John Kim UCLA

Customer-Centric Sales Strategies in Biotech: Elevating Beyond Product-Centric Approaches

In the rapidly evolving landscape of biotechnology, where groundbreaking innovations shape the future of healthcare and research, the role of sales strategies extends beyond mere product promotion. Biotech companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of adopting customer-centric approaches to not only meet but exceed the needs of their diverse clientele. Below, John Kim UCLA delves into the significance of customer-centric sales strategies in the biotech sector, emphasizing the shift from product-centric to customer-centric approaches and how these strategies contribute to sustained success in the industry.

Understanding the Biotech Landscape

Biotechnology, a field at the intersection of biology and technology, encompasses a wide range of applications, from pharmaceuticals and medical devices to agricultural advancements and environmental solutions. In such a dynamic and multifaceted industry, understanding the unique needs and challenges of customers becomes paramount for success.

Diverse Customer Base

The customer base in biotech spans a spectrum of entities, including pharmaceutical companies, research institutions, healthcare providers, and agricultural organizations. Each customer category comes with its own set of challenges, regulatory requirements, and expectations.

Rapid Technological Advancements

The fast-paced nature of technological advancements in biotech requires sales strategies to be agile and adaptable. Customers seek not only innovative products but also solutions that integrate seamlessly into their existing workflows.

The Shift from Product-Centric to Customer-Centric Approaches

Understanding Customer Needs

A customer-centric approach begins with a deep understanding of the unique challenges and goals of each customer segment. Sales teams in biotech must engage in active listening, gathering insights into the specific requirements of their clients.

Building Long-Term Relationships

Beyond transactional interactions, successful sales strategies in biotech focus on building enduring relationships. Recognizing the long-term nature of many biotech projects, sales professionals aim to become trusted partners rather than mere product vendors.

Customized Solutions

Biotech customers often require tailored solutions that align with their distinct applications and goals. Customer-centric sales strategies involve collaborating closely with clients to customize products or services, ensuring they seamlessly integrate into existing processes.

Post-Sale Support

The customer journey extends beyond the sale of a product. Providing robust post-sale support, including training, troubleshooting assistance, and continuous communication, contributes to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Key Components of Customer-Centric Sales in Biotech


In-Depth Product Knowledge

While the focus is on the customer, in-depth product knowledge remains crucial. Sales teams need to convey the technical aspects and unique selling points of their products in a way that aligns with the customer’s specific needs.

Education and Training

Biotech sales strategies often involve educating customers on the proper use and benefits of products. Providing comprehensive training programs demonstrates a commitment to customer success and facilitates optimal product utilization.

Value-Added Services

In addition to products, offering value-added services enhances the overall customer experience. This may include access to educational resources, on-site support, or collaborative research initiatives.

Data-Driven Insights

Leveraging data analytics can provide valuable insights into customer behaviors and preferences. By understanding how customers interact with products and services, sales teams can refine their strategies and offerings.

Success Stories in Customer-Centric Biotech Sales

Collaborative Research Partnerships

Biotech companies engaging in collaborative research partnerships with academic institutions or other research entities showcase a commitment to advancing scientific knowledge. These partnerships not only benefit the biotech company but also contribute to the broader scientific community.

Customized Solutions for Pharma Companies

In the pharmaceutical sector, biotech sales teams may collaborate with pharmaceutical companies to develop customized solutions for drug development. This customer-centric approach aligns with the specific needs and challenges of the pharmaceutical industry.

Continuous Training Initiatives

Biotech sales strategies that incorporate continuous training initiatives for customers demonstrate an ongoing commitment to customer success. This can include workshops, webinars, and training modules that empower customers to make the most of the products or services.

Conclusion: The Future of Customer-Centric Sales in Biotech

As the biotech industry continues to innovate and evolve, customer-centric sales strategies will play an increasingly vital role. The ability to understand and adapt to the diverse needs of customers, provide value beyond products, and build enduring relationships will differentiate successful biotech companies in the competitive market. By prioritizing the customer experience, biotech sales teams contribute not only to the growth of their respective companies but also to the advancement of scientific and technological frontiers in the biotech sector.

John Kim UCLA

3D Printing in Medicine: From Customized Implants to Tissue Engineering

When Charles Hull invented 3D printing in 1984, he was trying to develop a machine to use UV lasers to engrave acrylic layers used to build a slew of everyday products.

Almost 40 years later, 3D printing has been an integral part of numerous medical breakthroughs and modern treatments. That’s because 3D printing in medicine offers designs specific to unique patient needs, can be fabricated quickly, and comes at a lower cost than most alternatives.

As early as the 1990s, 3D printing was used for such medical purposes as dental implants. Since then, scientists have produced 3D-printed jaws and prosthetic legs. Several medical labs designed their own 3D printers for very specific purposes, including replicating cartilage, stem cells, and materials that can function the same way as blood vessels and tissue.

And it’s just the beginning. John Kim UCLA explains how 3D printing technology has changed modern medicine — and why it will continue to do so.


The healthcare industry was one of the first to take advantage of 3D printing technology, which takes a digital image and turns it into a solid, 3D object. The evolution has been swift and widely adaptable.

In many ways, 3D printing is uniquely suited for the medical field since it requires high customization and rapid progress in treatments. 3D printing for the medical field has become highly specialized. One company, Coapt, focuses on creating pattern recognition systems and additive manufacturing technology to build 3D printed and fully responsive prosthetic arms that meld into a patient’s biology.

By 2030, the 3D printed tools and molds industry is expected to be worth $21 billion.

Promising Uses in Medicine

Medical devices

3D printing is commonly used to create medical devices through software that produces on-demand instruments for surgery, surgical masks, and much more. 3D modeling has been used to produce ventilators when there has been a shortage in recent years.

For example, there have been over 10 million hearing aids generated from 3D printing — more than what is manufactured traditionally.

John Kim UCLA

Implants and Prosthetics

One size fits all doesn’t quite work for prosthetics, so 3D printing has vastly changed the way they both function and feel. The technology also means customized prosthetics can be produced at a drastically lower cost than before.

Orthopedic medicine has long embraced this technology to replace injured or missing bones and joints, everything from skulls and hips to wrists and the small bones of the face and inner ear.

Bioprinting and Tissue Engineering

One of the more advanced uses of 3D printing is bioprinting, which uses a pipette guided by a computer to layer cells that are living on top of each other, leading to lab-made artificial living tissue. Such tissues can mimic organs, so they are especially beneficial in medical research and are emerging as alternatives to organ transplants.

Surgical Guides

3D printing helps create surgical guides that are highly patient-specific and used by surgeons to effectively plan and perform complex surgeries. 3D printing can take a patient’s anatomy and use it as a basis to suggest precise placement of instruments and devices, greatly improving outcomes while reducing operation times.

John Kim UCLA

The Potential of Robotically Assisted Ultrasound in Assessing Brain Health

Since the 1950s, ultrasound technology has been invaluable to the medical field. This technology has come a long way since then–to the point that some are integrating robotics. The question then is how this development advances biotechnology.

Robotically assisted ultrasound could provide benefits in the form of improved ease of use for sonographers, greater availability, and accuracy of assessments. There are several limitations that must be overcome in the meantime, however.

John Myungjune Kim notes that the medical field is constantly evolving to the point it can be difficult to keep up. Below are some of the key developments and breakdowns regarding robotically assisted ultrasound technology.

The Current State of Medical Robotics

By no means is robotically assisted ultrasound widely available at this point. Today, most sonographers are using hand-held ultrasound probes. That said, there are a few examples of this technology in use.

Since 2019 Novasignal’s Lucid™ Robotic System has been used in select hospitals to remotely scan patients. This device is made up of a robotic headset that can detect blood flow among other ultrasound purposes.

Another robotic ultrasound device is the MGIUS-R3. This model is made up of an arm with an ultrasound probe at the end. Like the previous device, the MGIUS-R3 allows physicians to control the probe remotely with real-time data.

In addition to these two, there are several other devices. They include the MELODY system, ReMeDi, and TOURS to name a few. These devices are variations of a common design with differing levels of autonomy.
The eventual goal seems to be fully autonomous ultrasound devices with physicians free to focus on other aspects of the procedure. While these devices aren’t there yet they are well on their way.

John Myungjune Kim

The Benefits of Robotic Assistance

There are many great benefits that could come with robotic assistance. They range from benefits for the sonographer to benefits for the patient.

  • Reduced strain on sonographers
  • Improved access in rural areas
  • More precise mapping

The first is that these robotic ultrasound devices can reduce strain on the bodies and minds of sonographers. With hand-held ultrasound devices, the sonographer must split their attention between the device, patient, and display. This may be easy for experienced sonographers, having the tech available will make the exams simpler.

The next big benefit is that those experienced sonographers are not unlimited nor are they everywhere. Advanced robotically assisted ultrasound devices could perform exams with a remote physician or eventually no physician at all.

Lastly, the precision of robotics could allow sonographers to reacquire specific images more easily. This is possible without robotics, however difficult. This also comes with greater stability as mechanical arms (or other apparatus) do not tire.

Final Thoughts

Although the robotics are not yet at the point to be fully and reliably autonomous the field is close. With this advance in biotech, the medical field can further improve the patient’s experience. Greater access will allow people to receive testing more easily which will in turn improve public welfare.

John Kim UCLA

How 3D Printing is Revolutionizing the Healthcare Industry

Technology has moved at unprecedented rates within the healthcare industry, with 113 hospitals nationwide boasting in-house 3D printing facilities as of 2019. Considering only three had such facilities in 2010, that’s quite a leap. And as each day goes by, John Myungjune Kim reports that more hospitals are hopping aboard this revolutionary technology bandwagon.

Simultaneously, the FDA has approved hundreds of 3D-printed products, thanks to research by the Pew Trust. Plus, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the use of the technology as institutions began relying on these printers to create PPE and medical devices.

Coupled with the fact that medical device manufacturers are increasingly utilizing 3D printing to reduce costs and meet supply demands, these developments are shaping the healthcare industry and its future. While they are not yet commonplace, hospitals and systems are certainly benefiting from existing technology and are excited about how it can transform clinical care in the coming years.

Impacts of 3D Printing

3D printers read digital blueprints, producing a three-dimensional solid object with ultraviolet light and filament.

The relatively simple inner workings of the equipment negate the need for heavy, costly machinery, accelerating product production. Already, the printers have cut production times for hearing aids by 85.71% (from one week to one day).

But the industry-changing technology has had many other impacts, too, including:

Building Anatomical Models

3D printers can craft incredibly accurate, intricately detailed anatomical models, giving surgeons the preparation they need to perform complex procedures and improve outcomes.

Researchers at the University of Virginia and Florida Atlantic University designed a robotic model of the human spine to enable surgeons to predict how interventions would work prior to surgery.

Upon studying the replica in 2022, results showed the system has 100% accuracy when determining the candidacy of implants in five different postures.

A 2020 study published in Academic Radiology reported that using replicas before the procedure reduced the surgical time by 62 minutes, saving $3,720 per case. According to a similar study in 2021, long surgeries decreased by 1.5 to 2.5 hours when 3D-printed models were utilized.

Fabricating Medical Equipment

Fabricating clamps, hemostats, forceps, and other medical devices is the most typical use for 3D printers in the sector. The biggest upside is the precise design modifications; they can be altered rapidly per surgeon feedback.

For instance, the recent worldwide shortage of ventilators was saved by the 3D-printed versions made by a group from Oregon Health & Science University. Utilizing the revolutionary technology allowed them to replicate the medical device for less than $10 of material.

Crafting Prosthetics and Implants

3D printing first found its medical usage with dental implants. However, the FDA has since approved the technology to create more complex implants and prosthetics.

A study published in 2021’s Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons showed that 3D printing impacted cartilage and bone restoration, boasting the potential to transform how practitioners treat musculoskeletal injuries.

Other experts note that the technology can enhance the function and fit of prosthetics. Since it’s become affordable and accessible, organizations have started creating limbs (particularly hands and arms) for individuals around the world.

John Myungjune Kim

Boosting the Number of Patients Treated

The efficiency and speed afforded by 3D technology ensures more people can access the treatment they need within a suitable timeframe (and at a more affordable cost).

By reducing time in surgery, decreasing costs, and lowering the risk of complications and errors, 3D printing streamlines medical professionals’ time to guarantee more patients are seen.

The Future of Bioprinting

As the evidence shows, 3D printing in healthcare has made leaps and bounds. But it certainly hasn’t finished growing.

Scientists and surgeons are hopeful that a UC-Berkeley-developed 3D printing process will make producing on-demand living blood vessels, body tissue, bones, and organs possible, allowing them to treat the over 100,000 people waiting for organ transplants in the US.

The Berkeley team put forward a bioprinting process that freezes and stacks cells simultaneously to ensure the organs and tissue survive until transplanted.

If 3D printing’s impacts weren’t already transformative, the bioprinting potential would completely revolutionize the field, granting overwhelmingly positive patient outcomes and boosting quality of life.

John Kim UCLA

Ethics and Biotechnology – Balancing Innovation with Safety

As increasingly numerous applications of biotechnology allow for greater strides in medicine and agriculture, several ethical concerns limit researchers’ abilities to test methods as frequently and fully as they might prefer. To combat the issue, researchers must take steps to ensure their innovations remain safe and secure.

John Kim of UCLA explains that most ethical concerns in biotechnology revolve around the issues of altering nature to the potential point of causing ecological harm, informed consent in experimental clinical trials, the collection of personal genetic information, and the accidental release of pathogens. These must be countered through both legislation and proactive security protocols.

Because the ethical concerns surrounding biotechnology number so high, it’s important to go over a few of their broad categories before endeavoring to find solutions to them.

Ethical Concerns in Biotechnology

The ethical considerations of biotechnology vary somewhat depending upon the field within which it’s being applied. For instance, in the field of agriculture, ethical concerns might include:

  • Experimental bacteria escaping the lab and affecting surrounding soil
  • Alterations to plants and animals that defy natural occurrences
  • Harm to the environment if an experiment has unintended consequences
  • Causing random mutations, such as when trying to sterilize insects
  • Negative impact on agricultural supply chains
  • Disruptions to the natural ecological balance
John Kim UCLA

In medicine, the public often takes the potential effects of biotechnology even more seriously. Ethical concerns are raised frequently, and many innovations are resisted with passionate ferocity. A few ethical concerns to account for in this area are:

  • Release of personal genetic information for use in medicinal research
  • Escape of pathogens or viruses leading to disease outbreaks
  • The high cost of drugs and treatments created through biotechnology
  • Discovery of synthetic viruses or organisms that can be used for bioterrorism
  • Unnatural alterations to or creation of human beings, such as cloning

Making Biotechnology More Ethical

To some degree, applied scientists and researchers are already forced into some measure of ethical practice by imposed legislation. For instance, the Biological Weapons Committee has been banning the development and stockpiling of bioweapons since 1975.

Such restrictions, however, do not entirely prevent safety and security threats from arising. Just as protocols for safe practices when researching viruses will not provide full-proof incident prevention, the BWC cannot stop independent bioterrorists from developing their own weapons. Bioterrorism has existed since the Middle Ages. It does not require a laboratory.

The best way to alleviate ethical concerns in biotechnology is simple, albeit time-consuming. Researchers must simply hold themselves accountable for preventing the above issues from occurring and show the public over time that their methods are safe. If identifying undue risk of safety or security occurrences, they should pull the plug on a project themselves.


Ethical concerns over biotechnology may always raise suspicions among government and the general public. However, better accountability on the part of researchers to prevent the escape of pathogens or bacteria, foresee possible ecological disruptions, and safeguard information can improve not only the safety of their innovations, but also public perception.

John Kim UCLA

The Controversy of ChatGPT

When ChatGPT first debuted in November 2022, it sent shockwaves across the Internet, leaving many to wonder just how influential the new AI chatbot would be. John Kim UCLA says that with its ability to create human-like content for a nearly endless range of topics, some market analysts have even questioned whether it could shake Google from its seemingly omnipotent position. Others have focused on who stands to benefit most from the technology.

Although it’s still in its early days, there are a few obvious winners destined to benefit from ChatGPT. As long as the landmark development can rise above its inevitable competition, the AI technology will persist for many years to come. For now, though, let’s take a closer look at who will most benefit today.

The Obvious Winner – Microsoft

The main players responsible for ChatGPT likely won’t come as a surprise to anyone. In its inception, we find Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, who acted as the main financial backers, co-founders, and advocates for OpenAI—the developers behind ChatGPT. As development got underway, though, Musk distanced himself from the project, arguing that it had become overly profit driven.

At that point, Microsoft got involved and invested a startling $10 billion into the technology. This helped to propel it forward and guaranteed that ChatGPT would have the resources it needed to become a functioning and powerful language model. This also meant, though, that Microsoft become the primary stakeholder of the technology.

Any current or future successes will therefore benefit Microsoft directly. This could give the tech company a leg up on Apple, Google, and other competitors who are now scrambling to create a similar product.

Other Potential Winners – Big Business

It’s not just tech companies that stand to benefit from ChatGPT. In the few short months since its launch, leading businesses across multiple industries have begun exploring how the technology can increase efficiency, cut costs, and collect more accurate data. What’s so shocking though, is the type of industries currently considering these benefits.

From media outlets, such as Buzzfeed, to global institutions, like national banks and oil conglomerates, it seems that the world economy is hoping to incorporate AI language models into their daily operations. If it proves to be as efficient and effective as analysts have projected, ChatGPT could create a surge in global production.

Lesser Beneficiaries – Tech Investors

The last year hasn’t been the best for the tech industry. Meta Platforms—the parent company behind Facebook—has lost over 7% of its value in the last year alone. Yet, with Microsoft breaking new ground, it’s likely that competing companies will throw their hats into the ring. For Microsoft, its stock values have risen roughly 7% in the last month, highlighting just how profitable new technologies can be.

These profits will slowly trickle down to tech investors who have long been waiting for the next revolutionary development. As Google and Apple release their own answers to ChatGPT, it’s likely that their investors will also benefit.

The Bottom Line

AI is the wave of the future. Although it’s still in its infancy, the technology is bound to benefit Microsoft—its biggest financial backer—as well as global industries and investors supporting the tech boom. Where this may all lead is still unclear but, for now, it doesn’t seem as if ChatGPT will disappear anytime soon.

John Kim UCLA

Healthcare Technology: Advancements Shaping the Landscape

Healthcare technology has come a long way in the last few years alone. Since the pandemic, the tech sphere within the industry has accelerated beyond many people’s predictions. From telehealth to remote patient monitoring, John Kim of UCLA says that healthcare has transformed.

However, there’s no denying that the industry still has a long way to go. But recent advancements, like those discussed below, have given it a fighting chance at crafting beneficial innovations to further healthcare across the globe.

Integrated Data Sharing

A major challenge in the field is the lack of information sharing between practitioners. Patient data isn’t routinely passed between consultants, doctors, and other providers, causing delays, frustrations, and, in some cases, physically harmful consequences.

On top of that, it often results in problems for the health systems themselves. After all, withholding information leads to immense amounts of unnecessary costs due to the use of redundant workups and medical labs.

And, when the costs rise, it contributes to the sector’s biggest problem — only well-insured people can access top-quality care.

In the next ten years, experts believe HIPAA-compliant patient data sharing will be one of the most significant advancements to hit the field, benefitting the lives of patients and health systems.

Predictive Analytics

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will increasingly be leveraged for predictive analytics in the field. Both types of advanced technology can allow potentially life-saving predictions for patients of all types.

Such predictions include:

  • Remote early infection detection, including COVID-19, by vitals monitoring
  • How a particular patient will react to treatment methods or medications
  • Which patients will likely be readmitted to the hospital and the reasons behind the readmittance
  • Whether a patient will decompensate due to missed preventative medications or treatments

Predictive analytics is already underway, and the sector is in a great position to enable more patients to receive preventative medical treatments, preventing loss of life and hospital admittance.


Medical Life Cycle Clarity

Technological advancements will boost transparency in every stage of the medical lifestyle, stopping misunderstandings and reducing costs.

Currently, it’s fairly common for patients to not completely understand what service is happening, where it’s happening, why it’s occurring, and how much it will cost.

Naturally, that needs to change — and technology can bridge the gap by offering straightforward access to critical information, regardless of where they are.

Around three years ago, the US Department of Health and Human Services published rules that allowed patients this access. But further technological innovations are streamlining it, ensuring that it is easy to understand for the elderly, undereducated, and underinsured.

Mobility Giving Rise to The Healthcare Technology of The Future

Perhaps the largest challenge faced by the healthcare industry and its advanced technology is the initial error rate — after technological products necessitate iteration before they’re deemed reliable.

However, experts say that by working together closely, they can reduce errors while rolling out new tech and ensuring it’s completely reliable.

Ultimately, the change is worth it. And the rising of the mobile workforce is allowing it to happen much quicker than anticipated.

John Kim UCLA

The Biotechnology Applications in Healthcare That is Revolutionizing Treatment

Biotechnology combines natural science, organisms, and cells with molecular analogs for services and products. Utilizing such processes has been shown to improve patient’s quality of life and provides a broader application range in human welfare research and improvement.

John Kim UCLA says that the biotechnology used in medicine and healthcare settings is vital to ensure the manufacturing of safe, effective drugs while reducing immunological reactions prevalent in medications derived from non-human substances. But there are five particular applications that have revolutionized the healthcare industry to date.

Genetically Engineered Insulin

Patients with diabetes require insulin to remove excess blood sugar.

Historically, the condition was treated with insulin from pigs and calves. However, this caused allergies and other less-than-pleasant symptoms. Therefore, researchers worked hard to isolate human insulin.

The hormone is made up of two polypeptide chains (A and B) connected by disulfide bridges. In humans and other mammals, insulin is a prohormone containing an extra peptide that requires removal before mature insulin can be produced.

Scientists found it difficult to produce human insulin in its mature state until 1983, when a business called Eli Lilly solved the problem by:

  1. creating two DNA sequences that corresponded to the A and B chains.
  2. using the sequences to make insulin chains in E.Coli plasmids.
  3. making the chains individually, extricating the C-peptide, and joining them with disulfide bonds.

Gene Therapy

Gene therapy holds promise for treating hereditary illnesses.

John Myungjune Kim explains that the process involves inserting the correct gene for the dysfunctional or defective gene into a patient using vectors. The normal gene takes the functions of the irregular gene, resulting in a permanent cure if the procedure is conducted during early infancy.

Recombinant Vaccine

Recombinant vaccines are made using recombinant DNA technology. It involves inserting the DNA that encodes an antigen into mammalian or bacterial cells. From there, it’s purified, and an effective vaccine is created.

Currently, there are three types of recombinant vaccines:

  • Subunit — Components of pathogenic organisms like proteins and peptides to protect against BCG, HSV, and Hepatitis B.
  • Attenuated recombinant — Genetically modified pathogenic organisms to create non-pathogenic vaccines to protect against mumps, yellow fever, measles, and rubella.
  • Vector recombinant — Genetically modified viral vectors to protect against specific pathogens like ZIKA or flu.

Molecular Diagnosis

Conventional testing measures like urine and serum samples don’t grant early detection. The condition is only recognized once the pathogen concentration has increased. But for successful cures, early detection is critical.

The most common biotechnology molecular diagnosis methods are Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), and Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization (FISH).

Biomedical Innovations

The past few years have seen biomedical innovations go through the roof, including:

  • Gene editing
  • Biomaterials
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Bioprinting
  • Nanomedicine
  • Stem cell therapies

All of these have become potential remedies for a whole host of diseases. One of the most prominent is bioprinting complete, complex tissues for those suffering from kidney or liver damage.

The field of Biotechnology is catapulting the healthcare industry into the future.

John Kim UCLA

The Importance of Speech and Debate in Schools for Future Careers

Most students won’t put every textbook lesson to use in their future careers. Think about it, realtors are no more likely to use quadratics in selling a house than doctors are to recite Keats at a checkup. But one little-known class that provides skills for any career is speech and debate.

Speech and debate classes can help students to prepare for, find, and function in their future careers by increasing their performance at school, improving their interview dexterity, and strengthening people and work skills such as listening, self-confidence, communication, reasoning, empathy, collaboration, and diligence.

While most things are pretty debatable, it would be hard to argue against the benefit of including speech and debate in the classroom setting. John Myungjune Kim explores how this often-overlooked course may actually be more useful than some of its textbook-heavy companions.

Benefits School Performance

Given the breadth of topics they may be asked to debate, speech and debate classes can expose children to a wide range of new concepts, insights, and perspectives. Some of these topics may even spark their interests enough to influence the direction of their future careers.

In addition to these broader goals, however, speech and debate can also help children with skills more immediately applicable to their school years, like:

  • Listening
  • Research
  • Writing
  • Time management
  • Public speaking
  • Collaboration

Regardless which side of an argument students are assigned to cover, and which side presents first, every debate will require participants to listen to their opponents’ arguments, the input of their team members, and the guidance of their instructors.

For children who struggle to pay attention in class, the participatory nature of speech and debate may make listening easier. Some students may also find the competitive aspect of debating an additional incentive to put forth their best efforts.

In the process of crafting their presentations, students may have to conduct research to gather enough material to defend their claims. While the depth of the necessary research will vary by topic, even the simplest investigations can have a lasting impact on how students approach learning new topics and performing fact-finding.

Having gathered their information, the students must also organize arguments to fit the time frame allotted. While some may find presenting before the class daunting, learning this skill early on can increase their comfort with presentations in other classes and help them to build the communication skills of a successful leader.

Builds Application Skills

After completing their education, some students set their sights on college while others choose to head directly into the workforce. In either case, these young adults are more than likely going to face an application or interview process of some description. The skills involved in performing well while interviewing overlap significantly with those involved in speech and debate, including:

  • Communication etiquette
  • Eloquence and coherence
  • Confidence
  • A goal-oriented mindset
  • Logical reasoning
  • The ability to think on one’s feet

While straight As and high-test scores look great on paper, they can’t make up for a lack of people skills. As they practice debating and giving speeches, students learn to communicate verbally with confidence and eloquence, as well as non-verbally, by how they compose themselves, through their body language, and in their engaging eye contact.

The need to dress smartly for competitions can also expose students to situations that require appropriate professional attire. During the interview process, dressing to impress can go a long way in helping an applicant make a good first impression.

Beyond teaching individuals how to look the part of a strong candidate, speech and debate can also help participants prepare for interview questions, which often test a candidate’s ability to reason, and problem solve. By introducing them to a range of debate topics, these participatory classes give students experience thinking on their feet.

Speech and Debate Skills that Enhance Career Success

While many of the same skills that benefit a child at school and in an interview setting will likewise serve their performance in the workplace, speech and debate classes also teach many of the people skills and productivity essentials necessary to succeed while at work, including:

  • Empathy
  • Perspective taking
  • Reading people
  • Providing and accepting constructive criticism
  • Teamwork
  • Listening to and respecting the opinions of others
  • Humility
  • Resilience
  • Common sense
  • Time management
  • Goal-orientation

Speech and debate instructors often assign students both a topic and a side on which to argue, regardless of the students’ personal experiences with the subject matter. Throughout the process of investigating, organizing, and presenting their findings, students learn to separate fact and feeling.

While it may seem obvious that there are two sides to every argument, having to explore and understand the reasoning behind each—both to defend their own position and to predict their opponents’ claims—forces children to treat diversity with respect and to look at a situation from multiple perspectives.

While its social component instills team-oriented cooperation and people-reading skills, the competitive nature of speech and debate cultivates a goal-oriented and ambitious mindset. This mindset often carries over as debate students’ “teams” shift from their peers in debate to co-workers, clients, and customers.

Over the course of multiple debates, participants are likely to experience both wins and losses. Together, this mixture of success and defeat makes debate the perfect activity for learning humility as well as resilience. In any career, it is far easier to work with peers who can bounce back from loss with a smile and triumph with grace than with a callous winner or sore loser.


While speech and debate courses are rarely as heavily emphasized in school as more standardized subjects like Math and English, these classes are sure to serve children in any future career by teaching them new research, presentation, and people skills, as well as how to accept their wins and losses with dignity and grace.