Speaking Engagement Success 5/5 (37)

I want your speaking engagement to be a huge success! What makes an event productive? The single most important measure is – how many new patients did the event generate? Today we’ll focus on how to create that BUZZ!

Find it, Schedule it and Make it Memorable

In prior blogs, I listed a number of organizations that will be happy to have you spend an hour educating and entertaining their members. Now let’s focus on the structure of that event.

Sugar Ray Leonard is regarded as one of the legendary boxers of all time.  He is credited with saying “the key to winning a boxing match is to win the beginning and the end of each round since that’s what the judges and audience remember.”  When it comes to capturing an audience, the same thing is true.

Control your Environment
Organizations that invite you to talk are used to these types of presentations….Translation: They’re used to being bored, but it’s better than watching Daytime TV!  In order to be memorable, you have to shake things up! Set the tone right from the beginning by changing the seating arrangement. Arrive early and if the chairs are in nice neat rows, put them into 2 half circles or some other configuration. The idea is to change the audience’s emotional experience. We buy with emotions, then, use logic to justify the decision. Speaking engagements let you appeal to both aspects of the audience. Changing the “familiar” stimulates emotions and prepares them for some different logic!


Dispense with the formal, stuffy introductions. Truly confident people do not spend time listing their credentials. Instead, tell an amusing, dramatic or touching story that draws the listener in and focuses their attention while they’re filling out your sign-in form. Let them know that in order to receive credit for the presentation you need ALL of the information filled in. When the clipboard makes it through the crowd I take a look at it so I can call people by their names.


Once you have their attention, spend 15-20 minutes educating them about a particular point of interest. Be careful not to slip into ‘scientific mode’ and speak too technically for your audience. Watch their eyes and head movement. You’ll be able to see at what point you lose them. Even the best speakers lose their audience so don’t feel bad. It just means its time to change it up.


Now is the time to ask for a couple volunteers. As the volunteers walk up, explain that you will be conducting a test of their body’s energy system, called Meridians. Keep this explanation simple and quick. As you do the test and they see the results on the big screen you’ve set up, you can explain it further. At this point, you can talk about how Qi works in the body, how it can be measured, corrected and what ailments it can help. Explain that the volunteers will be getting a print out of their test results and ask for a show of hands who would like to have the screening done. (Have your assistants quietly go around and schedule appointments at that time.) Continue with your 2nd screening, making sure to discuss the results in very general terms in front of the whole audience. Each volunteer should have a printed report to take back to their seat.


The audience now knows you; they’re familiar with your style and your testing procedure. You have discussed some of the treatment options and services you provide.  You’ve even scheduled some appointments. Now it’s time to close with a strong persuasive case study! Share with them an anonymous story about a patient that you helped. Someone who had tried everything the MD’s told her and was still suffering. Discuss her PIE score and the process you went through to help her recover! People want to believe that you can help them, they’re just afraid of getting their hopes up and being disappointed! Give them something to believe in, then thank them for their time and let them know you’ll be available to answer any questions. (Your assistants can lead the audience in applause.)

Like Sugar Ray Leonard said: “…in the end, it’s all about entertaining the audience. If you can do that better than anyone else, you will be the Champion!”

Next week we’ll break down the Health Fair and Trade Show experience! A practitioner I coached took these concepts and in one Saturday performed 120 screenings and scheduled 30 appointments resulting in 20 new patients! I’ll tell you how she did it!

For more tips, follow me on Twitter: @acupromoter

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Alan Gifford MS, Practice Coach

For 20 years, Alan worked in the corporate world as a director of sales and marketing. He made a career change in 2003, returning to complete his Masters degree in Exercise and Wellness from Arizona State University. As a marketer and Exercise Physiologist, Alan spent the next four years working with Healthcare practitioners to increase patient volume, satisfaction and retention. He now works directly with clients of Miridia Technology to promote their practice and patient experience. In addition to English, he is fluent in Spanish and assists in developing our Latin-market presence.

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