The many things I have learned from being a healthcare keynote speaker are not totally unique to these professionals, however this group has a unique passion, professionalism and drive. As an outsider with no medical background, I am constantly impressed and honored to be selected to present at healthcare events.
This group of professionals focused on patients, staff, billing, insurance, practice management, change management, burnout, wellness, life/death and much more. Add to this, a personal life, and you have the makings of a highly stressful job.
There is always an approach I take when preparing and customizing a presentation. I research, study, speak with the meeting planners that are bringing me in. I understand that a “canned” presentation does not go over well. Plus, if I can deliver high content material that is fun, educational and packed with actionable takeaways, then there is a much better chance that participants will be engaged. And I feel that I am reaching them and helping both professionally and personally.
What works for healthcare keynote speakers?
Connecting with the Audience Emotionally
I want to connect with you emotionally. When this is achieved, the odds of you retaining more information increases. Relating to the “human element” means we must locate the pain points; what is not working well, what needs attention and, of course, offer up ways to fix these issues.
According to AAPC, the world’s largest training and credentialing organization for the business of healthcare, they suggest you should:
- Set the tone. Be formal but friendly. If you’re too informal, you’ll come off as unprofessional; and if you’re too formal, you’ll come off as arrogant and unapproachable.
- Show respect. These are your peers; do not talk down to them or insult their intelligence.
I agree. There are times in my presentations for laughter, which allows folks to relax, compartmentalize information and breathe. This is necessary as my keynotes are informative, but not a lecture. I want you to feel whatever you feel, but I never want you to feel that I am being too informal or talking down to you. My mindset is that every participant is as smart or smarter than I am. This helps keep me on my game and focused on them, not me.
Staffing, more staffing and DEI
There are staffing shortage in many professions and healthcare is near the top. Front office personal can be attracted by offering a good wage and training as they are often the face of the practice, office or organization. It’s more challenging to find, hire and retain staff that bring with them critical skills needed to assist in diagnosing, counseling and treating patients. DEI is top of mind and more than just the topic of the day. It’s important to staff of all ages, but especially Gen Z and Millennials.
I remind participants that the key to attracting and retaining talent is to listen well during interviews. Place the needs of the candidate first while always remembering that they need to ‘have the skills” and get along well with others. Additionally, healthcare workers in all positions love the sharing of information, ideas and knowledge. I know this because they have repeated this over and over during Q&As. Some organizations and practices do a great job. Others are lagging behind and the frustration can be seen in faces and in the tone of bitterness, defeat and even anger from employees. It’s a tough profession that is rewarding, challenging and packed with emotions, burnout and fatigue.
The last few years have been tremendously difficult for healthcare workers. I remember this every minute I am presenting and make sure I mention this several times while also giving an emotional “air hug” to them for being so dedicated and strong. Few have ever said it better then Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Why are you here?
Medical professionals need to be reminded from time to time that they choose healthcare as a profession. Enter Scott! That’s another role of a keynote, in order to remind participants why they are at the conference. What brought them to register? Why did the pick the field they are in?
In many cases it can be 10, 20, 30+ years ago that important decisions came together propelling them into the role they have today. I need them to picture this. I want them to remember why they chose to do what they do. It requires going back to a younger version of ourselves, someone who is different than present us.
The reasons include reconnecting to your foundation and the reason behind decisions made. Giving yourself a much-deserved pat of the back for accomplishing your goals, as it has most likely been a while since you did so. Patients – they are the reason. Fixing them, repairing them, healing them, assisting in their recovery and even saving lives.
It’s easy for me to present a keynote in front of 500+ people. I prepare; I work hard; I make sure that when I am introduced that I am ready. Equally important, I make sure that participants see, feel and hear that this is about them, their lives professionally and personally. That’s my role.
Healthcare is one of those professions that gives a lot and often gets to hear the results of their actions. It is so very much needed, rewarding, and filled with victories small and large.
I cannot do what they do as I do not have the training, nor the stomach. I’m forever grateful that healthcare professionals do!
You can learn more at www.scottlesnick.com