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Medical Practice Business And Marketing Articles

Article #17 - Nov. 2010

“How To Promote Yourself By Word
Of Mouth... Yours”

“By inflection you can say much more than your words do.”
---Malcolm S. Forbes

Do you do public speaking?  Perhaps, you are sometimes asked to teach a class relating to healthcare or medicine.  Or, make you give a public speaking talk at the local Kiwanis Club meeting.

Most physicians during their career have many opportunities for public speaking activities before a live audience.  Some delight in that process, while others fulfill their speaking options haphazardly by standing up during the medical staff meeting at the hospital and voicing their opinion about whether to initiate a new bylaw into the medical staff protocol. 

Almost all people, regardless of age, education, or celebrity status know what “stage fright” or fear of public speaking means.

Although some doctors and other professional healthcare providers respond to public speaking jobs before an audience instantaneously, most are rather hesitant to agree to do a public speaking presentation for many reasons, commonly don’t have time, fear of making a fool out of themselves, don’t have topics to speak about, have difficulty organizing a speech,
among others. 

Without a doubt, giving a speech or presentation in a formal manner, creates for you considerably more publicity, promotional advertising, positional status, and reputation in one hour than months of behind the scenes efforts. 

It’s acutely personal between you and every person in the audience.  And, you have the perfect opportunity, more than any other effort I can think of, to influence people’s thoughts about your personal dedication to deliver top medical care to them whether it is in the form of a “speech full of words and information,” or in an office visit.

When you understand that the process of making a public speaking presentation in front of any audience in your community, as well as out in the world anywhere, gives you unending power and prestige, which leads to more success in your medical practice business, then you will automatically overcome any stage fright you will ever feel.  Sounds easy… right? 

The solution to speaking in front of groups of people is the same as going through the desensitization treatment for pollen allergies.  You start with small groups of people you already know and gradually speak to larger
groups over time.  You’ll find it easier and easier to speak in front of
larger audiences. 

You lose the public speaking fear factor to a huge degree because you quickly improve your public speaking and presentation skills (builds your confidence) for the speech in order to get as much information out to the audience in the shortest time allowed. 

When you are knowledgeable about your topic, you are confident enough in public speaking to almost go without notes or prompts.  However, experts in public speaking advise having a checklist of important points to make during your talk. 

It can be in the form of slides, teleprompters, or handwritten notes in front of you.  You might like to know that in spite of one’s high regard for President Obama’s eloquent speeches, he never appears in public, or anywhere, to speak without a teleprompter present, even in a news conference with reporters.  The only single exception is when he moves out into a crowd to shake hands and make comments.

Sure-Fire Ways To Begin Your Public Speaking Presentation With Maximum Impact...

Now, imagine yourself standing up there on the stage.  You’ve just been introduced.  At that second in time, you are wondering, “Why did I ever agree to do this?  I must be masochistic.”  The critical issue is what you do next.  And, that is right at the same instant you are thinking, “Damn, I’ve forgotten everything I was going to say.” 

It’s the exact time when you must rapidly and powerfully get your audience’s complete attention.  If you believe that first impressions count, then this is the time you have to make your move, because there isn’t enough time to pray, or change your sweaty shirt or blouse.

The tone, ambiance, body language, and well-spoken opening words set the pace of your presentation.  You want to draw the audience
attention immediately. 

Remember, that every person in the audience at that moment is talking or thinking mentally along their own mental agenda.  Your job is to dislodge, or even jerk every person out of their conscious mental path they are on, so they are mentally and consciously open minded to listen to you.

Interrupting their thought pattern (the internal silent mental conversation that person is already having with them self, when you walk up to them) is the hook you use to get attention. Of course, a gunshot would do the same thing.  But, you are empowered to do it, while using a silencer.

1.   Use A Thought Provoking Question

Like, you would say to an audience of healthcare personnel, “Did you know everyone in this room faces death from a hip fracture?”  Or, “Are you aware everyone in this room has some significant contact with cancer which affects them in some way?”  It allows you a moment to gather your thoughts and head towards the “hot buttons” of your audience.  A provocative question works every time.

2.   Use Story Telling

Most people remember a story far longer than facts, statistics, and information.  Starting out with a story containing the theme and essence of the topic of the presentation forces people to listen—a natural instinct down through time and history.  People love stories.  Make the
story personal. 

3.   Use A Direct Question

Pick out a person in the front row that you know by first name.  Jerry, let me present you with a question to answer.  “Do you have a concern about the issue of abortion?”  Whatever Jerry answers, enables you to then go on to present the pro and con issues about the topic being presented. The question leads into the presentation of your talk. 

It gives you a chance to set the tone of the presentation, and allows you to present your compelling evidence for your point of view.  You, can “feel” how the audience would like you to proceed.

4. Create An Exercise

It creates a physical exercise that the whole audience participates in. Often, the late afternoon speaker is the one who finds this process quite helpful.  By then, the audience is getting bored, sleepy, preoccupied, gluteus numbness, and lack concentration. 

In one conference I attended, the speaker had everyone learning the true secret of relaxation by having everyone stretch out their arms and legs in certain postures then move their heads in certain awkward positions while changing their arm and leg positions over a good 5 minutes time.  It did awaken my mind and consciousness, as well as contribute to my aching muscles for the next three days.

5.   Use a Controversial Statement

By doing this you will face some resentment or jeers from the audience. Your job is then to recruit them back into the topic as you continue... win them back over. 

With a live audience, it’s much more problematic and potentially risky because certain highly argumentative topics bring out more than usual emotional responses.  Making such statements online, on radio and TV, or in articles makes you less accessible to the readers and listeners who can only reply from a distance.

6.   Use An Outlandish Visual Presentation

I remember attending a lecture about skin lesions.  While moving from one slide photo of a dangerous skin lesion to another on real people, suddenly a slide on the screen showed a naked shapely woman riding a bicycle along a path.  Of course, her positioning in the photo protected her private components from view. 

The medical audience remained very alert and attentive awaiting another surprise photo after that.  The speaker pretended that he didn’t know where that slide came from, like you or I might have done.

Rules for public speaking

A.  Avoid boring your audience.  (Be Creative)

  • Use humor when appropriate but only if you are
    adept at using humor.

  • Use pauses in your speaking which causes people
    to wonder why, and pay closer attention.

  • Have a box of colored (with your logo or promotion
    on them) T-shirts rolled up so you can stop and
    throw them out into the audience at some time
    in your presentation.

  • Show the audience how you escape from a
    straight-jacket by demonstrating how it's done.

  • Put on a weird hat while you are speaking.

  • Walk down into the audience while speaking—
    ask people along the isles questions to get
    their interaction.

B.  Avoid offending your audience

  • Although profanity is in common use everywhere, don’t
    use any, even generic profanity in your speech.

  • Most speakers avoid using religious, political, and
    racial comparisons.

  • Don’t ever agree to give a public speaking presentation,
    then drop out of the agreement.

  • Begin promptly at the scheduled time... don’t be late.

  • Allow time for questions and answers after the speech. 
    Have the audience write down their questions, a
    way of making them interactive with you.

  • Smart to provide the audience with handouts, brochures,
    or related reports on the topic.

  • Avoid wandering away from your topic because of 
    distractions... unless you use the distraction to wake-up
    your audience.

  • Don’t fabricate answers to questions you don’t know the
    answer to.  Admit you don’t know and agree to get the
    person’s name and email so you can send them the
    answer promptly.

C.  Proper preparation for public speaking

  • Extensively research your speaking topic.  Being able to
    answer unexpected questions truthfully increases your
    credibility and reliability.

  • When using power point slides or screen images to
    emphasize your primary important messages or
    lessons to the audience...

         ---never use more than 20 slides in a 45 minute talk.

         ---on the screen, never have more than 3 or 4 lines
             to be read.

         ---avoid turning to screen and reading your own
             slides to the audience (means you don't know
             your subject well).

  • Create an outline on paper, not in your head, of every
    point you need to make.  Prioritize them.  Then fill in
    content, evidence, or statistics that support each point.

  • Good speakers practice their speech in front of a mirror
    several times—where you can see your body language,
    expressions, and weak points of the talk. Then correct
    those problems that make them look awkward.

  • Many speakers record their speech beforehand, listen to
    the recording and make corrections where needed.

  • Make every effort to avoid speaking fast, because many will
    not hear all you said.  It results in hands going up to
    ask questions and interruptions of your talk.

  • Speak in a lower speech voice tone as it adds authority
    to your message.  When speakers become excited,
    insecure, and lose composure, their voice tone goes
    higher... sometimes soprano. 

Summarizing—Following the above steps and advice to a reasonable degree will give you the personal confidence to speak in front of any size group no matter what the composition of the group is. 

Public speaking is one area of promotion many doctors and healthcare professionals avoid at their peril.  The ideas I have written about above I learned from public speaking experts, Peter Fogle, Tom Antion, and others. 

The author, Curt Graham, is a highly experienced business and marketing expert, copywriter, and entrepreneur who has been published in various media over 50 years while in medical practice and after.
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© 2004-2011, Curt Graham M.D., All rights reserved.

     handwritten signature of Dr. Graham

Article #17A


photo Dan kenney riding on a bull

"Two Sword-In-The-Stone Secrets"

How To Make More Money Than Ever When Others
Are Stymied And Struggling

By Dan S. Kennedy

My newest book, No B.S. Wealth Attraction In The New Economy is all about making yourself magnetic to money, in part via different approaches to marketing. Here’s some insight into that process…

Last year I bought a 1972 AMC Javelin. I already own a ’63 Lincoln Town Car convertible. I don’t have them as investments or to show; just to drive around during the summer. I didn’t need two summer cars. In fact, I had to rent a garage for the second one.  Then this year, I bought Dean Martin’s 1986 Rolls-Royce, which has only 19,000 miles on it and is nearly showroom new.

        It’s not that I haven’t been affected by the recession and by anticipation of economic damage to come from the  President’s policies (mis-guided or sinister – your choice)  and the big tax target he has painted on my chest. There are some things I might have bought that I stopped myself from buying precisely because of those realities. But I bought these because I
wanted them

What does this have to do with you, since you don’t deal in classic cars? Plenty. It reveals two “sword in the stone secrets” of marketing and selling in any circumstances, but especially in tough times. You may recall the Arthurian legend, or at least the Disney version: mighty knights could not pull the sword from the stone with muscle and brawn; only one young, much less muscular boy pure of heart and strong of mind could command the sword.

         If you were prospering by “pushing” products and services on anybody breathing during the boom, you’ve probably now found that muscle doesn’t matter. Something different is required, for success with advertising, marketing selling; for attraction of prospects, customers, clients.

A fact about money. Whatever money is in circulation is always in motion, moving constantly from one person to another like bees flitting flower to flower, attracted not by happenstance but for definitive reasons that can be managed. At the moment, there is, admittedly, money withdrawn. Some is sitting on the sidelines; private capital on strike; money hiding in what one of my clients, a business coach to 4,000 financial advisors, calls “coffee
can portfolios.”

             Middle class spending reduced by restricted access to credit. Affluent spending reigned in as much by feeling need to show respect for others’ recession as by financial reality. So yes, there is a little less money in motion. But there is also a lot less competition for it. Tens of thousands of retail stores closed in 09, and that is continuing this year.  Thousands if not tens of thousands of real estate agents, insurance salespeople, etc. have gone into hibernation or off ledges.

             An even bigger number in every business category just aren’t trying.
They believe effort or investment; advertising, marketing, promoting futile, because they deny the reality of money in motion, and the few times they’ve tried recently, they haven’t been able to budge the sword in the stone. So there are orphaned customers, neglected prospects, discouraged
and listless salespeople, foolish business owners stopping all outreach to try waiting out a New Economy evolving. Thus, there is actually more money in motion for you than anytime in over a decade. So, here are the two secrets you need: 

#1: No matter what, each and every individual will buy when what is offered is perfectly, precisely aligned with his greatest, highest, burning brightest personal interest, desire or need. The individual in this situation will buy without price resistance or hesitation. 

#2: To prosper, you need only (a) be certain you aren’t wasting time on the bottom 20% who really can NOT buy anything but bread crusts and water, and (b) align whatever you sell with someone’s greatest, highest, burning brightest personal interest and invest in presenting your business
to individuals for whom it is aligned with their
greatest interest. 

And, a bonus #3: there is somebody whose highest personal interest can match what you sell. Plenty of such somebodies.

            In order to be a good prospect, by my criteria, a person must have a need or desire for which he is profoundly and urgently interested in – preferably seeking – an answer to, and must have the financial ability to buy my answer to it, at my price. I have other criteria specific to my businesses and you should have other criteria specific to your business. But this is universal, foundational criteria.

             Important note: without great clarity about the ‘who’ you want as prospect or customer, you are playing “blind archery”, a fool’s game.

    This is why I bought the $30,000.00 Javelin and $70,000.00 Rolls-Royce but talked myself out of an $8,000.00 closet remodeling project we actually needed in one of our homes.

    However, at the Home Show, had a very astute closet remodeling company owner or sales professional stopped yakking about their design awards, quality wood, guarantees, and deals and discovered that a very important wedding anniversary was coming up and talked about surprising my wife with something unexpected inside a box wrapped to look like another piece of jewelry, there would have been a closet bought, without a
second thought! 

             If I were running the closet company, I’d get lists of affluent neighborhood residents, and busy doctors and other affluent professionals,  having spouse’s birthdays or wedding anniversaries each month and send them persuasive sales letters about ‘the gift she’ll appreciate every day.  Flowers perish. Fine jewelry worn occasionally, hidden away most of the time. But this gift….’  (Yes, such lists are available.) 

             All this requires making yourself a much more sophisticated marketer. A choice. But know this, for the foreseeable future, trying to dislodge that sword with brute force won’t work. I’m all for work. But the cliché is true now more than ever: working  harder won’t get much. Working smarter is essential. The smart goal is perfect alignment of what you market or sell, probably re-positioned and more creatively presented, with the passionate, urgent interest of a group of reachable prospects, to the exclusion of all others. In other words, be about something really meaningful to somebody, not about “stuff”; your product, your service.


The WHY PEOPLE FAIL articles are provided by Dan S. Kennedy, serial
entrepreneur, from-scratch multi-millionaire, speaker, consultant, coach,

Author of over 13 books including the No B.S. series (, and
editor of The No B.S. Marketing Letter.  WE HAVE

a 2-Month Free Membership in Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle,

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masonic emblembright colored American flag  Curt Graham, M.D.
   2404 Mason Ave.  Las Vegas, NV 89102
    E-mail = cgmdrx(at)
      © 2004 - 2015 Curtis Graham, M.D.,  All Rights Reserved.