Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Thriving at OHIMA 2017: First-time Presenter Shares Her Thoughts


In 2016, I was doing some reflection (what I call: Personal True North Metrics) and was mulling over the ways to accomplish the “next level” professionally.  School or certifications was always my path before… but now… how could I share my training and experiences? 

How could I achieve the next step in my professional life and encourage others to do the same?

After evaluating what I did well at work and what was authentic to my personality and strengths;  I came up with a list of topics and ways to have fun with this new challenge.

     Exploring new concepts
     Challenging  others to different thoughts
     Sharing what I know

After reviewing my skills along with the desire to stretch myself in a new way.  I deemed one of my personal goals to become a; “Public speaker on a Lean topic of my choice by the end of 2017.”

(Note: The other career goal was publish/write an article- so I am “done” for now! #PersonalTrueNorthMetricsWorks)

After the goal was written and my mind was set… I had the easy choice of going back to my comfort zone and making some excuses on why it would not work (travel, work, family) or ACTING on it…in hopes of self-development and sharing a positive message that may help others meanwhile helping myself grow.  (Howto Get Everything You Want- TED Talk)   

At the root of all the logical excuses was the fear of not being good at this… I had to somehow overcome the ever elusive Imposter Syndrome.  If you never heard of it, check out the link- I am sure you can relate to the mental chatter of; “I am not a veteran in my field, why would they listen?” “Heck… I don’t have a PhD, so what could I possibly speak on that would be worthy of their time?”  I think this is why women, youth and really anyone that is not an extroverted extremist, with an ego the size of Texas simply don’t go for engagements like this. 

I challenge you at this moment to think about sharing your expertise somewhere, (ideally the next OHIMA conference).  

We can all benefit from new ideas and experiences!

So here are the details of what to expect if you take on the challenge of speaking:

OHIMA made the process easy- 1 paragraph/teaser on content/message to audience and a title.  A few weeks later I was notified of being selected and then after signing a speaker agreement- I was given a timeslot and it was all set!

The next few months I made sure to work a few hours a week on the slides and make sure it was well rehearsed.  All in all- 30-40 weeks of effort (easily done- spread across 2-3 months) and it is something I can use for personal development and my leadership goals at work.  I heard from the audience it was something they would use at work and it was encouraging to hear the positives we were doing at Knox Community Hospital.  

I may not be the #1 expert in the whole world (really...who is?) but I have some strategies to share… and I know how to address an audience.  Speaking at OHIMA gave me the opportunity to grow in a new way that I was seeking while empowering and reaching other professionals in the field.  Very positive and engaged audience who I felt were supporting me and very much interested in the topic.  Overall, I accomplished my goal and hopefully inspired some new ways of thought.  Continuing the mission to personal improvement and growing professionally in a pretty powerful way.  Hope you found this helpful, insightful, and ideally you will take some ACTION and start improving!

Are you interested sharing your expertise at an OHIMA or Regional HIM Association event?  OHIMA is currently accepting presentations proposals for the OHIMA 2018 Annual Meeting (submit by August 31, 2017)!  Or if you would prefer to present at a smaller, local event - consider submitting your presentation proposal to the OHIMA Speakers Bank!   When planning events, Regional HIM Associations in Ohio will access presentations in the Speakers Bank to develop content for their meetings.  To learn more about Ohio's 5 Regional HIM Associations, see the OHIMA website.


About the Author

has an undergraduate degree in Interpersonal Communications and Health Information Management & Systems from The Ohio State University and a masters degree in Business Operational Excellence from Fisher College of Business. Sara is currently the Performance Improvement Director at Knox Community Hospital where she facilitates lean improvement initiatives and strategic development in a continuously improving culture of healthcare excellence.  

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