When will you know you’re good? Maybe never. And that’s a good thing.
You can be a highly confident, highly competent speaker and still not be as good as you want to be or think you should be. And that’s really a good thing.
Why? Because it keeps you on your toes. That’s the simple answer. You want to be on your toes for every audience. Once you think you’ve arrived, or that you’re good enough, you’ll get complacent and, trust me, it’ll show. Audiences will pick up on it. Just by the very nature of audiences – that each one is different – you are earning your stripes each time you get up to speak.
Being a good public speaker is a journey in which the endpoint is always moving and changing. You want it that way. You want to work at it, strive for it, and sweat it out.
If you’re like I am and you try to stay on your toes, then how else do you continue the journey to greatness as a speaker? The best coaching you can get, and the best way to get closer to that greatness, is to listen to audience feedback. Ask for it anecdotally or through evaluation forms, and then do something with it. Feedback is the GPS for your journey, be sure to pay attention to it!
So, when will you know you’re good? When you get to a point where you actually crave feedback, where you look for ways to adapt and improve all the time. Then I’d say you’re pretty darn good!