing him that you know what you are doing. The prospect can visualize the qualities of the product by the way you operate it. Make sure you are proficient in the way your fingers move around both with and on the product. This is most important.

You should avoid unnecessary operation and handling of the product. By doing this you can relay a sense of being unfamiliar and untrained regarding the product. It can also impart the feeling to the prospect that you do not know what you are doing.

Practice using your product on the prospect’s own applications, if that is possible. Try using it in the customers own familiar surroundings. Nothing makes more of a connection with the prospect as seeing his own applications being performed in familiar surroundings.

As with anything in selling, practice until you are smooth and proficient in your presentation. Nothing is worse than stumbling and bumbling in front of a customer. Remember practice leads to confidence and confidence to success.

Show skill in handling your product during your presentation:

1-Exercise skill in presenting the product.
2-Avoid unnecessary operation or handling of the product.
3-Try to practice your presentation on the prospects own applications and in his own familiar surroundings.
4-Practice using your product until you feel you are proficient in its handling and use.

In this case familiarity does not breathe contempt, it leads to sales.