Warren Buffet was recently asked what he felt the number one necessary business skill was today. His answer? Public speaking.
In much of our work here at LionSpeak with corporate executive teams or sales teams, I agree 100%. But, I wondered. Would that also apply to my other primary market of dentists, veterinarians, and other discretionary healthcare providers? They are not professional speakers. They typically don’t address large groups at corporate annual sessions. Most of their business conversations are one-on-one or small groups of a just a few team members.
Turns out that while that is still true, some important elements have changed. There are now multiple opportunities to drive business with this single skill in today’s healthcare marketplace. With the increase in practice consolidations and group practice, more owners are needing to keep larger and larger groups of employees motivated and clear about company priorities and direction. On the flipside, as private practices struggle to keep their place on the healthcare map, they must become much better, even flawless, at leading their small to medium size teams to higher levels of patient service and treatment excellence in order to compete.
Also, there are more and more markets where public information forums can be one of the very best marketing strategies to grow a patient base who have a specific treatment need. One of the best examples of this is a recent LionSpeak client, Dr. Hazel Glasper from Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Glasper came to us initially for speaker’s coaching to compete in a national speaker’s competition held every year at the annual meeting of the Speaking Consulting Network. She was an ideal coaching client. Hazel did the work, put in the practice, and nailed the competition taking top honors last month in Orlando.
However, another reason she wanted to improve her speaking skills was to continue to dominate her marketplace as the leader of a public outreach called “Teach Me Dental” which aims to redefine how the public understands and treats their dental health especially as it relates to their overall health. Through her ability to speak in such a passionate, convincing, clear, and inspirational way, she has become the leading expert in her community on these issues. She delivers well-attended public forums, collaborates with other civic organizations, hospitals, and non-profits, and is frequently interviewed on television and radio shows. Her ability to communicate her message to her team, patients, other healthcare providers, community leaders, and the public at large has created a thriving dental practice as well as a burgeoning speaking and coaching career.
So, I will have to wholeheartedly agree now with Mr. Buffet that indeed public speaking skills are a necessary skill for any business professional, no matter the industry. The art of public speaking is nothing more than the ability to address any size group of people and create absolute clarity about your message as well as the inspiration within them to take action. Whether that’s your team, your patients, other collaborative professionals, or potential patients… this is a skill every dental, veterinary, and healthcare professional needs, certainly as much as any corporate executive, team leader, or sales representative.
This week, think about and discuss where you and your teammates could utilize and improve your speaking skills as a business tool. If you’re like most people you may find that many of you have some anxiety about this idea and you really don’t need to. There are definitive strategies to handle your nerves and embrace, and even enjoy, taking the stage front and center. Imagine the possibilities if you weren’t hesitant to seek out great opportunities to share your message, your passion, and your unique selling proposition… and you had the confidence to deliver that well. Where could it take your practice and your own career?
Warren Buffet is a billionaire and a very smart man. Mastering the art of public speaking helped him get there. It can help you get there too.
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“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.”
~~ Jim Rohn