How many times have you poured your heart and soul into preparing to present a medical device to a group of doctors, only to realize that you have neglected to plan one of the most important parts – the opening. The very beginning and the very end of your medical presentation are moments when you must be firm and interesting. While the bulk of your talk may have to drift into details that might be a little technical, the beginning and end should not. Here are four guidelines you can follow to give your medical presentation an engaging kick start.
Start on time
The importance of punctuality cannot be overstated. When doctors have come to listen to a presentation about your medical device, you owe it to your audience to at least meet them there. Since accidents happen, make sure you arrive well ahead of time. You have spent dozens of hours in preparation for your presentation, so you also owe it to yourself to be on time. They have the prerogative of being late. You don’t.
Establish emotional connection
You are speaking to people, not robots, so keep in mind that you should connect with them on a somewhat personal level. Convince the audience that what you have to offer them is information which they can use to offer medical care to their patients, save them time in the OR, or will drive additional revenues to their practice. Once you have that emotional connection, your audience can more easily absorb what you have to say. One of the ways to establish an emotional connection is to tell a story about the way your device helped a specific patient.
Immediately establish relevance
What is so important about the device you are presenting? Since you know what it is all about from back to front, you might assume that by going through the powerpoint presentation itself, you are establishing relevance. While this is the case, you are not communicating that relevance effectively. To keep the doctor’s attention and help them retain what they are about to learn, you should tell them why it is so important.
The start of your presentation should include an attention grabber. There are a number of ways you can turn all heads toward you.
• Ask a question
• Tell a story
• Show a video
• Just say hello and state your purpose
You can introduce yourself either before or after the attention getter. If you start off with a question, such as ‘How many of you use mobile phones to research new medical treatments?’ or ‘How many of you learned about a new medical device or treatment from a patient?’ You are immediately including the audience. They will participate by raising or not raising their hands, which causes their focus to turn to you. A question is a way that many people like to start off an essay, but in a live presentation you have so many other options. You can show a relevant clip or graphic that amuses your listeners and puts them in a good mood. At the very least, you can use your well-projected personal introduction as an attention getter.
As long as you use all or some of the above four pointers to start off, you will be better prepared for the rest of your presentation. Also make sure that you have extra openers in mind, just in case of technical difficulties or your own forgetfulness.
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