Peer-to-peer communication remains a staple of the medical education environment. There is inherent value in healthcare practitioners (HCPs) speaking to other HCPs in order to share, debate, and ultimately compel action that delivers improvements in patient care—the single most important objective for HCPs.

HCPs talking to one other offers credibility and context that are both meaningful and valued. If we follow that premise, there is an intrinsic need to equip HCPs to be as effective as possible in their communication to colleagues, peers, and other stakeholders in this ever-evolving quest to positively impact patient care.

Speaker trainings provide the relationship and collaboration between pharmaceutical manufacturers and HCPs, allowing them to share information in an appropriate manner that supports the competency and instills the confidence in each other to act. Optimally trained HCPs are a catalyst in helping their peers acquire, retain, and use new knowledge. After all, learning can be a fun and empowering reason for action. In speaker trainings, we look beyond merely the application of adult learning principles and toward the very basis of what creates long-term memory (Nobel Prize-winning research of Eric Kandel) and cognitive application known as confidence-based learning (as seen with the work of James Bruno at NATO and UCLA).

These principles applied in a structured methodology across industries have demonstrated that superior learning occurs with the optimized balance of knowledge (think, logical information) and confidence (think, emotion). This means we are delivering exceptional results at three times a greater speed in learning and we are correctly assimilating information, thereby reducing training time by 50%. These principles engage the intangible emotion in a structured, consistent, and measurable way that enables use of acquired information in the correct context to support decision making.

For example, imagine a speaker training where we have a physician with the right balance of knowledge and confidence. He or she makes for a compelling speaker who catalyzes action in the recipients of this talk/presentation. This is definitely our goal. At the other end of the spectrum is, well, a speaker with too much confidence, too little knowledge, leading to miscommunication and all the negatives that brings—ouch, this is definitely what we do not want!

So, when envisioning your next speaker training, embrace these principles as a way to not only optimize peer-to-peer communications but also as a mechanism to differentiate the speakers’ experience of your brand and company. This becomes your real competitive advantage—truly the communication of science AND the science of communication!


About the author

Leo Francis, PhD

Leo P. Francis, PhD, is an award-winning communications professional with a mix of commercial and scientific expertise, and he has been twice (2010, 2012) honored in PharmaVOICE 100 as one of the most inspiring leaders in the life-sciences industry. Having worked with several major pharmaceutical companies (global and domestic), he has gained an in-depth understanding of international marketing, medical education, and communications across several therapeutic categories.

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