As a public speaker, you are going to have your ups and your downs. But, generally speaking, that's the way life is, is not it? Do you know of anything in life (other than time) which moves steadily forward, always at the same pace, with never a hitch or delay?
Your last speech may have been a rousing success, or it may have been a disaster. In connection with your making progress, it does not matter much … but giving your next speech does. Why? The answer has to do with how we actually progress.
Improvement – Never in a Straight Line!
Making improvement is like sailing into the wind. Progress is not made in a straight line, but in more of a zigzag manner. Sure, we're all like our progress to consist of one success after another, with never a detour. That would be nice, but that only happens in some story books, not in real life.
In real life, we go forward a few steps, then sideways, then forward again, and then backwards! After assessing matters and getting our bearings, we have another go at it, and lo and behold, we move forward again, sometimes several steps! If we keep at this process, we'll find over time that we have made considerable progress.
The Key is to Persist!
After giving a speech, take the time to analyze it. What did you do right? Commend yourself for having done those things. What would you do differently, if you had the opportunity to give that speech again? Resolve to do that in your next speech.
If possible, you may also want to enlist the assistance of a friend. That person does not have to be a public speaker, but simply someone who will give you their honest evaluation of your speech, in terms of how well you got your point across. Was it interesting? Did you hold the attention of your friend? Did you speak in a conversational manner? How could you improve?
This method of constantly seeking improvement will yield great rewards over a period of time. But of course, not if you become discouraged and quit. So, the most important asset you can possess is your resolve determination to succeed.
Abraham Lincoln is reported to have advised a young man who wanted to become an attorney that if he was determined to do so, he was already halfway to his goal. Likewise, the key to making continuous progress as a speaker is determined persistence ! Never, never, never give up!