I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Dr. Maya Angelou
I use the word training as a catch-all for presentations, lectures, classroom teaching, keynote addresses, and other workshops that I do for a broad range of audiences. I have been speaking on behavioral health topics for the past couple of decades, and believe Dr. Angelou has it right. The essence of training is to engage people emotionally, because emotions ultimately motivate action, and action leads to change that ideally produces desirable outcomes.
Years ago I discovered the field of implementation science, which has played an instrumental role in shaping how I go about training. If you have never heard of this field before, it’s about how best practices (in any field) actually get implemented in practice. It’s the missing link between research and practice, and it’s important because if training goes in one ear and out the other, and never leads to any change in practice, then what good is it?
Unfortunately, most speakers in today’s world rely upon boring PowerPoint driven presentations covered in gobs of text with few explanatory graphics. Most have never heard of implementation science, and the fact that most one-shot trainings rarely lead to significant change. If you are in need of someone to conduct a training and want something different than the norm, I hope you contact me so we can talk about your needs.
How are my presentations different?
I am an expert at translating the complexities of topics like addiction, trauma, and behavioral lifestyle into understandable frameworks that motivate action leading to positive outcomes. Utilizing storytelling, visual graphics, and audience engagement, my presentations are never boring. I do use slides in many of my talks, but I have spent countless hours crafting each slide to supplement what I say, and not to be the content drivers of the presentation.
While I understand the one-shot-talk constraints of many speaking gigs, I do my best to educate audiences about the principles of implementation science, and what steps they can take to use the content of my talks in practice.
What do I speak about?
Most of my speaking has focused on topics related to addiction, trauma, and lifestyle. I collaborate with who hires me to customize trainings for each audience. Here is a sample of talks I have given in recent years:
- 5 Actions to Overcome Addiction (see sample slide deck)
- Pills, Pot & Alcohol: Reducing the Risk of Driving Under the Influence (see sample slide deck)
- Unhealthy Lifestyles: What You Don’t Know May be Killing You
- Recognition, Response, Referral: Brief Interventions for Helping the Substance Abusing Patient in Primary Care Medicine
- Trauma-based Roots of Addictive Disorders
- Engaging Creativity: Re-channeling Addictive Energy
- Protecting Our Children: Strategies for Avoiding the Path of Addiction
Who do I speak too?
I have spoken to many diverse groups of people, including: parents, educators, treatment providers, law enforcement, physicians, students, executives, and public officials. I have also taught graduate-level college courses on addiction theory and treatment at Portland State University and Lewis & Clark College, and spoken to many undergraduate classes as a visiting presenter.
What do people say about my talks?
Here is a sampling of quotes from folks who have attended one of my trainings:
His presentation really forced me to re-evaluate my stance on how inmates with dependency issues should be dealt with in prison. I’ve learned the importance of getting these folks the help they need to function effectively in society once they leave prison. No longer do I solely focus on “do the crime, do the time.”
Dr. Fitzgerald’s presentation was easy to follow and understand. It was presented in a way that made me stay focused and interested. Great start with the video, immediately caught my attention. It was unusual in the sense that it was not just a lecture where we were listening to a lot of facts, but I felt like we were included and could participate.
This is the third time I have heard Dr. Fitzgerald speak, and I can honestly say I learn something new every time.
His presentation on addiction helped me view my brother (who suffers from addiction and mental health problems) in a different way. I was able to share this information with my family members and we had some meaningful discussions in how to proceed, or attempt to proceed, with caring for him.
I think Dr. John Fitzgerald impressed me the most and it wasn’t even related to drugs. He stated that he has gone to school for years to get these designations behind his name, but that didn’t make him happy. He said the most important thing he could tell us is to do what you enjoy and ask yourself “What am I doing?” This really made me re-evaluate my goals and life plan. I feel that I have been chasing something that really won’t make me happy in the long run, so I’m planning on changing this all due to Dr. Fitzgerald’s teaching.
His presentation style is very captivating and interesting, not at all dry. What stuck with me the most is that addiction is a symptom of a larger issue that someone is trying to cope with. Many addicts have traumatic things that have happened in their lives and the drugs/alcohol, gambling, sex, etc. is a way to deal with it. I liked the question and answer session at the end of the presentation as well. I was able to get an answer to a question that I’ve had for a while about heroin addicts and methadone.
What should you do if you want to hire me for a training?
Email me to arrange a time to talk about your training needs.