Mics and Meltdowns: Conquering (EPHMRA) Conference Calm

Sharp intake of breath. It's nearly here.


The time to get up on stage in front of too many (I hope) people and speak at conference. The mere thought of it gives me butterflies.


I probably shouldn't admit this but in more than twenty years as a healthcare insights professional, I've tended to shy away from speaking in front of big and unknown audiences. I really do enjoy client sessions but I'm not a fan of crowds. Most people who know me, my loud 'sowf Landan' voice and big expressive Italian hands might find this surprising. I'm a classic extrovert who enjoys social environments… but the thought of public speaking gives me severe jitters.


How do I best prepare?

What do I wear?

What do I do with my big Italian hands?

Should I know every word of my talk off by heart?


Please, someone up there, don't let me trip up (or down) the stage.


The things that help me feel calm are:

  • I'm proud of the work we're talking about
  • I believe in our philosophy and what we stand for
  • People won't judge me for sounding nervous… surely?! Someone once told me that nerves are sign that you care… I hope our audience knows this too.


The biggest calming factor is that I'll be standing on stage next to my colleague and friend, Tas. She's calm and confident, she knows what she's doing and she'll tell me if my hair is sticking out!


Our talk showcases one of our proudest pieces of research so far, for a client who is doing something that matters, in an area close to my heart - cancer treatment. We will share our philosophy that doctors are people too and our conviction that healthcare marketing can get better if we communicate with doctors in this way. Marketing that arouses emotion as well as intellectual curiosity. Marketing that isn't disregarded as 'clutter' but rather, provokes a different way of thinking and behaving.


To do this, we need to understand doctors as people. Our 'target audience' is a collection of individual types, with different motivations and very real but different barriers to doing something new. Our consumer brand colleagues at The Nursery know and apply this best-kept secret every day! We reveal how research can unearth these differences and help Marketing use them to better effect. But you don't have to take just our word for it - we hear from our client too. So we hear how our research is being used to inspire a different approach to omni channel.


We'd love you to join us and whoop and cheer (think Pretty Woman) at the end if you want! Even better, come with your observations and questions, so that we can make our talk as engaging as we want our healthcare marketing to be.


(But please don’t throw tomatoes.)


See you there! Clue… we'll be wearing the blue tees!