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January 14, 2021

Stay Motivated Throughout Your Presentation Project

Staying motivated throughout a presentation project can be challenging. Especially when there are many external competing factors. Fortunately there are some tactics you can use to help you stay motivated.

I don’t know about you but it's been hard to stay motivated. The start of the new year hasn’t been exactly stress-free.

The now (very) long periods of social distancing have impacted many of us. Motivation can lag on projects. This in turn has consequences such as missing deadlines, being unprepared, and losing clients or customers. Having a roadmap is a key element to stay motived, complete projects, and ovarall success.

Set Goals to Stay Motivated

stay motived - goals

Setting goals as part of that roadmap can help you feel less anxiety and more accomplished. Goals also provide focus as well as a measuring tool for progress. All key elements to stay motivated with your projects.

They enhance productivity, bolster self-esteem, and increase commitment. You are more likely to achieve what you set out to do. Motivation is essential to setting and reaching goals.

Research shows that you can influence your own levels of motivation and self-control by deciding what you want, powering through challenges, and envisioning yourself succeeding. Here are some tips on how to set project goals and how to keep yourself on track to achieving them.

Make Smart Goals

If you've done any type of goal setting in a business environment, you've probably heard the phrase SMART goals. This concept was first introduced in the book, Attitude Is Everything: If You Want to Succeed Above and Beyond by Paul J. Meyer. 

MindTools has a good in-depth article about on creating SMART goals. For a historical snapshot and alternative goals setting methods, consult this article.


Write down the project goals.

Be specific, use action verbs, have measurable outcomes, and specify completion dates.


Make a list of hurdles. 

Think of everything that might cause you to get off track with the project. Plan for how you will handle these disruptions to stay focused.


Identify the benefits of achieving your goals.

Think about why your goals are important to yourself and project. By achieving the goals what will you and others gain.


Break your goals into smaller steps with deadlines.

Establish specific tasks that need to be done to achieve each goal. Be clear on exactly what you are going to do and when.


Have a backup plan.

Because life happens, make sure you leave room for the unexpected (Here's a good strategy if you can't present live). This could be unforeseen circumstances or a temporary lapse in your own motivation. Have strategies in place to get yourself back on track with the project.

Use Accountability and Rewards for Motivation

How we stay motivated varies among all of us. However, research shows that establishing accountability measures and rewards are strong techniques for staying motivated. Here are three really common methods for integrating rewards and accountability during the project phase of developing your presentation.

Chart your progress

Whether you use a high-tech project manager app or a basic to-do list, seeing incremental progress can boost your motivation and help you stay on track.

Enlist others for help

Find someone who is willing to be your sounding board or feedback partner. Schedule time to talk to hold yourself accountable. If they have presentation experience, ask them for insight.

Reward yourself

Treat yourself to a reward for every successful step you take toward achieving your project goals. Remember though, choose rewards that will motivate you to continue moving forward.


Everyone's motivation lags as some point. It is important to recognize that it isn't a failure on your part. Having a process in place to help you stay on track like setting goals and accountability can help you stay motivated.

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Jennifer Sharkey is known as the Virtual Presentation Specialist. Being passionate about seeing people shine and be heard, she leans into her 20+ years of public speaking experience and uses what she has learned from presenting, both in-person and virtually, to small groups all the way up to 5000 people. Jennifer draws from her experience as an associate professor, academic librarian, and coach to help holistic coaches master virtual presentations to grow their business. Her unique immersive program provides practical strategies and methods to build confidence, engage audiences, and generate authenticity and authority.

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