Growing your practice is a never-ending task. And of all the strategies out there, one stands out.
This practice-building method:
- Has built-in demand
- Exercises your speaking muscle, and
- Informs your audience
What is it?
It’s speaking to local service clubs and organizations. And it’s a perfect match.
Organizations like the Lions Club, Kiwanis, and Rotary Club meet monthly and are always on the lookout for speakers.
They need speakers to fill their programs. And you need to reach people in your community, to get your message out.
The challenge is to create a winning presentation…
One that delivers a compelling message, so your listeners think of you when they, or someone they know, need healthcare.
Here are the three “secrets” to help you create a winning presentation:
Define your audience
It is the foundation for every successful presentation. Get this wrong, and you’ll have a hard time keeping their attention. But when you get it right, they’ll hang on every word you say.
Ask questions about your audience. Find out what they’re looking for and what they want to gain from your presentation.
To get this information, talk to the event organizer. Ask for the average age, job or occupation, and why the people in the audience would be interested in the topic. Also ask, if the audience has a certain level of knowledge about the subject you’ll be speaking on.
Once you have these insights, it will be far easier to create a presentation your audience can relate to.
Pick one core idea and build your talk around it. Structure the presentation, so it naturally flows from the introduction to the main body to the conclusion.
All too often presenters overwhelm their audience with too much information spanning across multiple ideas. It leaves the audience confused and losing interest. Try to avoid this if at all possible!
Keep in mind that most people will only remember a small percentage of what they hear. To increase that number, utilize visuals that reinforce what you say.
To keep your audience engaged throughout your talk, use stories whenever possible. All of us are familiar with stories, and we lean in when someone tells one. People also tend to remember more when information gets delivered in story form, compared to hearing the facts alone.
Keep your presentation in a conversational tone; avoid lecture and corporate speak. Match the tone of your presentation to your audience. Of course, this will depend on who your audience is.
When speaking to a group of professionals, you’re more likely to adopt a formal tone than when talking to a group of gardening enthusiasts.
If possible, weave some humor through your presentation. But careful here, not everybody is open to humor, and it could backfire. So when in doubt, leave out the humor.
Keep it simple, but not simplistic…
Keep your presentation simple.; use simple words and clear structure to deliver your message. Even complex ideas explained in simple words will get the job done.
But don’t make the mistake and give a presentation that’s simplistic. After all, you don’t want to offend your audience. Meet your audience where they are; avoid speaking above their head or using jargon they won’t know.
When you use simple language, it will make your presentation flow better and far more engaging.
Using these three secrets will help you create winning presentations. They will both engage and inform your audience, all while promoting you and your practice.
Come join the conversation by leaving a comment or question below.
By Johanna Hofmann, MBA, LAc; regular contributor to the NPBusiness blog and author of “Smart Business Planning for Clinicians.“