Why Public Speaking is Important for Medical Practitioners

Knowing how to speak well and communicate clearly are necessary characteristics for all of us, whatever our job or field of activity. However, some areas have certain specificities when it comes to public speaking, so for certain professions, speaking well is crucial and directly influences performance and coexistence with others.  

With this in mind, I chose a very important topic: public speaking in medicine! 

This subject is still somewhat taboo, being left aside both in the medical field and in communication. If you are a healthcare professional, it is worth thinking about the subject and following the tips we will give below.

Why should healthcare professionals learn to speak well?

Why should healthcare professionals learn to speak well

The medicine course is still considered one of the most difficult, both for admission to college and during periods. Subjects vary slightly from college to college, but even today, institutions that offer subjects in the field of communication are rare. And this is extremely worrying, as the way a person is treated can even influence their recovery process.

So, why should healthcare professionals learn to speak well?

Well, we can answer this question in several ways, as there are many reasons why public speaking skills are so important for doctors. To begin with, we list two moments in which knowing how to speak well is essential:

To continue our conversation, we will talk about each of these moments, giving some tips to improve communication. 

Tips for talking better with patients and their families

Tips for talking better with patients and their families

One of the biggest complaints regarding doctors is the way they are treated in hospitals and clinics, especially public ones. Many health professionals are unable to relate in a pleasant way with patients and this may be a result of the lack of attention that courses pay to communication subjects.

Public speaking for doctors – especially that specific to dialogues with patients and family members – has very unique characteristics, as the context is completely different from a public presentation, for example.

Before focusing on our tips, it is essential to keep in mind that people are more vulnerable when they seek a doctor, both physically and emotionally. 

Therefore, it is worth investing in respect and care when talking to people. Based on this care and respect for the pain of others, it is important to be aware of other tips:

1. Use accessible language

The medical world is full of jargon and niche expressions, isn’t it? But, when talking to a patient or their family members, try to be as non-technical as possible, speaking in an accessible and direct way.

Patient profiles vary greatly, even more so when it comes to a public hospital. Therefore, assume that the other person does not know specific terms from the medical field and translate these expressions.

This way, you prevent the patient from receiving the wrong treatment, for example, or even from not understanding what is wrong with their health. Remember: the person most interested in this is your patient! It’s not fair to explain it in an inaccessible way.

2. Be friendly

Yes, we know that the doctors’ routine is quite stressful and that there are days when maintaining a good mood is very difficult. Even so, try to be as friendly and polite as possible, from the moment you greet the patient until you say goodbye.When you greet your patient politely, you awaken empathy in them. And this makes him open up to you, telling you about his symptoms more honestly. In the end, everyone wins!

3. Be careful when giving bad news

The news that you, health professionals, have to give is not always good. Over time, you end up doing this mechanically, which can be quite traumatic for the patient’s family.

Imagine the most serious situation: your patient is sick and you have to tell the family about it. You deal with moments like this practically every day, but still, try to deliver this difficult news with respect, showing that you care. Simple care can make all the difference at this delicate time.

Tips for giving good presentations and talks

To give good presentations in public, it is worth, first of all, knowing your audience. If this audience is not just doctors and professionals in the field, be careful not to be too technical and be very attentive to language.

Try to speak clearly and interestingly. Remember: people tend to stop paying attention after the first 15 minutes of a presentation. Therefore, try to gain your audience’s attention from the beginning.

Pay attention to your posture, your voice and your expressions! Communication is not just done through speech. When you communicate with someone, you are using your entire body to do so. 

So you need to be careful, maintaining good posture, using an adequate volume of voice and a rhythm that is accessible to the audience. As for expressions, try to be as natural as possible, ensuring that your expression is consistent with what you are saying. 

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