Drawing Toast

On Saturday I was privileged to be one of the presenters at the Bridge2Aid Speaker Training Day – a group of over 25 volunteers who gave up their weekend for some formal instruction on how to represent the B2A community on trade stands, at networking events and in-practice talks.

We had huge fun, lots of laughs and managed some serious stuff as well.

The brief for my own session was to offer some tips and tricks on public speaking, especially for those who would rather jump off a bridge than stand to talk. An early decision was to avoid “Death by Powerpoint” and have the delegates instantly engaged.

Hence my reference to the wonderful resource made available by TED speaker Tom Wujec on his web site Draw Toast.

The idea is simple and effective – arrive with plenty of magic whiteboard and flip-chart pens – and begin by having the attendees take a few minutes to create a visual representation of how to make toast.

Here’s what happened in 15 minutes on Saturday morning.

Then show them the video on Tom’s web site – which explains how much more effective groups can be when they are asked to take part in collaborative visualisations.

Following which you can set a challenge – in this case how to become a better public speaker – and ask them to return to their whiteboards and create visual systems. I’m starting too use this technique in my team training for dental practices – a refreshing change from stupefied theatre-style audiences, slide shows and the dreaded role-play.

We went on to create some excellent visuals on public speaking. As you can imagine – Draw Toast sessions are noisy, fun, different and memorable. What can also emerge is a systematic approach to:

  • how to answer the phone
  • how to run the Front Desk
  • how to create a Patient Journey
  • how to manage the treatment planning experience
  • your marketing plan

and many other aspects of the business of dentistry.

I’ll bet you could “Draw Toast” on clinical procedures as well.

Draw Toast workshops are fun. If you would like me to facilitate one for you – just ask.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.