Congratulations! Your desire to reach more of the public with important health information is very admirable. As you’ve likely noticed, our so-called health care system is a real mess, and the only solution will come from individuals like you and me who want to truly help others. We’ve got a higher calling!

Many people have tried to get their “foot-in-the-door” of organizations like businesses, churches, and schools, to host health talks and share their information — only to soon grow disappointed and give up.As with most things, there is a right and a wrong way to go about this. Here is a partial list of tips from my book , “Reclaim the Joy of Practice: An Advanced Guide for Advancing Doctors“, to greatly improve your odds of success. I discovered these through trial and error and used them to build a large multi-doctor family practice. You can do it too! These can be used by both doctors and staff.

  • What’s your goal? Is it to get more patients for your doctor, make more money in bonuses, or meet a quota? If so, you’ll fail miserably. People in general are very perceptive. Have you ever gone into a store or even inquired about something you are curious about and met a clerk or salesperson with those insincere goals? You could sense trouble and wanted to get away from them quickly, didn’t you? The only attitude that works is one of a sincere desire to help people. Then use mild assertiveness to get them to take action. Establish this mindset and your success will begin.
  • Are you prepared to be persistent? It may take several contacts just to find the right decision maker in the organization, and then several more contacts to get your proposal noticed. Throughout history, persistence is seen to be the common trait among successful people.
  • Are you organized? You must keep an accurate, neat, and up-to-date contact list of the date of your attempt, the time, who you spoke with, the result, etc. This is crucial for follow-up contacts. Make a dedicated binder or computer file called “Health Talk contacts” or “Presentation Contacts” right now!
  • Do you know who your best target is? It is your existing clients. In reality, with them you already have a foot-in-the-door where they work, go to school, go to church, socialize, etc. Every client you have needs to be nicely asked at least twice yearly if they will help you reach more of the public by sharing their contacts. These are priceless! You’ll find that most people want to help you.
  • Where else are you finding potential targets? Most communities have a Chamber of Commerce or similar group that can provide updated lists of organizations and businesses. And always be scanning your local media for opportunities. If you see somebody hosting a speaker, consider that a target for a health talk. And make sure your friends and family know that you are on a mission to share your story.
  • What are you offering? Your doctor’s time and expertise may seem valuable to you, but sadly it isn’t to others, especially when they don’t know your doctor or your office. What does get attention, at least initially is to offer to serve a healthy snack, raffle an attractive door prize, 300x250 md-attorney referral or even offer to make a donation to their cause if it’s a non-profit organization.
  • How much work are you leveling on them? It better be at or close to none. You must make it clear that you desire to take care of the health talk setup, the cleanup, and anything else that might burden them. This is especially true if you hope to be allowed back again.
  • Do you have a short clip of your proposed service on YouTube? Tape a minute or two of video with a Flip-cam or similar device of the presentation or spinal screening and post it on YouTube so you can direct any hesitant decision maker to it or bring in a laptop and show it to them. Ease their fears!
  • Are you flexible with the time and date? You must be willing to accommodate their schedule so as not to interfere with their production. This is especially true for a business target.
  • Do you have a tough skin? You’ll encounter plenty of rejection. Don’t let it hamper you. Try to learn from it. And then try them again in a few months. Remember the importance of persistence.
  • Are you grateful? If you find the correct decision maker, send a thank you note for their time even if they reject your offer. And if they allow you in to perform a spinal screening or a health talk, then send something more substantial like flowers, a plant, or a gift certificate. Make them remember you fondly! Take good care of these contacts!
  • Dangle a carrot! Tell your contact that you want to offer the participants in your presentation/workshop a free gift (my Wellness Wins patient education handbook works perfect here).

Following these guidelines will open many doors for you to share your unique service with the public. Accept that you’ll sometimes encounter rejection, but look at it as more of a “not yet” or “not now”. Soon, you’ll develop a list of “sure thing” contacts that welcome you to repeat your presentation to their group.

I did it; and you’re next!

Practice on,
Dr Tom Potisk

To Home from Get More Health Talks

About the Author

Dr. Tom Potisk

Dr. Tom Potisk, aka The Down to Earth Doctor, is a holistic lifestyle advocate, author, speaker, wellness program presenter, and business coach for doctors. His new book can be found at

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