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Vet Show Global Series—Backstage with Professor Jill Maddison

Isabelle Perlman

Jill is a Professor of General Practice at the Royal Veterinary College in the UK, as well as a successful editor for several small animal publications. Her session, titled “Top Tips for Interpreting Liver and Pancreatic Clin Path Results in Dogs and Cats,” attracted over 1,250 registrations from veterinary professionals across the globe. 

We started by asking Jill how she chose this particular topic: “This is a topic I have a very deep interest in, and I’ve also given that lecture in various places. I know it addresses issues that practitioners in general practice often have questions about.” She hits the trifecta of choosing a perfect topic: something you are passionate about, have great experience in, and one that is popular, yet tricky for many people. This proved to be a successful combination. 

When it comes to preparing to speak in front of a big group, some people meditate—others take lots of notes and practice 100 times before; luckily, Jill is a pro when it comes to speaking on this particular topic. This wasn’t her first live CE/CPD experience, so all she had to do was prepare and edit her slides. “I’m always excited when I start to teach, I wasn't nervous though,” she said when asked how she felt during her experience, “I don’t tend to get nervous, but I’m always excited to be engaged in teaching.” Spoken like a true professor!

One thing that makes these webinars special is the ability for audience members to submit live questions throughout the session. Typically during an in-person session, you’d have to hold in your question until the end—and maybe even forget it in the process. Jill enjoyed the questions she received, saying they were good and very common questions that people ask. Consequently, the function to submit live questions throughout sessions will be added to the live Vet Shows.

For future speakers, we wanted to know if she had any advice on speaking and presenting topics virtually. “It’s always slightly challenging when you use a new platform, so I suppose my advice would be to prep, and to certainly take advantage of having a practice run,” says Jill. It definitely isn’t easy maneuvering new technology while presenting a topic you’re passionate about, but Jill mastered the art of keeping her audience engaged with her thoughtful insights and detailed explanations. 

jill maddisonWe asked Jill about the difference between live events vs. virtual learning. Are there benefits for online learning, or is in-person always better? Her response was that there are benefits, but the downside is that “you can’t see the audience, how you’re being perceived and how things are going, so you are kind of speaking into this empty space.” The upside, however, is that you get “more (and better) questions in an online lecture because people have time to write and they don’t have to actually speak up,” she says, “which sometimes people find very difficult in an audience.” Jill adds that another benefit of online learning is that it’s “very convenient. People can watch it wherever they are depending on their time zone and they don’t have to travel.” For future speaking opportunities, she answered positively that she would do it again.

As far as great veterinary speakers go, Jill is at the top. She’s experienced, engaging, and extremely knowledgeable on all things small animal medicine. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to start our Global Series, and we can’t wait for you to see what else is in store for the future. 

Click here to watch the recording of Jill’s webinar! 

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