The PhRMA Interactions with Healthcare Professionals highlights the importance of speaker training, stating that it “… is an essential activity because the FDA holds companies accountable for the presentations of their speakers.” Some might look at speaker training as a check-the-box activity—training speakers on the slide content and associated compliance to fulfill FDA requirements—however, a speaker training can be so much more than teaching the science on the slides; it empowers your speakers to speak confidently, and consistently, about your brand.

An important element to support a speaker’s confidence level is planning the agenda to create as many “real-world” experiences as possible. Instead of a didactic training on the product label, include the “whys” into the presentation so speakers learn how valuable the content within the label can be. Recently, we worked with a brand to pull the top 10 questions logged by their medical call center and incorporated this information into the label training. We created a competition amongst the speakers, challenging each table to find the answers to these questions in the label—and the competition was fierce! Showing the speakers that the questions they will likely receive can be answered “on-label” helped them realize that staying on-label during speaking engagements wasn’t as limiting as they might have thought.

Many times, a compliance training includes a representative from Compliance presenting the same set of slides dryly stating, “don’t do this,” and “you can’t say that,” without taking into account how that necessarily applies at a real presentation. We recently helped our client construct a new format for their compliance presentation to make this training more relevant. We challenged the brand team to look at how compliance applied specifically to their content. During the training, members of the brand team presented slides that would likely be the most challenging to present. The audience listened to the presentation and used an audience response system to identify the point at which the presenter had purposefully veered off into non-compliant territory. The audience would then discuss where this happened and why, and how the presentation could have been changed to remain compliant. This session facilitated robust discussion and was rated the highest of all of the presentations, which is quite unusual for a compliance training!

These are just a couple of ideas on how to create real-world experiences during training that will be memorable and resonate with your speakers. Contact us for some additional ideas on how you can maximize your speakers and speaker training efforts.


About the author

Jeff Sears

Jeff is an experienced strategic marketer with over 15 years working with non-profits, associations, pharma and Fortune 500 clients. He is skilled in change management, crisis management, brand marketing, business planning, innovation, process improvement, and event management.

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