Different kinds of media work for different people. You need to find your media superpower. The thing you do really well.
Not long ago I read something that suggested video was how people were going to learn in the future, so I tried it. Despite good lighting, the right angle, and input from people who knew more than I did, video didn’t work for me. I can do it if I must, but it isn’t my best way of sharing what’s in my head. I have colleagues on the flip side who have a hard time writing a simple paragraph. The idea of putting together a written thought that makes a point without creating confusion or insomnia is just too much to handle.
A successful public presence involves finding your medium. In other words, how do you best translate what you know and what you think? What form will your ideas take? Some of this will be the result of what you’re capable of. In some cases, you might be restricted by technology, talent, or even what your intended audience wants or expects.
Different types of media
Doctors find success in all kinds of different media:
- Text/written copy
- PowerPoint/Keynote voiceover (ie, narrating a presentation)
- Creation of visuals, such as cartoons or animation
As you spend time watching and listening to other people, you’ll see that there are those who seem to do well with certain kinds of media. If you are going to be effective in building an audience, creating messages, and changing minds, you’ve got to find where you’re comfortable and effective.
Mixing and matching different types of media also represents a great way get your idea across.
What’s your media superpower?
You will never know until you try. For years I thought that writing was my media super power. But when I started podcasting I realized that I had the ability to get ideas out there with my voice. I had no idea until I jumped in to it. You’ve got to experiment to know.
Beware shiny object syndrome
But watch out for shiny object syndrome.
Silicon Valley has no shortage of new gimmicks and platforms to pull you in. It seems every time you turn around there’s someone with a new social tool guaranteed to make your life easier and more fulfilling, with the tech media doing their part to push its merits. It will be very tempting to jump in and try to do everything. When you get pulled into the magic of every cutting-edge app and tool, the diagnosis is shiny object syndrome. Looking and poking is fine, but understand that the majority of these new social apps and platforms fail to sustain their own hype for the long run.
Start with a small, limited communication wardrobe centered on your media superpower and grow as you begin to define yourself and your voice.
This page is part of The Public Physician, an online resource built to help health professionals manage their life online. Check out the landing page.
Photo (modified) via TK Hammonds on Unsplash
Updated January 2020