The world is changing, in good good ways. As we start the second half of 2013 it’s a perfect time for something new: coaching patients on becoming speaker/advocates.
Times have changed. When I started giving speeches four years ago I literally couldn’t get anyone to pay a cent to hear the voice of a patient. Now that’s changed – medicine understands that there’s genuine value in seeing things from the patient’s point of view, and gollllly, some of us can even give a pretty good speech, even if we don’t work in the industry! So as I said last winter, I’m finally making a living at it: it took three years, but I finally reached break-even.
That creates both a problem and an opportunity:
- The problem is that I’m now too expensive for a lot of events. (I’ve demonstrated my value, and I get full professional speaker fees.) (This is good; it means I get to sleep, not bounce checks anymore, etc.)
- The opportunity is that this creates an updraft, so to speak – a market for additional speakers, earlier in their trajectory, who can give a compelling speech that’s focused not just on their story, but on delivering value to the audience.
And that has led several patients to ask how I got started, so they can try too.
I’m happy to explain how I market myself. And taking a tip from Ted Eytan, I’ll mentor people via this blog, so others can benefit from the advice, and so we can discuss, to help future travelers too.
My next post will be the first in this new series. Let’s have fun!
The first few posts in the series:
- #1: Marketing yourself (with Randi Oster)
- #2: Understanding the industry
- #3: Q&A on Sales, with Trevor Torres
- #4: Cognitive dissonance
- #5: Knock it out of the park
- #6: What could be said that would make any difference?
- #7: 2011 post “Building a career as a public patient”
- #8: My way’s not the only way, but speaking skills matter.
- #9: Your website, with video
- #10: Take off your stupid badge.
- #11: Introducing ourselves (workshop begins!)
- #12: “Slaves of the Internet, Unite!” (NYTimes Sunday Review)
- #13: Strategic freebies
- #14: Core speech elements – “Data makes you credible. Stories make you memorable.”
- #15: The contract
- #16: Getting paid (being businesslike about cash flow)
- #17: “Your message did not fall on deaf ears.”
- #18: Client Honor Roll – great and valued business partners
- “The Big Ugly” meets Speaker Academy #19: What’s up with expense checks??
- #20: Message lessons from a video boot camp
- #21: Interview at Mayo with @Chimoose on the value of patient voices
- #22: Diary of an Invited Speaker
- #23: First, get into their world (presentation at CGT)
- #24: Friday: It’s #RebelJam15! Much to learn – and FREE!
- #25: “Being heard as possibility”: my talk at #RebelJam15
- #26: To hone your skills, eight great TED Talks
- #27: Impact speakers! Get the “Official TED Guide” to speaking
- #28: “It’s my job to be more interesting than your email” (@TedEytan)
- #29: The power of “consultative speaking”: keynote at Leapfrog Group’s annual meeting
The series continues, as time allows, in the category Speaker Academy.
Thank you for posting this and (in advance) for taking the time out of your schedule to coach us along publicly here. I look forward to the subsequent posts on this topic.
Anthony White says
I’m looking forward to hearing your wisdom.
Kelly Young says
Dave has been my friend and mentor in this patient advocate endeavor the past three years since we finally met in person. His schedule and mine have made it impossible to have long formal discussions, but I take any praise or constructive criticism from Dave to heart because it is usually so valuable. Except for occasionally when I can’t understand yet what he means. ;)
I can only travel to speak a few times per year because of health problems and family responsibilities. When I accepted the last invitation, I had to think long and hard. When I accept an invitation, I see an opportunity not as just something to add to my resume & make a few dollars, but more as an opportunity to make a difference. It means a lot to me.
Sooo.. since Dave had started this series, I studied it & put every thing I could into practice. I took notes – really. The result: I was confident those hundreds of young pharmacists and students were being offered a message that would make a difference to the patients they serve. And the organizers sounded extremely pleased and received very positive feedback about the talk.
Public speaking is something I’ve done for many years and have been comfortable with, but this work is *different* for me because the audience and/or environment are often unfamiliar. Using Dave’s advice is helping me prepare better. I don’t know if I’ll ever be as comfortable as Dave is to face large crowds & rock the world, but I know I’m making a difference. Thanks, Dave.
e-Patient Dave says
Kelly, somehow I only now saw this. Thanks SO much for this feedback. (Funny how we give each OTHER feedback, right? That’s how it works; that’s how our “stone soup” gets better and better.)
Knowing what a good and effective speaker you are, I’m especially happy that the advice to focus on the audience has been useful for you.
I’m thinking of adding another step to the process – calling back later to see if anyone has done anything specific and different as a result of a talk. THAT will be a heck of a selling point, a heck of a testimonial on how a talk truly added value for an audience.
e-Patient Dave says
You are just astounding, Kelly. It’s a thrill to know you, and I’m constantly stunned by the technical excellence and astounding content of your blog. Teach, teach, teach, teach. I wish Doc Tom Ferguson had lived long enough to know you and your work.