Speaker Academy #28: “It’s my job to be more interesting than your email” (@TedEytan) | e-Patient Dave

This post is part brag, part teach, part challenge. Last summer I did a webinar about patient engagement (here’s the replay) for Phreesia, a company that makes an iPad-like tablet that integrates a lot of steps to get you (the patient) into the provider’s computer system. Afterward, they said they “monitor the attention level of the attendees (it’s a GoToWebinar feature) … and it was the highest I’ve ever seen it.” Really? GoToWebinar feature?  Yep, the system keeps track of how long attendees stay, whether they ask questions, and even whether they listen but stop watching by switching to another window while listening to the audio. Sooo, I guess that means a lot of people kept watching and listening for the whole hour. Good! Because if they don’t pay attention they haven’t learned anything and the whole thing has been a waste. It’s hard to hold attention without seeing their faces. But it immediately reminded me of one of the most humble, wonderful,

Source: Speaker Academy #28: “It’s my job to be more interesting than your email” (@TedEytan) | e-Patient Dave

Really? Attention level? A lot of us who watch webinars are in trouble … 🙂

I think I gave @ePatientDave that quote a lot longer than 3 years ago, and I still believe it to this day. In fact, I enjoy it if people begin doing other things because then it’s experimentation time! When the first mobile device comes out I get official license to depart from any constraints made upon me in the interest of audience satisfaction and enjoyment.

On the converse, it’s a little depressing to watch another speaker continue on the same track once the devices come out. I guess the learning is that no one has unlimited access to a person’s attention just because of who they are or what they’re talking about. The corollary in the medical world is that patients get to choose whether to follow a physician’s advice. The corollary to that corollary is that almost every quality measure we use in health care today is based on patient choice (and the physician is accountable to support the patient in making the best choice).

I’m wondering to myself where this philosophy came from, and I think I know. I am used to being in and with audiences where people are not listened to, in a lecture hall, in a workplace, in society. Once you experience that for yourself or on behalf of another (or ask someone what that feels like), you’ll know the next step. If you want people to listen to you, start by listening to them. And that includes when they pull out their mobile device.

Such a wonderful benefit of technology. That and @ePatientDave.

1 Comment

You are the one who taught me how to blog autonomously, way back in the beginning, before anyone had heard a word from me. Something about you just gave me permission to be myself and express it. And that made all the difference. Such a liberating leader-by-example.

Ted Eytan, MD