Keys to Your Practice: Get the message to the masses
Angelo SantinFeatures Clinical Patient Care
I was watching a webcast recently where a prominent chiropractor was being interviewed.
I was watching a webcast recently where a prominent chiropractor was being interviewed. I was enjoying the interview until a common question was asked that I had to shake my head at: “How do chiropractors get more new patients?”
I find this thought process completely backwards. That thinking alone can leave practitioners stuck in a rut from which they can’t get out.
Instead, I would suggest a simple switch in mindset. Rather than asking how we can get more new patients, how about asking ourselves, “What can I offer to my community – no strings attached?”
Give before you receive is a simpler way of putting it. How can we do this professionally and effectively so people in our community will hear the chiropractic story?
Let us take a closer look at public speaking and how it can help grow your practice and the good name of chiropractic, at the same time.
Face your fears
The thought of standing in front of an audience can evoke feelings of anxiety. Public speaking is, in fact, a very common fear.
However, I can tell you from personal experience that most of the time you just need to jump in. Get off the sidelines, get in the game and just do one talk. Once you have one or two under your belt, repetition and practice are the only means to become effective and motivating.
Mistakes are inevitable. Accept them and learn from them as they will make you a more effective speaker.
Before you start speaking, I suggest you consult a mentor or professional chiropractic coach as they can assist you with materials and effective ways to communicate chiropractic to the masses. The material and advice will make a huge difference in your ability to deliver a successful talk.
When reviewing materials and planning a talk, be mindful of the two most common mistakes chiropractors make when speaking to an audience. The first one is focusing the talk on chiropractic alone. I may rub people the wrong way by saying this, but I can tell you that your audience probably doesn’t care as much as you do about B.J. Palmer and innate intelligence. The talk may start to become more about the chiropractor than the people he or she is delivering the message to.
The best advice I can give is to make it personal and relevant to the people you are talking to. This does not mean you don’t tell the chiropractic story at all, it just means you have to artfully weave it into the topic you’ve been asked to deliver.
The second mistake to avoid is filling your talk and PowerPoint slides with a bunch of information. There is an assumption that if people only knew what we know they would do what we do and get under chiropractic care. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It is not information that motivates people but inspiration that drives people to act.
The easiest way to inspire an audience is to share stories. Everyone likes a good story, and there is no easier place to get them than from your practice or a colleague’s.
When choosing or designing materials you need to mix chiropractic information (nervous system, subluxation, our unique view of health) with chiropractic stories and cases. In my experience, it is the emotion behind the stories that strikes a chord with people and encourages them to remember your message.
Assembling an audience can be easier than you think. Running a workshop in your office for your patients is the easiest way to get started and hone your skills. Alternatively, ask your current patients whether their office, volunteer group or sporting team would value having you come in and talk. This is especially easy in the workplace as many companies have health and safety training days put aside, and would welcome a guest to run a workshop. Again, make sure your topic is something that the company or group would value. Consider even offering to design something specifically for their needs.
Public speaking is the most time efficient and effective way of communicating your chiropractic story to the masses. If done artfully it can help build credibility both for the profession and your practice. This is the true art of building your practice – putting yourself out there to serve and give before your receive.
Remember, when it comes to your practice, work from the inside out.
Angelo Santin, DC, operates a busy subluxation-based family practice in Thunder Bay, Ont., and is president of the Thunder Bay Chiropractic Society. Dr. Santin is also a Carter Universal proficiency-rated chiropractic coach. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 807-344-4606.
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