As a professional in your industry, you may be asked to speak in public during your dental career. While this may seem unnecessary, public speaking allows you to connect with others in your field, share your knowledge, and more.
Even if you haven't thought about public speaking, it's a great skill to have, as you directly interact with patients on a daily basis.
Below, we’ll discuss the importance of public speaking and how to get started honing this skill.
Why Is Public Speaking Important for Dentists?
While dentistry is the main aspect of your career, you also need to be able to successfully work with people on a daily basis. Learning and practicing the skill of public speaking can help with this in a number of ways, including:
- Tone of voice. Dentists need to be personable and collected, while simultaneously maintaining authority. An effective balance of these can create a positive environment for your staff and patients.
- Personal connections. By practicing public speaking, you can feel much more comfortable when you need to talk to and calm a patient who's anxious, for example. You’ll be able to quickly assess the situation and help in any way you can.
- Confidence. When your patients know you feel confident in your work, they’re more likely to trust you as well. By practicing public speaking, you can gain confidence and improve your credibility among patients.
The importance of public speaking and all the skills it can help you with shouldn't be ignored. You never know when the opportunity to speak in public may arise or when you can use your new skills to help patients.
Now that you know why it’s important, here are five tips to consider, along with some resources that can help you effectively practice public speaking.
1. Record Yourself Speaking
People look and sound different to others than they do to themselves. In order for you to see what you look and sound like, you should record and watch yourself speaking to get a better understanding of your public speaking strengths and weaknesses.
If you have a unique mannerism, for example, you might not even notice it until you watch yourself speaking. A recording can be a valuable way to assess your current public speaking skill level and make adjustments.
2. Listen to Feedback From Your Employees
Your employees are a great source of information when it comes to how well you speak to and engage with others. They may notice things that you wouldn't think about or hear things you would otherwise miss.
You're most likely focused on the patient, and not as much on the delivery of the information you’re providing to them, so it’s important to ask your employees for honest feedback. They will likely be able to provide you with some great suggestions for areas of opportunity in your daily interactions.
3. Try to Be More Personable
Even though you're a professional, you don't have to be stilted or overly formal in your delivery. When you talk to patients or when you speak to a crowd, a warm and friendly presence is likely going to have a positive impact.
People want to be able to relate to you and what you have to say. Especially for patients who are nervous about seeing the dentist or if you’re delivering dense material during a speech, a personable demeanor can help people feel more comfortable.
4. Use Visual Aids
Public speaking isn't just about the words you say — it's also about the overall experience you give to your audience. Oftentimes, visual aids can help you improve a speech.
For example, before and after pictures can show the results of a procedure that you’re discussing or explain why a particular procedure is necessary. If a patient doesn't understand why they should have a procedure done, they may just choose to avoid doing it, especially if they're not experiencing discomfort.
5. Be Present While Speaking
It's understandable that you might want to have some notes, especially if you're making a longer presentation or talking to a big group of people, but it’s important to resist the urge to directly read anything while speaking.
Reading from notes or cards while you're speaking can come across as distant or seem too planned, causing your audience to feel like you're talking at them instead of having a conversation with them.
Fortunately, you can avoid that by speaking to your audience and asking questions. By having a two-way conversation, you can show your audience that you’re engaged with them and the subject matter.
Using Meaningful Public Speaking Tips to Grow Your Patient List
As you know, patients are the most crucial part of your dental practice, so it’s important to treat them with care and respect — but getting them in your practice in the first place can be difficult.
At face value, honing in on your public speaking skills may seem irrelevant to your day-to-day operations. But, becoming a better public speaker who can engage with audiences, no matter the size, can help attract new patients to your practice.
Your current patients will appreciate the effort made in clearly and personably conveying their needs during their visit. This, in turn, can result in those patients spreading the word about the environment you cultivate at your practice and stem new patients.
Treloar & Heisel is here with tips to help you continuously grow your patient list, through strategies, including:
- Developing and targeting your target ideal patient type.
- Building your website presence.
- Maintaining a positive presence in your community.
Check out our free e-book on growing your dental patient list today to continue expanding your dental practice.
About Treloar & Heisel
Treloar & Heisel offers dental and medical professionals a comprehensive suite of financial products and services ranging from business and personal insurance to wealth management. We are proud to assist thousands of clients from residency to practice and through retirement. Our experienced teams deliver custom-tailored advice through an active local presence, while our strong national network ensures that clients experience the same high level of service throughout the country.