Sarah Poulin, a recent PCOM doctoral graduate, was published in the December 2017 issue of Acupuncture Today. She discussed how to promote the field through speaking engagements: how to get up in front of groups of people and talk about TCM, how to pick topics and structure your talk, and how to solicit invitations to speak in the first place.
"I often make the joke that I have chosen to incorporate two of people's largest phobias into my life — needles and public speaking. While acupuncturists are obviously not afraid of needles, I have found that many of my colleagues out there are afraid of public speaking. Although it may seem intimidating to stand in front of a group of people and discuss TCM, I have found that in reality, it is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to get new patients through your door. I have done a wide variety of speaking engagements within my community, discovering a number of techniques and strategies to help achieve success in public speaking.
Choosing to do speaking engagements, and especially focusing on speaking engagements local to the area in which you live, offers a number of benefits to both your community and to your private practice. By inviting your community members to learn about TCM, you raise awareness of the professional as a whole. Most people are curious to learn about acupuncture, and who better to teach them about the subject than an acupuncturist?
By controlling the narrative around TCM and acupuncture, you can quickly dispel myths surrounding our medicine and give patients the most coherent idea of what it is that we do. Speaking engagements are also of great benefit to your personal practice since every audience member is a potential patient. By assuming this attitude towards the audience, you're not selling these people anything they don't need either. The population drawn to attending these talks is generally there because they want to know if acupuncture can help them or a family member, you just have to let them know that it can."