Keys to Your Practice: December 2012
By Angelo Santin
Public speaking is one of the most feared things in life.
Public speaking is one of the most feared things in life. Conquering it, however, can be just as simple as mastering any other activity. It takes the initial leap to get out and try it, then a commitment to improve your delivery and your message. In this edition of Keys to Your Practice, I want to address some of the ways you can take your message and share it with the people in your community.
What have you got to offer?
Before you even begin to think about public speaking, you should consider why you want to share your chiropractic story. For some, it is meant to get more people under care, while, for others, it is meant to inspire. Whatever your reason, it is important to write it down and refer back to it often for guidance and to give you energy in your efforts.
Choosing a location to do your talk
A good place to start is in your own office. I believe that every chiropractor should hold a health-care class for every patient at some point during their care. This is relatively easy to do and it can be one of the biggest practice builders you will encounter.
Next, get out into the community and speak. Enrolling your patients’ help is a great way to start. Approach your best patients and get talking to them about their workplace and any community organizations to which they belong. Discuss the benefits of a guest speaker and potential topics. You wouldn’t believe how many people are happy to bring you into their organization to share your message.
Know your audience
Once you have a venue, it’s time to do your homework and find out a little about your audience. Your message should be different if you are at a health and safety meeting for an industrial company versus a get together at your local retirement home. Remember to always speak to their needs.
When you begin to organize your talk, be careful not to overwhelm the audience with too much information. Facts and figures may seem important to you but may be lost on them. I am going to be biased and hope that your message highlights chiropractic and its potential to help the body. Please do not leave this part out! Talking about lifestyle changes, exercise, nutrition, etc., is all OK but these ancillary topics should relate to how they can influence the spine and nervous system. This vital information is not being relayed enough to the public, so be bold and tell them what they need to hear.
Organizing your talk
Some thought should also go into organizing the layout of the talk and how it flows. In my experience it is a good idea to seek out some resources for this. My motto when it comes to public speaking is “If the wheel ain’t broken then don’t fix it.” I encourage you to use talks that other chiropractors have used in the past. They are quite effective, tried and tested.
Next, you will need to practise and refine your delivery. If you are brave enough, video record yourself in order to make improvements. Once you are familiar with the talk and have nailed it down, then make it your own by incorporating some of your own stories. Your storytelling skills are the key to your presentation. When I was at Parker Seminars in Toronto, in the fall, I heard all of our greatest leaders speak about telling stories and how these stories will inspire and move people to act. Therefore, don’t try to saturate your audience with information; tell them a few of your most inspiring patient stories and make a great connection.
Inspiring people to act is what drives me to get out in the community and talk about this wonderful thing called chiropractic. Whatever drives you, I encourage you to bottle it, get out there and make a difference. The biggest mistake you can make is staying within your comfort zone and not trying to take risks. They say “only dead fish swim with the stream,” so I challenge you to turn things around and start sharing the message!
Remember: when it comes to your practice, work from the inside out.
|Keys for presenting talks in your community
Take the initial leap to get out and try it, then commit to improving your delivery and your message.
ACTION STEP 1: Start asking influential people in your circle for speaking opportunities.
ACTION STEP 2: Know who you are speaking to and tailor your message specifically to them.
ACTION STEP 3: Share stories with the audience that will inspire them to act.
Dr. Angelo Santin is a 2006 graduate of the CMCC. He operates a busy subluxation-based family practice in Thunder Bay, Ont., and is currently serving his second year as president of the Thunder Bay Chiropractic Society. Dr. Santin is one of a small number of international Carter Universal proficiency-rated chiropractic coaches, and draws on his success, along with the experience of the most renowned experts in this field, to provide time-tested, effective and patient-centred ideas for every chiropractor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 807-344-4606.