Monday, March 31, 2008

Goal Setting: Ways to keep focused and motivated

At the beginning of the year, people typically set goals as a new year resolution (i.e. lose weight, spend more time with friends, run a marathon, etc.). At the end of the year, people find that they only reach some or none of their goals. Anatole France said “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” You must dream and believe in reaching your goals. Let’s focus on a plan of action to help you set goals. If you for example wanted to run a full marathon (26.2 miles), these are the things that you would want to consider:

Create a plan of action. In order for you to achieve your goal, you have to start with the what, when, and who questions. Identifying these questions upfront rather than later, will help make your journey less painful. Don’t create the plan and then put it away. Keep it in a place where you can review it every so many days to see where you are and where you’re going.

What is the goal that I would like to achieve. What is your dream, what do you want to achieve. For example, you want to run a complete 26.2 mile marathon. You should make this your goal and not someone else’s. This is a common trait when setting goals. I want to do this because my spouse or friends think it would be excellent for me. Well, if you don’t establish the goal for yourself, you will find it hard to achieve that goal.

When would I like to achieve this goal by. Set a realistic time frame around your goal. I want to complete this marathon in Philadelphia, PA by July 2008. If at all possible, try to break the goal into manageable components (i.e. 90 day increments). Also, creating milestones within the goal allows you to not feel overwhelmed. Be sure to have fun when you’re working to reach your goal. Let me say that again, have FUN when working towards your goal. When you start to take it too seriously, you start to loose focus and that causes you to shift your focus elsewhere. Don’t forget to celebrate when you reach milestones. This is great motivation to help you achieve the next level of your plan.

Who if anyone do I need to help me achieve this goal. Sometimes you need others support to help you overcome challenges and obstacles in order to achieve your goals. If you have not run in some time, you may need to engage some friends or a running coach for training and motivation. This is not a bad thing at all. Having people that are positive in nature supporting you with your goals, helps you keep focused and motivated on your vision. These are just some of many methods to assist you in setting goals. These methods can be utilized with any types of goals (short or long-term) you’re looking to achieve. Reflect on what you’ve learned throughout the process. Every goal starts with your vision, your dream. If you believe it, you can achieve it. Put your goal setting plan in place and work your plan.


RWJ Consulting Group, LLC, provides consulting, coaching and training services to individuals, entrepreneurs, not-for-profits and corporations.

For additional information call 267-254-6800 or visit

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Staying connected in your network

It's time for a little spring cleaning, not only with things around your home, but also with the contacts within your network. When is the last time you updated pertinent information for contacts within your network?

Well now is a great time to go through your contacts and do the following:

1. Add and/ or delete any contacts within your network.
2. Do you need to make changes to their email address, phone number or home/ business address.
3. Are there any special notes that you can add about a your contact.
4. Is your network growing to where you need to categorize your contacts.

Don't wait too long to update your network information. Keep it as current as possible, so when you need to contact someone, the information is up-to-date.


RWJ Consulting Group, LLC, provides consulting, coaching and training services to individuals, entrepreneurs, not-for-profits and corporations.

For additional information call 267-254-6800 or visit

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Tips in Becoming a More Confident Speaker

Most people fear speaking in front of a large group of people thinking they look foolish. Public speaking is not an easy task! It takes time and practice to get comfortable in front of an audience.

When you are speaking before an audience, you should be talking with your audience (having a conversation), not talking at them. The structure of your talk is like the research papers you did in school. You have your thesis statement followed by the introduction, body and conclusion. The only difference is you are delivering the information verbally.

Let’s focus on some tips to help you become comfortable in front of your audience.

Know Your Audience: WIIFM: What’s in it for me! Who is your audience? Why should they listen to you? What tips can you provide them to help them get the results they seek?

Your Material: 1. Tell them what you are going to tell them. 2. Tell them. 3. Tell them what you told them. There is no “best” way to organize your speech. There are several different ways to organize, and the method you choose often depends on the topic you select and the objective. Have an outline with a few main points.

Tell them what you’re going to tell them. (Introduction) This is the time where you get to make a “connection” with your audience. WIIFM: What’s in it for me! Research your audience. Where are they now? Where should they be after your presentation?

Tell them. (Body) Develop strong supporting stories. The middle of your talk is where you expand on your key points and develop personal stories that support where you were and where you are now. The amount of information you include in the body will be limited by the amount of time available to you and how much the audience can remember. Give them enough information but don’t bore them with too much detail. Avoid complicated jargon.

Tell them what you told them. (Conclusion) To end your presentation, tell them what you told them. Close on a high note. Summarize your main points in the same way you normally do in the CONCLUSION of a written paper. Leave your audience with a positive impression, a call to action and a sense of completion.

Overcoming Anxiety: Practice! Practice! Practice! Recognize that nervousness can be a positive motivator. Don’t point out that you are nervous. Use notes to help. Have an outline just incase you loose your place. If you stumble, move ahead.

Logistics: Arrive at your destination 30-minutes prior (or earlier) to survey the set-up, so that you can get comfortable. An athlete always arrives at the game early for a warm-up. With speaking, the same concept applies. Go through your warm-up. Make sure your equipment works, do your sound check and work out all the bugs before your presentation and not during.

Visual Aids: These add value to your presentation such as handouts, articles, pictures, diagrams, etc. Make sure you have enough, so that your audience can follow along with you. If you plan to use a hand-out as a take away, hand it out after the presentation so that the focus is on you and not the handout.

Record Yourself: See how you sound prior to delivering your speech. This is the time you can make any necessary adjustments to your speech and help build your confidence.

The best way to get over the fear of speaking is to face your fear head on. Through practice and preparation with the tips above, you will gain greater confidence in public speaking. If you are looking to get ongoing practice, join a local club through Toastmasters International or volunteer to speak at various community groups. You can conquer the fear of speaking in public through patience, practice, and preparation.