One of the best parts about working at a company committed to solving healthcare’s toughest challenges is that we’re often tackling a problem that’s never been addressed before. Ever. Anywhere.
To keep our team nimble and ready for anything, we prioritize education and skill development:
- We build time in to our FTE allocation to learn about new tools and technologies as they come onto the market.
- We provide internal training to each other to keep everyone’s skills sharp.
- We have a development fund for team members to use each year to grow their role, or their industry or personal knowledge. Uses include personal coaching, seminars, books, college courses, MBAs and more. Once individuals use the funds, they share their newly acquired knowledge with the team.
During a recent summit, we had a breakout session resulting from a team member’s personal development education related to public speaking. The team member spent her 2018 fund on improving her public speaking skills through a course at Second City improv in Chicago. Not shocking, but worth pointing out, public speaking is something applicable to all client-facing roles across industries and is something that everyone can learn to improve.
The next time you give a speech or presentation, think about these best practices:
- Every speech should begin with the why. Make sure to establish WHY are you talking about this topic and WHY are you the one who has the authority/credibility to be talking about it.
- Set the tone for your audience with your body language and attitude. If you want them to be engaged, keep it positive and interactive. Listen to your audience and respond with humor and honesty.
- Remember that there will always be people you cannot win over, no matter how hard you try. Practice your speech and be confident that you know your stuff. Don’t let a single person throw you off your game.
At Prominence, we’re always working to improve our skills to do better work for you. Do you have a tough problem you need help solving? We’ve got the skills to help. Contact us here.
How To Practice
Leaning about public speaking is good, but practicing is better. In order to continue to grow personally and professionally we need to practice what we are not good at. Whether it’s public speaking, creative writing, or data visualization, think about what skills you want to improve and keep practicing!
We took the principles from the improv course and asked our teams to participate in a fun activity to underscore the importance of creativity, humor and listening to your audience.
- Everyone takes a post it and writes down a noun. A reminder that a noun is a person, place or thing.
- Pick 2 words out at random and work together to build a continuous story about these two words.
- Go around the circle, each person will add a sentence to the story. The next person has to continue the story, obviously with the goal of making the story make sense around the 2 selected words.
- The goal is for the story to make sense.
- This game helps people engage in listening and quick thinking.
- You can apply creativity and humor to make the story engaging and the activity fun.
To wrap up the breakout, we gave the team a challenge and parting words of wisdom. Keep practicing! This time listen to yourself and identify your habits and compare them to public speaking best practices.
- Using the voice memo app on your phone, record yourself speaking for ten minutes for 3-7 days in a row.
- Talk about anything you want. Spend 10 minutes talking about your favorite book. Narrate your dinner making process. Try recording your side of a conference or customer call.
- This exercise is for you and you alone. It’s purely meant to help you identify your speaking habits and areas you’d like to improve.
We can all benefit from being better public speakers, have you practiced recently?