How to Tell Your Story

By Marc A. Schuckit M.D, 9/20/2013S1

I. ††† Introduction

††††††††††††††††††††††† A.†† Learn how organize message for an audience

1.       You are vehicle of information; but audience is key

2.       Same approach used for:

a.       Grand rounds

b.      Scientific lecture

c.††† Medical student lecture (our example in AMSP)

d.†† A paper

e.†† A grant

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† B.†† To meet AMSP education goal you need remember:S2

1.Lecture goes on AMSP Website

2.To be used by others

3.To be given in their own words

4.Outline is essential (but is rarely taught)

5.Must use sentence fragments

a.       From 1st draft on

b.      Give enough so lecturer knows what to say

c.       Not so much it will be read word for word

d.      Allows eye contact (is not to be read)

e.      Can find place easily if lost

6.Keep outline to 1 item per line

7.No A without B; 1 without 2, and so on

8.Audience to be first year med students (so use no jargon); 45 min long

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 9.Using AMSP conventions for consistency


a. Outline format

b. Convention for words (arbitrary)

1í. Abuse

2í. Binge

3í. Addiction

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† C.††† Everyone can learn this skillS3

1.Some better than others, but all can improve

2.I teach a specific style

3.You modify for yourself

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† D.†† This lecture has 5 components (shown on slide)S4

††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† E.††† Now onto philosophy and preparationS5

††††††††††††††††††††††† II.††† Philosophy ††S6

A.      Set ~4 clear goals

1.       Thatís all audience will remember

2.       Helps you adjust lecture if ↑ or ↓ time

3.       Those goals become focus of lecture

a.       All else builds up to 4 points

b.      Or summarizes & closes points

c.       These 4 goals need be explicit in giving lecture/writing papers, etc.

B.      Goal must fit audience

1.       Be sure itís what they want & need

2.       Use their language & level

3.       Donít give something just because you spent time on it

C.      Pace information to fit audience attention span

1.       Thatís only ~10 minutes

2.       Everyone in audience has different off/on times

3.       So need summarize at end of each major point and section to synchronize

D.      Now onto preparation

††††††††††††††††††††††† III. PreparationS7

††††††††††††††††††††††† A.†† Must know material well

1.       Best way to ↓ anxiety

2.       You will know more than most in audience

B.†††† Steps in preparation

††††††††††††††† 1.††††† Develop outline

††††††††††††††† 2.††††† Revise (& keep revising)

††††††††††††††† 3.††††† Practice & time self

††††††††††††††† 4.††††† Anticipate problems

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† C.††† To know material: need systematic focused literature reviewS8

††††††††††††††† 1. †††††Begin with a recent paper

`†††††††††††††† 2.††††† With goals and audience in mind

a.†† Skim abstract

b.†† If potentially valuable, then:

1í.††† Skim Intro & Discussion

2í.††† Only study tables/figs & methods if needed

3.       List topics on sheets

4.       Develop relevant topic heads for each page

a.       This may become outline headings

b.      I do on yellow paper; you do on computer

5.       Cite the paper or the reference

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6.††† Go to other recent papers & extract relevant dataS9

7.†† Now have pages with everything re a topic in 1 place

8.†† If that topic has many references do summary sheet

9.†††† Place topics in order for lecture/paper/etc.

10.†† Create new topics as needed to fill in holes

11.†† Delete topics not relevant

12. ††Keep asking what the 4 points are & reminding self of audience

13.†† Stop when enough or no more time

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† D.††† This is an example of an outlineS10

1.           Note use of prime

2.           Never A without B, etc.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† E.†††† Review of preparationS11

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† F.†††† Now on to slidesS12

IV. Part of preparation: slides

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† A.†††† Guidelines for developing slides†† S13

1.          First do slides for 4 key points: similar to starting paper with tables/figures

2.          Then develop slides necessary to:

a.       Build up to 4 points

b.      Transition between points

c.       Lead to conclusions

B.††††† Slides must be easy to understand

1.          10th grade level

2.          Understood in 10 secŗ audience listen to you

3.          Simple (e.g. data cartoon)

4.          Large font: can read in back of room

5.          One line per item

6.          Consistent structure and capitals

7.          < 1 slide per minute

8.          Fill slide top to bottom: allows larger font

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† C.††† Slides are never: ††S15

1.          From book or paper: those need much time to be studied

2.          Quotes where you & audience read together (is not efficient)

3.          Overheads are dangerous

a.       Can put them upside down/backwards

b.      Sticky

c.       Blow in wind

††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† D.††† Slides fit one of several goalsS16

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1.††††† Iíll give an overview of some types

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2.††††† Examples of transitions and mood slides:S17

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† a.†††† e.g. pill head†† S18

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† b.†††† e.g. COGA logoS19

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† c.††††† e.g. AMSP slideS20

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† d.†††† E.g. outline of this talk ††S21

††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3.†††† Examples of simple data slidesS22

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† a.††† Cartoon re level of response (LR): effect/time for FHP/FHN S23

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† b.††† Pie chart (variance of risk)†† S24

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† c.††† Structural equation model (SEM) projected S25

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† d.††† SEM dataS26

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4.††† Criteria/definitions ††S27

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† a.††† DSM-5 (animated)S28

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† b.††† Self Report of the Effects of alcohol (SRE) questionnaireS29

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5.†††† Examples of conclusions/directionS30

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† a.††† Level of response (LR) summaryS31

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† b.†† Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs) are geneticS32

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† c.†††† Search for level of response (LR) genes S33

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† d.†††† Approach for preventing heavy drinkingS34

††††††††††††††††††††††† V. Now on to next topic: DeliveryS35

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† A.††††† Before you startS36

1.       Inspect room, lights, projector, etc.ŗ feel confident

2.       Stand

3.       Have outline in front of you

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† B.†††† When talkingS37

1.       State what youíll cover

2.       Announce transitions between topics

3.       Summarize each topic before begin the next

4.       Make eye contact; revise if losing their interest

5.†††† Watch the clock

6.†††† Summarize major points at the end

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† C.†††† Now on to questions and other issuesS38

††††††††††††††† VI. †††††††† Handling questions†† S39

A.      Restate the question

B.      Never get angry (that turns audience you)

C.      Handling rambling questions

1.       Try to restate the issue

2.       Say time is short and ask for specific question

D.      Admit when you donít know

††††††††††††††††††††††† VII. Other topics†† S40

A.      Humor

1.       Could use cartoons (?)

2.       Spontaneous humor is good (but beware it might offend someone)

B.      Handouts††

1.       Slide copy and outline best done before lecture

2.       Materials to read best given day before or after lecture (or will distract)

C.      Audience boredom

1.       Scan for this by people sleep/read/restless/talk

2.       Can skip ahead to next topic

3.       Can ask audience whatís wrong

4.       But best to not ignore

D.      Getting lost in what you want to say

1.       Scan outline to see where you are

2.       Is reason for: 1 line per item; sentence fragments; etc.

E.       Emergencies

1.       Not having enough time

a. Thatís why watch clock

b.Remember 4 major points and adjust to cover those

2.       Problems with slides: remember 4 major points and cover those

††††††††††††††††††††††† VII. ††††††††††††††† †††Conclusions†† S41

A.      Major points

1.       Everyone can give a lecture/paper/etc.

2.       Remember the audience is important; you are only a vehicle for a message

3.       Be preparedŗ can handle almost any problem

††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† B.†† Now time for questionsS42