Public speaking is a critical skill in many contexts, such as job interviews and presentations in the workplace. It may be intimidating to present in front of a crowd, but with preparation and practice, anyone can become an effective public speaker.
Having SMART goals encourages you to focus your efforts on specific outcomes and make progress toward being able to deliver presentations confidently.
What is a SMART Goal?
Your public speaking goals should be created in tandem with the SMART strategy. In case you are unaware, SMART is an acronym standing for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.
- Specific: Ensure your goals are as detailed as possible.
- Measurable: Public speakers should make their goals trackable; this component is essential to success.
- Attainable: You want your goals and objectives to be both challenging and reasonable.
- Relevant: Try to align your goals with your personal core values.
- Time-based: You need a specific end date for accomplishing your goal. This will keep you accountable and create a feeling of urgency.
By following these 5 SMART criteria, you can speak confidently and assertively on stage.
14 SMART Goals Examples for Public Speaking
Let’s cover 14 examples of SMART goals to improve your public speaking skills:
1. Increase Confidence
SMART Goal: To become a more confident speaker, I’ll practice public speaking exercises every day for the following two months. I want to become more comfortable speaking in front of large groups and build the confidence I need to be a successful public speaker.
- Specific: This goal outlines what you need to do (practice public speaking exercises) and how often you need to do it (every day).
- Measurable: You could count the days you’ve practiced public speaking.
- Attainable: Practicing public speaking exercises daily is absolutely doable.
- Relevant: Taking advantage of these exercises is an excellent way to boost confidence when speaking in front of large groups.
- Time-based: Goal achievement is expected after two whole months.
2. Improve Vocal Delivery
SMART Goal: I want to improve my vocal delivery when I give presentations. To do this, I will practice speaking in front of a mirror for 30 minutes every day for the three months ahead and record myself during practice sessions to review my progress.
- Specific: The SMART goal is explicit because it details how the individual will improve their vocal delivery.
- Measurable: They can record themselves speaking during practice sessions.
- Attainable: Practicing speaking in front of a mirror is achievable within three months.
- Relevant: Vocal delivery is instrumental in enhancing your public speaking skills.
- Time-based: Goal attainment is expected within three months.
3. Expand Repertoire of Presentation Materials
SMART Goal: I will develop new presentation materials for my public speaking engagements by the end of two months. This will include creating slideshows, animations, videos, and interactive resources to capture my audience’s attention.
- Specific: The statement is clear and concise, outlining what materials need to be created.
- Measurable: You can determine how many new materials have been developed.
- Attainable: This goal can be accomplished by dedicating time to developing the materials.
- Relevant: This is essential for public speaking because it will help engage the audience and make presentations more interesting.
- Time-based: There is a two-month end date for accomplishing this goal.
4. Conquer Your Fears
SMART Goal: I’ll aim to improve my public speaking skills and conquer the fear of speaking in front of a large audience. I will attend one public speaking event each month for the next 6 months and practice my skills by presenting at least two talks during this time frame.
- Specific: The person has a particular goal to conquer their fear of speaking in front of a large audience.
- Measurable: Attend one public speaking event each month and present two talks.
- Attainable: Given the timeline of 6 months, this goal is achievable.
- Relevant: This is pertinent to the person’s needs and interests in becoming a successful public speaker.
- Time-based: Six months is required to reach this particular goal.
5. Develop Stronger Storytelling Skills
SMART Goal: By the end of 5 months, I will work to develop stronger storytelling skills. I’ll practice my oral presentation skills with friends and family, work on writing stories to use for presentations, and attend workshops that focus on storytelling techniques.
- Specific: This goal is focused on improving storytelling skills, which will be helpful in public speaking.
- Measurable: Make sure you actively follow the listed action items for success.
- Attainable: This is a relatively achievable goal if you are dedicated and consistently practicing.
- Relevant: Storytelling skills are essential for public speaking and will help you convey your message more engagingly.
- Time-based: There is a deadline of 5 months for meeting this goal.
6. Practice Nonverbal Cues and Gestures
SMART Goal: To become a more confident speaker, I will practice my nonverbal cues and gestures for 10 minutes daily for one month. I want to use my body language better and clearly convey what I’m saying.
- Specific: You will practice nonverbal cues and gestures for 10 minutes each day.
- Measurable: The individual could record the time spent practicing their nonverbal cues and gestures.
- Attainable: This is achievable because it requires a small amount of daily effort.
- Relevant: The goal is appropriate because the person wants to become a more confident speaker, and using nonverbal cues can help with this.
- Time-based: This goal is time-bound because you want to complete this goal in one month.
7. Focus on Audience Involvement
SMART Goal: I will design each presentation to involve the audience, allowing them to participate. By the end of two months, I will strive to ensure every presentation I give includes an interactive element that encourages participation.
- Specific: The goal details the objective and how it will be achieved in two months.
- Measurable: You could measure audience involvement by looking at the number of questions asked and audience participation during each presentation.
- Attainable: This goal is achievable because it focuses on integrating audience participation into each presentation.
- Relevant: It is crucial to engage with the audience and ensure they participate in the presentation.
- Time-based: There is a two-month timeline for accomplishing the goal.
8. Enhance Visual Aids and Slideshows
SMART Goal: My goal is to be able to create visual aids and slideshows that better engage the audience in my presentations. I plan to create a template of custom visuals that I can use for all my future presentations by the end of three months.
- Specific: The goal is specific since this person wants to create better visual aids and slideshows.
- Measurable: You can check off the boxes after creating the template and visual aids.
- Attainable: This is a realistic timeline to create a template of visuals for future presentations.
- Relevant: This goal is relevant to public speaking as it will help engage the audience better.
- Time-based: You’ll achieve this goal by the end of three months.
9. Boost Knowledge of Topic Areas
SMART Goal: For 7 months, I’ll spend two hours each week researching and learning more about the topics I’ll discuss in my public speaking engagements. I want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and regulations to give my audience the best information possible.
- Specific: The goal is clear. The public speaker wants to become an expert in their field.
- Measurable: You will spend two hours each week researching and learning.
- Attainable: This is achievable and achievable with time and intentional effort.
- Relevant: The goal aligns with the speaker’s desire to become an expert in their field.
- Time-based: You will gain more knowledge over the duration of 7 months.
10. Speak with More Assertiveness
SMART Goal: To improve my public speaking, I’ll practice and implement powerful communication techniques in each of my speeches by the end of 6 months. I want to enhance my message to the audiences and speak with more authority.
- Specific: The goal is clear and concise, stating precisely the objective and how it will be accomplished.
- Measurable: By practicing communication techniques and implementing them in speeches, the speaker can measure their success with audiences.
- Attainable: This goal can be accomplished through practice and research on powerful communication techniques.
- Relevant: This is relevant to public speaking because it helps the speaker enhance their message and gain more authority.
- Time-based: There is a 6-month end date for reaching this goal.
11. Refine Time Management
SMART Goal: After four months, I’ll have established a time management system that allows me to schedule and manage tasks better without sacrificing the quality of work. This will make me more organized and efficient when preparing for my speeches.
- Specific: This goal includes the time frame for completion and outlines what you need to do (establish a time management system).
- Measurable: Measuring this goal could include tracking how you manage your tasks and if they are completed promptly.
- Attainable: Creating and refining a time management system is something you can definitely do.
- Relevant: Managing your time will encourage efficiency while preparing for your speeches.
- Time-based: Goal completion is expected to take four months.
12. Increase Self-Awareness
SMART Goal: I will increase my self-awareness to better understand how I express myself in public speaking by taking an online course on communication within two months. When addressing an audience, I plan to be more mindful of my body language and tone.
- Specific: The SMART goal is explicit because it outlines precise steps toward increasing self-awareness.
- Measurable: The speaker will determine how well they can identify their body language and tone of voice.
- Attainable: This goal is achievable as long as the person puts in the effort and time.
- Relevant: The goal relates to increasing self-awareness regarding public speaking.
- Time-based: Goal achievement is expected by the end of two months.
13. Study Audience Dynamics
SMART Goal: I want to enhance my public speaking skills by studying audience dynamics on a deeper level. I will dedicate at least an hour each week for the next 6 months to studying how different demographics interact with each other and how my messages can be tailored to reach them.
- Specific: The goal is to study audience dynamics and build public speaking skills by tailoring messages.
- Measurable: Dedicate at least an hour each week to studying audience dynamics.
- Attainable: The timeline is reasonable, so this should be achievable with the proper focus.
- Relevant: The goal is appropriate to the task at hand because it focuses on honing public speaking skills.
- Time-based: There is a 6-month time frame for pursuing this goal.
14. Learn from Your Mistakes
SMART Goal: In the following three months, I want to improve upon any errors I made in the past and ensure I make fewer mistakes each time I present. I’ll be more confident in my speaking abilities and know I can give an effective presentation.
- Specific: The statement is to improve upon any errors made in the past and make fewer mistakes each time speaking.
- Measurable: You can track the number of mistakes made in each presentation.
- Attainable: This is achievable because the individual actively seeks ways to improve and shows confidence in their abilities.
- Relevant: The SMART goal is appropriate because it focuses on personal growth and improvement as a speaker.
- Time-based: The goal is time-bound because it has a deadline of three months.
Public speaking may be an overwhelming experience, but creating SMART goals will make it more manageable. Knowing what you want to achieve and planning are vital to reaching success.
Start developing realistic, measurable objectives that motivate you to do your best. Take note of how far you’ve come and celebrate the small victories. With some preparation and practice, you’ll be ready to hit the stage confidently.
This post may feature products and services that we think you’ll find useful. Please read our disclosure for more information.