Speaking Topics

Debbie is a wonderful speaker. Very Inspirational. I would love to take her back to our clinic and show how this can be put into play and have a positive effect on our clinic. I am so energized and I have been in management for a long time. Thank you!

Brandy Jackson, AttendeePatterson Veterinary University

Read below for a brief description of my speaking topics, how long each talk is, and who in the practice can benefit most.

Mission Statements

Video coming soon…

In this video, I discuss how to create a strong mission statement from the heart in order to better engage your team members. Stay tuned for more insightful practice tips from industry leaders every week.

What is the story of your practice? How to create a mission and vision for your hospital

We know we need to do it but how? How long does it have to be? Who needs to write it? Is my Mission different from my Vision and why do I need both?

Without a target where do you aim? You the owner or manager may know but do your team members? Is it something they can get emotionally invested in? It has to be to succeed in today’s market. Step-by-step help to create the “great big hairy audacious goal” for your business.

1 hour

Leadership 101: How to Be the Leader That Inspires Your Staff to Greatness

Much of Leadership can come from natural ability but much is also learned by trial and error, emulation of great leaders and studying outstanding leadership. Since owners and managers are the “North Star” of how the team should act we must be aware of the example we set. Learn what makes leaders great …what to do and what to avoid. Be an inspiration to your staff and learn to lead like a champion.

1 hour

Debbie receives gift from Dr. Deborah Stone at Austin City Unlimited

Series: The Best Staff - Techniques to Find the Best and the Brightest - Part 1

There is not an owner or manager who can honestly say they have never made a bad hire. People look strong on paper, we like them on the telephone interview, we click with them in person and two weeks after we put them on payroll Dr. Jekyll becomes Mr. Hyde. What went wrong? Join my support group, “AHA,” Awful Hires Anonymous, and explore how to advertise, prescreen and prepare core competencies for the job in preparation to interview and discover the best of the best.

1 hour

Series: The Best Staff: Finding, Interviewing & Background Checks - Part 2

In part 1 of this educational event the basics of creating a good job description, developing core competencies lists and how and where to place ads is addressed. In this section of the lecture we will discuss the actual interview process and the importance of good background screening to protect our practice from poor hires. You will be taught to ask questions that reveal a candidates true behavior and indicate how they will behave when they join your team.

1 hour

Series: The Best Staff - Personality Matching - Part 3

Personality profiles are certainly not a new concept. The basic theory behind the four quadrants of DISC Personality Styles actually can be traced all the way back to 444 B.C. However, when used in modern day employee screening we can better understand what location on our team is the best fit for a candidate. Understanding personality profiles is a key to communication and can be a tool for eliminating poor fit and team drama. Learn how to use this knowledge to train for best results and comprehension and how to partner compatible team members for top productivity.

1 hour

Payroll vs. People

Confusion reigns about how to pay staff. How many staff should I have? What do I do to keep them motivated? How can I pay competitive wages and still keep a solid bottom line? How do I get my team to give their “discretionary effort”? This presentation offers a guide to creating pay grades, understanding benchmarks for staffing ratios, and how to motivate without money.

Manager and Owner focused: 1 hour

Compliance - How to Improve This Revenue Driver

All practices know that compliance to recommendations is a long-time problem. Clients simply won’t do what we tell them they should for their pets. Or will they? The answer lies in your team and how they are trained to consistently reinforce your message. During this class you will learn to create a standard protocol – and why you should – and to understand that training your team to “preach” your message is the key to compliance. Students participate in role play.

Manager and Owner focused but all team will benefit: 1 hour

Embezzlement - Protecting Your Practice From Fraud

No practice owner likes to think they have employees who steal, but the fact is that fraud is a common problem. 55% of the cash stolen in a hospital is taken by the front office team but other members are just as guilty. Learn how to put practical systems in place to protect your hospital from embezzlement. Trust, but verify!

Manager and Owner focused: 1 hour

Performance Reviews - How to Do Effective Reviews

Performance reviews are a waste of time – if not done correctly. Managers loath sitting in an office telling team members what they are doing wrong and team members automatically disbelieve the manager’s criticism. This seems like an impasse. But, when done correctly – giving good and honest feedback can help your staff grow to their best potential. Learn techniques and timing on giving feedback. Learn how to present bad reviews so they are effective and not shrugged off. Strengthen your team and grow your practice with the right reviews.

Manager and Owners: 2 hours

Practice Wellness Testing - P & L Analysis

Few veterinarians would attempt to identify a medical problem without diagnostics, yet fail to diagnose the health of their clinic until it’s too late. Profit and Loss statements are not the venue of accountants alone. The P & L allows us to adjust our business and quickly make smart decisions on future plans. They tell us when a new service is successful and when someone is stealing from us. Keeping a strong bottom line allows owners to have a sellable asset when it is time to retire. The day to start planning your exit is the day you purchase a practice and close monitoring of your P & L is vital to having a practice that everyone wants to buy. Students get examples of good and bad P & L’s and are asked to play Shark Tank and “sell” the practice to me.

Managers and Owners: 1 hour

Communication Skills for the Veterinary Team

Effective communication by every member of the team is the key to patient health. If you consider every mishap or upset client in the last several weeks, you would probably find someone fell down in their communication. It could be the client, the doctor or the team. Better communication enhances patient care, decreases “drama” among staff and creates a culture that is positive. The better our communication skills are the better our hospital. Learn basic communication skills and learn to look forward to your job every day.

For the entire team: 1 hour

Communication Skills for the Veterinary ER and Specialty Team

Similar to the general practice class but focused on the unique circumstances that happen in ER and referral hospitals.

Teaching Your Team to Take Charge - Take Back Your Time

Owners and managers tend to want to hold onto many responsibilities readily delegated to other staff members. There is an art to transitioning these duties so that all can win. Learn how to determine what tasks to delegate, how to follow-up appropriately and what to keep.

Owners, managers and other practice leaders: 1 Hour

Introduction to a Fear Free™ Practice

If you have been hearing a lot about Fear Free™ Certification but don’t know if it is right for you – this class has the answers. Presented from the business and human resources perspective of Fear Free™, this class walks you through the process and the “why” Fear Free Certification is a valuable tool in your customer service toolbox. Learn how Fear Free certification has helped with staff burnout and compassion fatigue and how it drives positive social media reviews.

For all staff: 1.5 hours with time for Q & A

Creating a Wow Customer Service Experience

Many times we don’t think of a hospital as being a place for hospitality but smart managers and owners know that clients can’t judge our medical skills – only how they and their pets were treated. Great service experiences are few and far between for any of us these days. Learning to give our clients a WOW experience will increase compliance, grow our revenue, make our practice more fun to work in and create a fanbase that is a sales force for referrals. Learn hospitality skills from someone certified in customer service who has trained more than 9,000 students to give over-the-top care to their clients.

CSR focus but good for all team members: 1 hour

Creating Your Online Pharmacy

Our industry is changing quickly and we must change with the times or fail to flourish. Having an online pharmacy is one way to keep revenue in our hospital while still allowing clients to have the convenience of online ordering. Learn about the major players and how they work. Discuss pricing structures and payment collection. How to promote online orders – and should you? Explore your options to keep your pharmacy business -and grow it.

Designed for Owners and Managers: 1 hour

Team - Let's Talk Teeth

Good veterinarians understand that a healthy mouth equals a healthier patient. But, this oral care conversation is not limited to the veterinarian – it must be the message of the entire team. Often clients will rely on the advice of someone on the staff they have developed a relationship with rather than the doctor. That team member can easily sway a client in the wrong direction if they are untrained or even unsure.

Learn how to teach clients about oral care in simple teams they can understand. See how “show and tell” is most effective when paired with revealing to clients the answer to the “what is in it for them” aspect of oral care.

It’s not about “do you want fries?” it’s about “do you want HEALTH?”

Designed for managers, technical team members and front office representatives: 1 hour

How to Build a Preventative Care Plan from the Foundation to the Roof

Workshop (with Dr. Wendy Hauser) based on 4 years of research into wellness plans and their successes and failures. This 4-hour workshop walks you through the process of building, branding, promoting and profiting from monthly paid wellness plans. Based on the book “The Veterinarians Guide to Healthy Pet Plans” written by Debbie Boone, BS, CCS, CVPM and Wendy Hauser, DVM.

4 hour workshop for Owners and Managers

Debbie and Co-author Wendy Hauser, DVM

Professionalism in a Fish Bowl - How to Properly Comport Yourself in the Public Eye

Sometimes it is difficult to remember that at any moment someone is watching us – our expression, listening to our words, our tone, not to mention our attitude towards our patients, our clients, and each other. In an age where good manners and professionalism seem to be disappearing, how can teams know what is appropriate? Where are the models of proper behavior? This session teaches how to present yourself well and gain respect while being “on stage.”

Curtailing Run Away Conversations

We all have been trapped by the long-winded or over-sharing client. It takes grace and finesse to artfully escape without creating hard feelings. This session reveals some helpful tools to better understand the personality of these chatty clients and how to best “slip away.”

The Fear Free℠ Human

The tool, tips and techniques utilized in learning to be Fear Free℠ for our patients can also help us understand and help our clients. This one-hour discussion teaches veterinary teams how to look for signs of fear, anxiety, and stress in pet owners and what they can do to make the client experience better, along with the patient experience.

Teams and Leadership: 1 hour

Is it Time to Say Goodbye? - Making Wise Career Moves

There is comfort in familiarity,  but being comfortable can seriously shortchange your future. How do you know it is time to make the bold move? Whether it is to become a practice owner, a move to management, or a location change, what are your next steps? Learn to explore your strengths, read the signals that you are stagnating and learn the tools you need to be successful in your next leap into the future.

For All Staff: 1 hour

How to Give Engaging Team Meetings

We have all sat through a meeting so dull we struggle to stay awake. These meetings are an unfortunate waste of time and energy. But it is possible to have a meeting that your team feels is productive and valuable. Learn how in this session.

For All Staff: 1 hour

You Said What?!

Often we complain that clients are being difficult but on occasion it is the poor communication of the team that sets them off. Language is nuanced and word choice is vital to giving clients a good experience – even when we have to offer bad news. This session explores the simple changes we can make to stop client meltdowns.

For All Staff: 1 hour

It's Not Always About the Money

Explore how we Feel about Money and most importantly – why we dread asking for money from our clients. We will learn to recognize when we are telling ourselves a false narrative about client refusals and how to understand the real way people make buying decisions.

For All Staff: 1 hour

Making Connections With Clients Old and New

Whenever we have a random encounter with another human being it sets off a series of positive reactions in our brain. Those collaborative genes that we developed over 300,000 years of evolution get a little Juiced. However, thanks to the constant inundation of “stranger danger” by our parents and the media we rarely go out of our way to talk to people we happen to encounter. Could be this is one of the causes of the great Mental Health crisis in this country? We are living in unnecessary fear. Learn how to make connections with people and build relationships that grow your business and your team.

For All Staff: 1 hour

Serving Clients with Active Listening and Validation

Clients get angry when they believe we “broke the social contract” Their perception is that you caused their pain, and their limbic brain hijacks the smart brain, and they go ballistic.

As service providers– when we are not as responsive to our clients as they feel we should be – we have broken the social code that says – I agree to pay you and you agreed to be there to support me. When you are unable to quickly provide an answer for my problem you are breaking our agreement.

In this interactive session, we’re going to talk about using some communication skills to overcome some of the challenges with difficult clients . I’m going to walk you through some basic communication tools and then thanks to the wonderful folks in my Facebook managers groups who contributed some stories , we’re going to put those skills to work dealing with some of our most common conflicts.

For All Staff: 1.5 hours

How to Identify Your Practice Culture, and What to Change if You Don’t Like What You See

Businesses have finally realized how much culture matters to their financial success and to their team’s happiness. Great culture drives great patient care – and that is what we all want- our patients to get the best we can offer.

But culture is more than a feel-good thing. It takes time, concentration, smart hiring, planned training and career advancement opportunities for the team members. Bad company culture will cost an organization one quarter of their employees in less than a year. We are going to explore culture – how to figure out what you have – and how to get it to be what you want.

For All Staff: 1 hour

Handling Euthanasia Calls with Empathy and Grace

One of the most delicate calls taking place in a practice is the call to arrange euthanasia. Few CSRs are given very specific training on handling these calls with empathy, kindness and leadership. This session trains how to make those calls some of the most bonding experiences you have with your clients.

For All Staff: 30 Minutes

Low Stress Solutions for High Stress Problems

Everyone in the profession has heard the data. More pets to care for and less staff to do it seems to sum up our dilemma. Clients don’t understand and are fussy and best , and downright hateful at their worst. Managers are so tired of changing protocols and schedules not to mention dealing with staff call outs and no-show interviews they can’t bear the thought of adding another initiative. So this webinar is designed to offer some solutions that can help reduce the stress without adding to the burden. We are going to explore how our overtaxed teams can utilize some simple tools to work together better, to enjoy their jobs more and to serve patients and clients better.

For All Staff: 30 Minutes