I find being in the limelight really difficult. I recall as a child crying at my own birthday parties when all the other children sang happy birthday to me. To this day it’s the one thing about my birthday that I hate. So as you may imagine, standing up lecturing to a room full of professionals is not on my list of favorite things to do.
But when it comes to veterinary rehabilitation, my passion for the field has helped me to overcome my fears. I realized that lecturing was something I had to do and, having pushed myself, I now see the tremendous benefits:
Educating Veterinary Professionals is the First Step in Growing my Practice and our Field Generally
Vet schools’ education on veterinary rehabilitation is limited, which means that vets’ knowledge on the subject is thin, unless they proactively seek it. By educating them on what we offer and the benefits of our work, we increase their awareness and our potential relationships and referrals.
Look around in your area and see if there is anyone in your field lecturing and educating. Don’t sit back and wait for someone else to do it. It’s your time to shine!
Lecturing Improves my Knowledge
Creating a lecture entails loads of research. One has to examine all the studies on a topic, often including those that pertain to humans. After lecturing on a specific topic, I really feel I have a handle on that topic. This is great for my own personal development and knowledge, and can be fed back into my practice.
Lecturing Establishes my Personal Brand
Each and every one of us, whether we own a practice or are employed by one, has our own personal brand. In this age of social media and online presence, this is simply a reality, even if you choose to ignore it. Those that embrace social media branding see no conflict between who they are and how they brand themselves; branding can be authentic and real. It puts you ‘out there’, building a following that strengthens relationships between you and pet owners. By being present regularly, with similarly themed messages, you become known in your field and gain referrals.
Really, a social media presence is an essential component of marketing for today’s veterinary rehab practice.
Lecturing Develops Networks and Builds Friendships
Conferences and continuing professional development (CPD) events are a great place to meet colleagues, catch up with old classmates and meet reps in the industry. The relationships that I have made and nurtured through lecturing at events and conferences have been long standing; many of the people I’ve met have become great friends and part of my support structure in business.
Lecturing Opens up Further Opportunities
I cannot think of one time that I have lectured at a CPD event or conference where another opportunity has not opened up directly or indirectly from the event. Conferences always lead to something more!
So don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there. We create our own opportunities in life, and we have to step out into the limelight sometimes to grab them. Take a topic you’re currently interested in – push yourself to present a talk at some upcoming event – then do the needed added research. You’ll be amazed at how you develop your own knowledge and confidence. Lecturing is worth the trouble, no matter how you feel about being in the spotlight.
I completely agree with the points you have made, I am also very people shy and struggle to take the limelight! But I have learned that teaching is the BEST way for me to learn, and being able to form relationships with colleges, reps and other lecturers has benefited me more than I would have imagined over the last few years. It is definitely something I would like to engage in further!
Thanks very interesting blog!