Women are underrepresented on stage as physician thought leaders, and there is an international effort afoot to fix this inequity. This lecture was given at the 2019 Association of Women Surgeons Annual Meeting to help women surgeons get the professional opportunities and rewards they deserve.

Although I realize the slides don’t speak for themselves (that’s deliberate – you should do this too!) they are available publicly on SlideShare and embedded right here:

Also, I put together a tutorial thread on Twitter to walk readers through the key messages:

Stiegler Speaking for Physicians Women in Medicine Course

I saw a few people streaming the talk from the audience – I wish I knew where they posted it! But since I don’t know and I can’t share it all, here’s a summary of a few highlights.

How to get more invitations to speak:

Not getting invited to speak? There are a few slides about the importance of professional branding. Why? Because ineffective branding is a key reason people don’t get speaking invitations – they just don’t come to mind, or they come to mind but the connection to the theme/need isn’t clear, or the person who is recommending the speaker simply can’t articulate the connection to other people in the decision making process. Connect the dots for the stakeholders, naysayers, and decision-makers. That’s branding. You can do this effectively both in person and online – check out this video on how to do that even without your own website. Don’t assume others know what you know, or even know what you do. Make it easy for others to ‘get it’ – to think of you, recommend you, and articulate why your work is relevant to others’ needs.

How to get paid as a speaker (Yes, you can and should!):

What about getting paid to speak? This is among the most common questions I get asked on a regular basis – how to get paid to speak, and how to know how much to charge, and how to actually negotiate that. So, I wanted to be sure to hit on equitable compensation for women, but also to linger a bit on how there are many different ways to view compensation. It doesn’t have to be in the form of a 5 figure speaking fee (though it certainly can be – that’s very achievable and reasonable!). It can be in terms of protected time, promotions, career advancement, different career opportunities – all of the usual academic and private practice currency applies. There are many ways to structure equitable compensation. Work isn’t all about money. But preparing and delivering presentations without ROI is not viable in the long term.

How to deliver like a pro speaker so you get even more invitations to speak, and get paid even more:

And we did spend a bit of time on delivery. Not the usual filler words and attention grabbers, but on a bigger message. Forget building your talk around key points. Have a true purpose that’s relevant to your audience. Connect every slide and every story to that purpose. What is the new future – what will the audience do differently and better when they leave the room?

I hope you’ll check out the full thread, and if you’re in the place where you’re ready to take your career to the next level – academic, entrepreneurial, business, whatever your model – please come join us for this once-a-year offering of The Speaking Rx. It’s a 12 week course, and it’s like nothing you’ve done before, guaranteed. (No, it’s actually guaranteed!)

physicians love the speaking prescription course

I know from personal experience that doors open professionally when you become well established as a speaker. It’s the single biggest boost you can give your career. So, hop off the fence and get up on the stage. I know you can do it, and I’m rooting for you!


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