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Growing Your Speaking Expertise, Brand and Reputation

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

public speaking expertiseElementary advice about effective public speaking will remind you to know your audience, practice and know your material, smile, make eye contact, project your voice and other basics. With those tips alone—especially with practice and confidence—you’ll likely give a good presentation.

When “good” isn’t good enough…

For the president of the local Rotary club (a local, small-business owner), a good speech is good enough. But because you’re a doctor, and therefore a respected authority figure, a general-public audience has a higher expectation. If you’re talking to an organization of fellow doctors, the bar is higher still and “good” isn’t good enough.

Perhaps you want to hone your public speaking skills, or maybe there are situations where you need or want to push ahead to the next level. Excellent presentations have impact, including:

  • Enhancing and extending your professional reputation
  • Personalization of your brand and branding message
  • Engaging professional colleagues and new business associates
  • Providing the audience with important, useful and sharable information
  • Inspiring referrals and new business opportunities

Consider these tips to grow your public speaking expertise and generate a greater return on the time and effort invested:

Practice with a live audience. Most physicians and surgeons can't spare the time to do “smaller” or frequent public speaking events. But, like a dress rehearsal, a live-audience performance is intensely more challenging than talking to a mirror for practice.

Identify the premium audiences. Notwithstanding the previous tip for meaningful practice venues, seek out the more significant speaking occasions that reach opinion leaders, professional society members, civic leaders and other individuals that you want to get to know (or know you).

Absolutely, positively--nail your opening. You have 60 seconds or less to grab the audience by their ears (or minds) and keep them in their seats. The first minute or so does the heavy lifting to set the attention and interest intensity and to carry the initial energy through the rest of the presentation.

Use storytelling as emotional transportation. The human brain is hardwired to track messages that have a storyline. And really good stories connect the message to the emotional touch points of the audience.

Give them a precious, take-home gem. Provide the audience with a useful nugget of knowledge. Having an unexpected, tangible something that’s actionable and/or beneficial makes your talk more valuable and you more memorable.

Study with TED. As you probably know, the nonprofit TED organization is the home for world-class presentations on virtually every subject—each in slices of 18 minutes or less. In addition to the powerful ideas that speakers share, the enormous online library (at TED.com) provides first class models for exceptional public speaking. Dive in. There are several TED talks about how to give a TED talk.

For related, in-depth reading, click through to:

And Speaking of speaking…

Over the past two decades, Healthcare Success principals and team members have spoken at hundreds of healthcare and marketing events across the nation. If you need a knowledgeable and dynamic presentation for you organization or event, you’ll find more information on this page. Or you can give us a call at 800-656-0907. Let’s talk today.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

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