Dr. Kathy Gruver Shares Her Secrets To A Great Speech
Date: November 2, 2015
Dr. Kathy Gruver PhD has spent most of her life on stage and uses her knowledge to communicate new ideas to her audiences. From the young age of five, she loved being on stage, dancing or acting, and she’s never left the stage life behind.
We had the privilege of speaking with Dr. Kathy – the woman who has written three books on health, appeared on over 200 radio and TV shows and been featured in notable publications such as Fox, Huffington Post, Men’s Health, Fox, Awareness Magazine and more.
In this article, she shares with us how her personal experiences of watching her father care for her dying mother sparked her love for medicine and health, and more than that, pushed her to inspire and educate her listeners.
Hi Kathy, tell us a little about your background.
I was a Theatre major in college and actually pursued an acting career in Hollywood for many years. When I decided to give up that aspect of my life, I realised it would be the perfect transition to take all of the knowledge that I have about health and wellness and make that into speaking career.
I love to infuse humor and that theatricality in to all my talks. So I guess I’ve actually never stepped off the stage. After being in private practice for so long, I realised with my natural ability to be in front of people, I could reach a much broader audience.
I started with a talk at a local venue here in Santa Barbara and now have been around the world.
What are your intentions when you speak to people?
I have a multi fold perspective when I do a talk. First of all, I want to impart information to them in the simplest way possible. Anybody can stand up in front of a group and lecture at people, speaking over their head and bombarding them with facts that are not easily understood.
I like to take what I know and put it into simple language that every person in the audience can understand. I also really do entertain. I love to incorporate humor into my talks. I’ll share a lot of personal stories that have some sort of lesson.
I have no trouble talking about my failings or my humorous events if it’s going to leave someone else to a healthy conclusion.
I don’t normally think about a specific goal. I just do what I do. It’s a combination of inspiration, education and entertainment.
Tell us about the topics you cover in your speeches
Because my background and my books are about natural health and alternative medicine those are the subjects of my talks. I speak about women’s health, stress and mind-body medicine, work-life balance, mindfulness, nutrition… anything that is going to give people options to change their lives in a healthier way.
I also speak on marketing for health professionals since that is an important subject for me. I also have a keynote basically on the subject of ‘going for it’ – living life fully and completely. It’s very inspirational!
How do you seek content for your speeches?
Usually the content just comes out of my head. I’ve done so much research and so much study for my books that everything I speak about I have in there.
But of course, you have to cater to your audience. When I found myself speaking to 911 dispatchers, I knew I needed to know what their needs were and what their concerns were. I talked to several of my friends on the police force to find out how to base that talk on what they were going to get the most out of.
How do you change people’s ways of thinking when you present your talks?
I basically just share everything that I have learned. I am an absolute sponge when it comes to soaking up natural health and alternative medicine information. I have a great ability to read it all, distill it down and then translate into language that people can understand.
I want to give my audience simple and practical tips. Things they can do right now, every day and I use a lot of my own personal experiences to help.
Everything I teach I have tried or have incorporated into my life. I think education through personal experiences is one of the best ways to teach. Sometimes I failed or sometimes I’ve done something stupid and it becomes a funny story that others can learn from.
Do you think speaking can change the world, or is just something that’s fun to do?
It is absolutely fun to do. It’s one of my most favourite things and yes, it can absolutely change the world.
I get letters, phone calls and e-mails all the time about how something I taught has changed someone’s life. I can only assume that that radiates out and then they share what they’ve learned with other people.
This is the joy of the social media information age that we live in. By saying one thing to one person you can actually reach millions!
It’s clear that from speaking with Dr. Kathy, she truly cares about what she does, which is one of her great qualities. She speaks about her own experiences – the good and the bad, because she wants people to better themselves.
The essence of a good public speaker, is one who makes a difference to people’s lives and doesn’t just tell them interesting things or entertains them for a short while.
The next time you have a speech, think about what you know, what you’ve been through and where you’re heading in life, and how they can help people. Everyone is after some guidance because the majority of us need someone or something to push us to be a happier person.
Books by Kathy Gruver: Conquer Your Stress with Mind/Body Techniques