Imagine going to an archery range that had no targets. You’d be standing around with your bow and arrow, scratching your head and wondering “Uh, where do I point this thing?” Or you might be firing off arrows willy-nilly in all manner of directions, which isn’t exactly productive.
Without a target, you have nothing to aim at. That’s the reasoning behind writing and using a Speaker Vision. By vision I mean a clear, specific, and compelling picture of how you want to see yourself as a speaker at a specific point in time in the future (e.g. six months or a year from today). A vivid vision gives you something very specific to shoot for, that you’ll recognize when the day or moment arrives.
When you put a vision together, you want to focus on how you want to feel when you get there. And you want to describe it in rich, minute detail, in the present moment (as if it is in the process of unfolding around you and is a “done deal”). Your speaker vision depicts what success looks like at a particular point in time. And by the richness of its detail, you’ll know when you’ve arrived. (Please note that Ari Weinzweig, the founder of Zingerman’s–the coolest and most fabulously run food-oriented company in Michigan and maybe the planet–taught me that definition. He is a vision zealot, and so am I).
Now, if we were working together in a presentation coaching relationship, there are several ways I might nudge you into writing your speaker vision. I might take you through a guided meditation in which you would speak out loud the elements of your speaker vision. Then, I’d write down the details of your vision, type it up, and read it back to you during our second visit. Or I’d give you the guidelines to write one yourself. Since I am not currently sitting in the room with you, I heartily recommend you capture and write your own speaker vision.
A simple guide to writing your Speaker Vision:
Pull out a fresh sheet of paper and a pen (I recommend this over sitting at the computer, as the pen to paper gives you a more direct access to your creativity and intuition).
Pick the date by which or on which you want this specific vision to occur. (e.g. the date four months from now when you give your big keynote at your company’s annual convention). Write it down.
Now imagine your ideal speaking scenario, after you’ve solved all the issues that are currently holding you back. Write it down in vivid detail, as if it’s occurring right now (e.g. “It’s 10 AM on February 27th, 2021. I’m waiting to step up to the podium to deliver my annual presentation…”
Consider including the following details:
· What steps have you taken to prepare for your speaking engagement?
· How do you feel as you wait to step up onto the speaking platform?
· Who is in the audience?
· How does it feel to approach the audience, and share your words with them?
· How does your audience react to what you have to say?
· How do you feel after the presentation is over?
Once you’ve written your vision down, do whatever you can to imprint it into your subconscious mind: Read it daily, speak it out loud, put somewhere you can see it. Or you can record it and listen to it before you go to sleep and when you get up in the morning, as a client of mine did to help instill confidence for an upcoming sales presentation (which, by the way, she aced).
Your vision will guide you forward. Honor it by taking the steps that will allow you to achieve it.
If you’re like the presentation coaching clients I work with, you will be delightfully surprised at how specifically and well your speaker vision will come to pass. Your reality is, after all, shaped by your beliefs. On the day of your big presentation, you’ll look around and think “I recognize these feelings, these circumstances, this scenario. I created this when I wrote down my vision.” And you’ll step onto the stage with even greater confidence so you can use your words to change your world.
That’s the power of a vivid vision.
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