I graduated 13 years ago and spent four years in full-time small animal practice. I‘ve always had a passion for communication — it’s been a theme in every job that I’ve had. I believe in making communication the best it can be; thinking about the ways we can talk to owners to improve the outcome of a consultation.
Following my time in small animal practice I moved into industry. It’s much more of a business environment. Some vets who transfer into industry can find the commercial element of it uncomfortable at the beginning. But to succeed in my role l really had to embrace good communication. My first job in industry was for Hill’s Pet Nutrition, where I worked in technical — supporting the sales team with training on the products that we made as well as educating vet students in clinical nutrition.
These days I work for Ceva Animal Health in marketing as a Product Manager. Communication has remained central to my role and is often focused on presentations. I need to consider how people can be engaged and motivated in the best possible way through presentations. We need to think about the length, the formatting, the content; all the elements that will create an impact when it comes to getting our key messages across. One of the big topics we’re covering at the moment is feline hypertension. The challenge with this condition is that it’s completely invisible. There’s no signs or symptoms for the owner to see, and nothing for the vet to pick up during a consultation until it’s in its late stages. My work in this field centres on how we can make this invisible condition visible.
I recently worked on a presentation with Toby Trimble and his team at Trimble Productions to create a new presentation on feline hypertension. The aim was to give feline hypertension a visual identity and increase engagement from those we’re presenting to. It was a really collaborative process. We began by giving Toby the challenges we faced around sharing information on this condition — as well as some of the barriers that the audience will experience when receiving the information. We really wanted a presentation that would engage this audience emotionally so that those barriers felt less significant; as well as creating a connection that would drive them to be part of the solution.
Bringing in aspects of storytelling and visual language, we were able to create a presentation that I believe will really connect with audiences — within a 30 minute period — and ultimately have an impact on how well this information is received.
At Ceva, as a pharmaceutical company, presentations really are our bread and butter. And yet during my whole time in industry, there’s never been much of a focus on how we can make our presentations as good as they can be and the techniques we can use to increase engagement. I hope that the industry as a whole really embraces the power of communication and the many ways that we can make these important learning tools the very best they can be. We want to keep raising the bar when it comes to how we do things — and improve animal welfare as a result.
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