UKIO Online 2020 officially opened on Monday and the programme started with an engaging plenary session by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.
One of Britain’s most successful paralympians and six-times winner of the London Marathon, she is now an advocate for sport for the disabled and accessibility for people with disabilities.
The president of UKIO Online 2020, Nick Spencer, consultant radiologist at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, welcomed diagnostics and oncology professionals.
“We hope we have created an event that delivers everything that delegates want that will capture the attention of the audience from beginning to end," he said.
Communication, overcoming adversity, and the new normal
The baroness began her presentation by welcoming attendees and describing how interesting it was to deliver a presentation online.
“It is amazing how technology has allowed us to do this and quite fascinating to think about communication and delivering my presentation using just a screen," she said
"It is totally different to the normal way I would present to an audience in an auditorium. The technology is so exciting and makes us look at things in a different way, and that includes attending a conference such as UKIO.”
Baroness Grey-Thompson described the challenges and struggles that athletes go through in their quest to become winners and the best that they can be.
“Communication skills are very important," she said. "You are often interviewed just after you have won (or lost) and haven’t even caught your breath. The ability to be able to string your words together in those situations can have a big impact in how you are perceived by the public.
Being an athlete is not enough; you need sponsors and supporters. The question is, 'Are you marketable?'” she said.
“What makes a good communicator? Practice, practice, practice!”
How we communicate and how we are seen in our professional lives is more important than ever now, she said, “understanding what you say, the words you use, the language and the tone, is so important and can make people feel comfortable and included, or uncomfortable and excluded.”
“As a politician, people may say I loved what you said or I hated what you said. However, they also comment on my hair looking awful, or the skirt I was wearing. If you deal with that badly then opinion of you can change immediately.
“For me, communication with other people and bringing other people on board is vital in order to achieve the things I want to achieve.”
Commenting on the current crisis, the baroness said: “We are always challenging ourselves in different ways during the pandemic. The question is what can we learn from it the experience so we don’t go backwards?
"We need to find the capacity to uncover the good stuff we are doing and so improve our future. Not everything has to be done the way it has always been done. This is a really difficult time for everyone but so exciting that we have the chance to do things differently and better.”
UKIO Online 2020 will present some of the best sessions from the programme planned for the 2020 event that was due to be held in Liverpool this week.
Delivered in bite-sized chunks over the summer of 2020, check the website for planned sessions and registration details. Content will be available in a listen-again library after the live session.