One thing I have tried to do a better job of in the past few months is to be more proactive about gathering feedback about my speaking performance. I have benefited greatly from the comments, both positive and constructive. Some have been quite humorous, like "Don't use the word 'folks'" or "Encourage people to move to another table after lunch-I'm got tired of sitting next to the same boring person."
One unique comment from a recent program was, "I liked the encouraged introspection. It made me take an honest look at myself and my goals." That is one element of my speaking about which I am passionate-making people think. I believe that it's when we are appropriately challenged to look within that we often find the best answers-or at least ones that can help us change poor habits, behaviors or perspectives.
What encourages you to take a moment of introspection and evaluate where you are? I have a book of quotes from which I choose two or three each day that cause me to stop and think. Marshall Goldsmith, author of Mojo, talks about getting someone to ask you questions (that you create) about your situation and what you want to change. They are to ask you these questions every day to keep you on track-and looking within yourself more often.
Whatever it is, take some time each day to pause and reflect on where you are-and where you want to go.