The FIRST Development Plan contains 5 different parts that all work together to form one development plan. This form assists a leader in understanding what their development priorities are and how to go about strengthening them. For the purpose of the plan below, we’ll assume that you, the leader, want to enhance your public speaking skills.
Focus on Priorities
The rationale for bettering public speaking skills is that being a good public speaker shows confidence, displays preparedness, and it’s really needed to communicate effectively and retain credibility. Members and prospective members of your organization will take you more seriously and believe in what you’re saying more if you are able to communicate your vision in a clear and concise way.
Implement Something Every Day
Implementing new positive behaviors every day is the way to start a positive habit of change. Two developmental behaviors a leader can engage in to enhance his or her public speaking skills would be giving regular presentations. These clear, well-organized presentations should contain no more than five key messages. Another developmental behavior a leader can engage in is adapting the content and level of detail of their material to the specific audience they will be speaking to. This ensures that the information will pertain more to the audience and they’ll be more engaged in the presentation. The leader needs to realize why people want or need the information the leader is presenting. Why are they there? What do they hope to gain from the presentation?
Reflect on What Happens
Create a strategy that works for you. If utilizing the FIRST Development Plan, you will be responsible for ensuring that you reflect on the progress you’ve made and how you can improve your public speaking skills. Use criteria to judge your success. Maybe write a reflection after each public speaking appearance or ask someone to film your presentation, speech, etc. and then you can watch yourself communicate the material.
Seek Feedback and Support
Feedback and support may be the most important item of this plan. Without either feedback or support, there’s a slim chance that a leader will improve because they don’t have additional goals to strive for. From whom will you seek feedback from to assess your progress – members of your organization, coworkers, your boss? How do you prefer to receive feedback – face-to-face, written, anonymously? These are all important factors to consider. Furthermore, think about how you can use that feedback and implement it in your regular activities.
Transfer to Next Level
What are you going to do once you attain your goal? How are you going to become a better leader and move onto strengthening your next area of improvement? Will you set a new objective, teach someone else how to do public speaking or will you master your objective at a higher level?
Leadership and management are both ever-evolving skills we can build on and mature. The new paradigm of leadership focuses on empowerment, collaboration, diversity, and humility. The FIRST Development Plan is an organized way of improving an aspect of your leadership. Whether it is a personal decision or you are trying to aid someone else’s development, the FIRST Development Plan is a handy tool to have at your disposal.
For further reading on leadership, consult this source: http://www.academia.edu/658124/Leadership_The_Key_Concepts_is_an_indispensable_and_authoritative_guide_to_the_most_crucial_ideas_concepts_and_debates_surrounding_the_study_and_exercise_