Speaker Q&A with Pauline

Pauline Blachford speaks like everyone is listening. Dozens of customized clinic consultations across Canada, multiple conference presentations, hundreds of hours of public speaking experience and a passion for eye health make Pauline a sought-after speaker who brings value to every conference, consultation and conversation.

While her eye health career began 20 years ago, public speaking has come as a way for Pauline to share her business insight into the industry she cares about so passionately. Pauline’s next major public speaking event will be at the Canadian Association of Optometrists’ Congress in New Brunswick.

Q: Since launching your career as a consultant, you’ve spoken at conferences and practices across the country. What has this experience been like?

Pauline: The experience has been incredibly rewarding, and I’m looking forward to what’s ahead. I’ve spoken at multiple optometry conferences, giving several presentations at each, and have done numerous clinic consultations. It’s a big shift from working at a very personal level, like I did at White Rock Optometry for the better part of two decades. But at the end of the day, it’s all still about helping patients, inspiring team members to be their best and sharing my passion for eye health.

Q:  What do you speak on?

Pauline: I have three primary areas of expertise: telephone recalling, improving sales through team effort and empowering staff members to excel. When I speak publicly, I cover each topic in-depth, and offer actionable advice and recommendations that are ready to implement, whether it’s how to begin the telephone recalling process, or the first steps to increasing eyewear sales. It’s very important to me to bring value to everything I do, so I make sure that every speaking engagement is a valuable experience for clients and conference participants alike.

Q: From audiences of hundreds to one-on-one sessions, how do you change your speaking style to bring value to every person you work with?

Pauline: The content itself is the same, but how detailed and personalized I can get definitely depends on my audience. Public speaking doesn’t offer the same in-depth or personalized approach a one-on-one session or a clinic consultation could provide, but I implement a variety of techniques so that every participant in my presentations leaves with information that’s relevant to them, in their lives and in their work. I’ve started inviting audience members to text me questions or comments, which get displayed on a visible Power Point screen during my talk. I also get people interacting and engaging with each other, and physically moving, during my presentation. It keeps the session energized, and has proved to be a valuable networking opportunity for participants.

Speaking publicly offers me a unique chance to reach many business owners, optometrists and optometry staff at once, and it’s for this reason that I’ve been so excited and enthusiastic about pursuing these opportunities.

Q: Why speak?

Pauline: Speaking is one way, and it’s proven to be a very effective way, of sharing my passion for eye health. Seventeen years working in this industry has reinforced this passion; it’s also helped me develop several leading methods for educating on and communicating the importance of eye health. Additionally, it allows me to help business owners and optometrists run a more successful practice and better serve clients.

It’s highly rewarding to see clinics improve their sales and build their teams.  Seeing all my clinics reach their goals, each in their own unique way, is highly rewarding, and motivates me to want to reach out and work with as many clinics as possible. It’s my mission to have my clients meet their career goals.

Q: What next?

Pauline: I’m off to eastern Canada this July for my first optometry conference in New Brunswick. A personal goal of mine is to expand my reach to the U.S and the Caribbean, where I grew up.

Pauline is available for a range of speaking opportunities, from one-on-one coaching to one-to-100 seminars. To connect, email info@paulineblachford.com.