Effective Non-Verbal Communication Tips in Healthcare with Shelly O’Donovan #159

Oct 25, 2021 | Podcast Episodes

Some of the loudest things people say don’t come from their mouths. Shelly O’Donovan is the CEO of the Authentic Influence Group. After walking the halls of government and GlaxoSmith&Kline for years seeing many people rise and fall, she uncovered patterns connecting success to non-verbal communication. Shelly also realized that many aspiring medical and pharmaceutical executives spend a lifetime trying to propel their careers forward, so she stepped in with her experience to help those teams, executives and professionals learn how to use subtle, authentic communication methods to illuminate their message.

You don’t want to miss out on gems in this episode. Tune in and learn effective non-verbal communication tips that will help you advance in any healthcare profession. 

[00:01 – 02:31] Uncovering the Patterns of Non-Verbal Communication

  • I introduce our guest Shelly O’Donovan
    • Bio 
  • Shelly gives a bit of background around her expertise
    • Finding patterns within politics
    • Training healthcare professionals in those patterns 

[02:32 – 16:00] Effective Non-Verbal Communication Tips in Healthcare

  • Shelly shares some fundamental tips to engage with patients 
    • Make sure to address the patient right away
    • Eye contact is key 
  • Resources that help physicians refocus and connect better with the patient
    • Using open body language 
    • Take a deep breath before even meeting the patient 
    • Relaxed and calm vocal tones are as important as the words
  • Building a relationship with the front desk 
    • From how you walk through the door 
    • Avoiding negative non-verbals 
    • Opening up the body language of the other person
    • Increased micro expressions to enhance energy output 
    • Using ornaments – changing your appearance 
  • Shelly dives deeper into utilizing micro-expressions
    • Pulling out who you really are
    • Voice tone naturally follows our facial expressions

[16:02 – 26:29] Using Non-Verbal Communication to Build Trust

  • Tips for physicians to motivate their staff 
    • Using your hands more to communicate 
    • Over communicate 
    • Show that you yourself trust your staff
  • Using non-verbals within a sales perspective
    • Keeping your eye on the other person 
    • Pivot based on the other person’s body language
  • What Shelly teaches students about navigating Zoom
    • Get your hands into the camera 
    • The importance of lighting 
    • Look right into the camera 
    • Record yourself to see what you do when you speak 
  • Building your own confidence 
    • Learn your own habits 
    • Make tweaks slowly during low stakes moments

[26:30 – 28:44] Closing Segment

  • How to connect with Shelly
    • Links below 
  • Final words 
  • Stay tuned for more. Links available below.

Tweetable Quotes:

“Just being in the moment with that patient for a minute before you open up the chart… that’s a big game changer, and that really makes a difference in building that trust.” – Shelly O’Donovan 

“Speak from a place of passion… it keeps the other person really engaged.” – Shelly O’Donovan 

“Using your hands; that is a trust indicator… You want to subconsciously see my hands so you can know whether we’re friends or we’re foes.” – Shelly O’Donovan

Shelly O’Donovan Bio:

Shelly O’Donovan is the CEO of the Authentic Influence Group. She teaches Persuasive Speaking at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, she led vaccine advocacy for GSK, worked as a healthcare lobbyist, and served as a staffer in state government. 

Throughout her career, Shelly has sought the answer to the question: What makes people tick? That led her to become a certified body language trainer and obtain certification for the Big 5 Personality Test, the most scientifically validated way to measure personality. 

Shelly has an MPA from the University of Pennsylvania, a Marketing certification from Wharton, and a BA in Political Science.

Episode Links:

Want to connect with Shelly? You can find her on LinkedIn and Twitter. Go visit https://authenticinfluencegroup.com/ and start illuminating your message!

Full Transcript for Episode #159

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode update link

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Thanks for listening.

Kelley Knott 



Kelley Knott is an expert Physician Liaison Trainer and consultant. Her passion is the help liaisons and practices maximize their effectiveness to improve patient care and revenue new revenue streams for their practice or hospital system. She is one of the first people in the US to develop online courses specifically geared toward physician liaison marketing. She is a published author, entrepreneur, and speaker.

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