3 Tips to Keep Your Colleagues Interested and Engaged When Presenting an In-Service

There is nothing worse than speaking in front of a group of people and having them look bored to tears. 

What keeps your interest when attending a presentation?  

  • Here are just a few pointers I’ve learned over the years: Highlight only 2-4 key points that you hope to make in for each 90 minutes of presentation and for each point present research and/or, theoretical framework followed up with clinically relevant examples.  Use case examples and anecdotes.
  • Put the audience in an active listening mode occasionally throughout your presentation. You can do this by posing some thought-provoking questions.  While you won’t have time to entertain answers, it is often helpful to present some questions for them to mull over.  

For example, as you begin to present a new technique, you might say, “Can you think of a patient that this technique would work for?  Can you think of a case where it would be a challenge due to co-morbidity?”

  • Use audio-visuals if…….

 They support what you will be discussing and offer further clarification.

Do not use AV’s if they complicate the material by presenting more material than you are planning to cover. 

Remember to be prepared to go ahead without the AV’s should there be a glitch! The show must go on! 

What are your tips to keep engaged when presenting an in-service? 

Stay tuned; next time we’ll be talking about 10 words you can use in your in-service.


Seeking Input – Guillain-Barre

Theresa Posts:


Clinical Challenge: Home Care OT treating 60 y.o. male w/GBS (diagnosed 1 year ago), who has almost no sensory or motor function in bilat hands. Had restricted extension in wrists/hands/fingers premorbidly (i.e. couldn’t do push ups). Has IDDM, but no other restrictions. Trying to apply NDT concept of promoting return through weight bearing on BUE, but very difficult to position his hands appropriately. He is able to maintain stance with min A and has return in proximal BUE. What successful strategies has anyone tried with these patients that they’d care to share?


The Most Important Question to Ask Yourself When Planning your In-Service

Once you have defined your audience (see Blog #2) and planned for your time-frame, it is critical to identify the 2-4 points you want to make. What are the 2-4 key issues, ideas or skills that you want the group to walk with. It is far more effective to highlight a few key points well than to inundate them with more information than they can digest and apply in such a short time.

 Remember:  Less is More

  • Start with an introductory statement telling the audience what the objectives or key points are that you will be covering 
  • Tell them your plan for the 90 minutes and what you hope they will get out of the session 
  • Engage them by letting them know that your information has relevance to them by acknowledging their challenges, their ideal outcomes and their interests.  Perhaps give an example of how your new learning has helped you with a particular clinical issue. 
  • Use humor, anecdotes or an interesting fact to gain attention and interest throughout your presentation. 

Let us know what has worked for you when planning how to focus an effective in-service? 

Stay tuned; next time we will be discussing hints on developing content that really grab your colleagues.


Torticollis: Surgery?

Fraida Posts:

DEAR ERI COMMUNITY: I am working with a baby that is 8 months old. She presents with orthopedic deformities of the left hand and foot. She also has a torticollis on the left side. She has some mild tightness throuought the left side. I am writing concerning the torticollis. I have been working with her since she is 3 months old. She is not responding to the standard therapies for torticollis including massage, stretch, positioning, and kinesio taping. (We also have an appointment with an eye DR. to rule out the possiblity of this coming from the visual system) We are currently using a Tott collar and I am hopeful that we will see success. I am interested in knowing if there are any practitioners that have had children that required surgical intervention for a torticollis and if so how did they make that determination and what was the procedure like.


Congratulations to Faculty Member Ellen Hillegass

We are excited to announce that our distinguished Faculty member, Ellen Hillegass PT, Ph.D., EdD, CCS, FAACVPR, FAPTA  has been awarded APTA’s highest honor: The Catherine Worthingham APTA Fellow Award.  Please click here to visit APTA and read about Ellen’s achievements (you will need to be logged in to APTA)

Ellen Hillegass,  is an experienced educator and clinician. She is an associate professor at North Georgia College and State University in the Department of Physical Therapy, serves as president of a private consulting firm; Cardiopulmonary Specialists, and is an instructor of continuing education programs across the country. She draws upon her expertise as a board certified cardiovascular and pulmonary clinical specialist to create a clinically relevant classroom experience for her students.
Professor Hillegass has been active in the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section for many years and is currently the Legislative and Reimbursement Chair. She has also been active and is a Fellow of the American Association of Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). She has been instrumental in mentoring students to become advocates for the physical therapy profession and she is editor of Essentials in Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy, an entry-level text and is the author of a clinical notes book titled “Rehab Notes.” Ellen received the Linda Crane Lecture Award in 2007, the Outstanding Service Award for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section in 1996 and the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section Merit Award

Ellen teaches Mobilizing the Medically Complex Acute Care Patient (an Evidence – Based Model) with ERI. Please visit this course page for upcoming dates.