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It's easy to compare how good you are at something by using a standard method, relative to poor, average, good and excelent concepts. The economy of nearly every country in the world can measure it's growth by feeding a GDP formula. Not only is it useful to have an idea of how efficient your current methods are but also tell if said methods are up-to-date, still delivering a decent growth compared to your own from previous years.

Some activities, however, are a bit harder to measure. Even though the Pomodoro Technique took a big step in quantifying any kind of activity, it doesn't help in terms of setting a context of what is an actual good performance. I'm looking for a method that teaches how to add a bit more of competition by setting common milestones to anyone who's interested in, for example, giving speeches.

It is part of GTD to always set the next task but given that so many people around the world share the desire to master an ability, it should be easier to research for common milestones, qualities that differ an amateur from an notable person in the field.

In summary, is there any method teaching how to find standard patterns in specific areas of expertise?

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Hint that'll help everyone else's productivity: tell us what you're talking about in the subject. "How good am I at this" sounds like there's something specific you have in mind, but need us to click the question to see what it is. Half the time, I'll just skip questions like that entirely. – me_and Feb 20 '12 at 17:39

Here is something that came to my mind, the programmer competency matrix:

You could create a competency matrix for any type of position: a speaker, manager, etc. The way you would do that is by looking at desired skills/qualities in that field and set those as rows. As for the columns, that would take research in coming up with a rubric. So for a speech, you would ask "When it comes to visual aids in a speech, what is considered bad, acceptable or good?"

That is one method; hope that helps.

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