When you think of the phrase “public speaking” what is your gut reaction? Does it make you a little scared or apprehensive? Does it bring to mind a room filled with people with you in the front sweating nervously? Or does a rush of adrenaline surge through you? Does the thought of having that much influence on a group of people seem exciting? Your feelings about public speaking could resemble any of these examples. Public speaking does not have to be scary at all. You would be amazed at how much fun it is. You will also be amazed at how good you will become at it.
Guess what? We grow in life by moving out of our comfort zone and picking up new skills. You are doing that right now by going through chiropractic school. Just think of how you felt that first day of school, and now look at you! Your adjusting, learning and communication skills are growing each day because you are working at them.
Public speaking is a skill just like anything else. The key is to initially perform your speaking in arenas that are safe, fun and interesting to you. I am going to give you ideas on how to get yourself more comfortable with speaking to others, whether it be one on one or to a group.
To Improve Your Public Speaking Skills:
1. Participate in study groups in school or become a peer tutor.
The versatility you begin to develop in your communication helps you prepare for dealing with patients and effectively speaking to small and large groups of people when they ask questions.
2. Join technique clubs and eventually become an officer in the club.
3. Look for leadership roles in student government or other school activities.
4. Observe and talk with your instructors.
5. Use your student clinic experience as a roadmap for your practice life.
Even when you start treating outpatients, it is done under the watchful eyes of clinicians whose job will be to make sure you are performing your best. As you work with people, you learn how to explain information efficiently and effectively. Use the knowledge that these clinicians have gained to polish your delivery and hone your speaking skills.
I know it seems like a lot of work, but anything in life that is worth having always is. Public speaking can be as easy and fun as you want it to be, and it will help you be an effective communicator and chiropractor.