How to Choose Public Speaking Topics That Leverage Your Expertise
When you defined your practice marketing position, you identified what makes your practice special or unique. Whether your position was “chiropractic care for the whole family,” “chiropractic care for sports injuries” or something else, your position can help others see where you have expertise or experience. As you put together a list of possible topics, remember your goal is not to “sell” chiropractic or promote yourself, but to educate potential patients about the benefits of chiropractic care.
AN AUTHORITY ON HEALTH CARE TOPICS
Choose topics that focus on the importance of wellness, which automatically ties in with chiropractic issues. You'll become known as a local authority on healthcare issues who also happens to be a new chiropractor in town. This can be an effective way to generate positive impressions about your knowledge and expertise relating to a variety of healthcare issues not directly related to chiropractic.
If you are asked to speak about chiropractic care, focus on the benefits of care and evaluate your audience to find a specific issue that might appeal to them. (See “Research Your Audience?” below.) Your presentation should not be an obvious self- promotion, which may turn off your audience. As a Doctor of Chiropractic, you have expertise on a variety of topics that will be of interest to your community. Possible topics might include:
- Ergonomics at home and work
- Back pain (Effects of heavy purses, bulky wallets, high heels)
- Headaches and/or neck pain
- Wellness and kids (proper use of car seats, carrying backpacks, sports)
- Spring, summer, fall tips (raking, healthy gardening, football)
- Warm-up exercises/stretching
- Nutrition and dietary supplements
- Wellness for parents (lifting kids, pain and soreness during pregnancy)
- Healthy golf games (equipment that fits, importance of lessons for proper swing, avoid metal spikes, pull - don't carry your bag, etc.)
- Winter tips (shoveling, snow blowing, sledding, skating, skiing, keeping your muscles warm, etc.)
- Travel tips for summer and winter vacations
- Alternative health care in general - methods available
- Senior health issues
- Exercise and aging
Remember that the most popular speakers can speak on a variety of interesting things. So, put together a list of topics that will appeal to the various organizations or groups that you will be approaching.
Research Your Audience
Once you've been invited to speak at an event or meeting and have chosen a topic, consider the group. Find out all you can about your audience and their expectations. You'll need to know:
- WHO THEY ARE: Ask your contact to tell you as much possible about the group. Will it be mostly men or women? What is the age range and occupations of members? Where do they live? Why did they join?
- WHAT ARE THEIR INTERESTS OR CONCERNS: When speaking to young mothers your speech should be much different than when it is given to senior citizens. Take into account what the group has in common.
- WHY ARE YOU SPEAKING: Is the group hoping you'll address something in particular? What do they already know about the topic?
- FORMAT: Does the group expect a lecture-type format or a multi-media presentation? Will there be audience interaction? Question and answer time at the end?
- TIME: How long are you expected to speak? Should there be a break mid-way through the presentation?
- LOCATION: In what type of room will the meeting be held - a classroom, lecture hall, auditorium? Will you have access to a computer and projection system or an overhead projector? Will there be a microphone? How will seating be arranged?
Read more in Part 3 -- How to Prepare to Speak at a Community Event