Public speaking can be one of the best ways to get your name into the community. Not only will you get to meet more people and form real connections, but you’ll also be able to serve them by offering valuable information.
You might be thinking, though, “But Krysti, I don’t know how to give a talk!”
Before you go running for the hills, hear me out! I’ve given countless talks over the past 12 years throughout my chiropractic career, and I’ve given many more as a public speaker within the industry to other doctors, chiropractic assistants and other key audiences. I want to share some of my insider tips with you because I know speaking can help your business grow.
We’re starting in this first post of the series by giving you a framework you can apply to any type of talk. You could use this for potential patients or maybe another type of audience (even an audience or topic outside of chiropractic) to make an impact in your community. Next week we’re going to have another post that will go deeper into chiropractic-specific ideas (so make sure you come back!).
In a typical list you’d probably see “hook” or “attention grabber” at the top, and while that is certainly important (we’ll get to it in a minute), I think personal stories can have even more of an impact. You can share a personal story at the beginning, the middle, the end or even all three. The bottom line is, people love to hear your experiences.
Sharing something personal establishes trust and connection with your audience. Chances are they’ve gone through something similar, or at the very least they’ll be able to empathize.
(As a side note, when I say “personal story,” I don’t mean sharing the deepest, most personal depths of your soul - unless you feel called to share those. What I do mean is the funny thing that happened last weekend, something you learned while working with a patient, or how you’re trying to juggle what feels like 27 things at once.)
See, I told you it’s important! In general, how your talk begins sets the stage for the rest of the material. However, I don’t want you to get too hung up on this. Sure, practice your beginning and write an awesome hook that is sure to have eyes glued to you the whole time! But if you end up having a rocky start, don’t freak out - keep going. You can bring the energy back.
A great hook could be a personal story like we already chatted about, or it could be a surprising fact or even just a different way of phrasing that you use to capture the attention of your audience. Some people like to start with a deep, personal story. Others prefer to use a funny joke to get everyone’s attention. Still others prefer to use a bookend approach, where they begin with a quote or definition or fact that they later revisit in the conclusion of their talk.
The opening sets the momentum for the rest of your talk. Whichever way you choose to start, it should sound and feel like YOU.
Maybe this sounds too obvious, but you might be surprised how many beginners create a talk that leaves their audience either overwhelmed or confused about how to actually implement their strategies. People are offered so much content nowadays, between their phones, the Internet and all of the noise that surrounds us. When they give up time to listen to you, you need to make sure it’s worth their while. Talk with someone with the level of knowledge that your audience will have: go over your outline and then practice your talk for them. Make sure they can completely understand your key points you’re hoping to deliver.
By clearly defining your message, you will not only have a guiding force while writing or outlining your talk, but you’ll also give your audience a way to check off the boxes, so to speak. They’ll know what to listen for and pay attention to your most important points. Just like with any other form of content, telling your audience what you’re going to tell them is a great way to help them actually learn and understand it.
Perhaps the most important of all is that you create your talk in a way that is authentic to you. People can tell when you’re not being yourself, and that can just make for an awkward time all around. The best way to get results from a talk is to show up fully as yourself. You might be looking to build relationships, increase interest in chiropractic care or help your audience get results that day. Whatever your purpose, you will resonate more strongly with your people if you are entirely present as yourself.
Please, don't just take a talk someone else sent you the PPT for and try to deliver it without infusing your own style and beliefs! Your community deserves to hear YOUR passion!
So there you have it. Sure, there are plenty of other things we could have talked about, like structure or flow or how to actually give the talk, but I think these are the four core pieces of any successful, phenomenal community talk. Do you have any additional tips to add? Feel free to leave them in the comments - I’d love to hear your input.
P.S.- Don't forget to join me back here next week for more chiro specific details! :)