For the CORD Distinguished Educator’s Coaching Program, Dr. Gus Garmel has kindly offered to share his top 50 points to improve one’s speaking skills. These tips are great for anyone who plans to do public speaking. Thus far, this “be a great speaker” series has reviewed 30 pearls.

Here is the next set of 10 practical pearls:

  1. Be prepared: Have a backup plan for computer or slide problems. Know your material and your topic. Know your audience. In case you start late, be able to shave time off your talk.
  2. Cognitive load: Don’t overwhelm your audience with too much information. Think in terms of main teaching points with 3-6 take home messages. Emphasize, repeat, and share lessons learned.
  3. Tell the audience what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them. Think of this as the Introduction, Body, and Summary of your talk.
  4. Consider which points you want to make. Then MAKE THEM!
  5. Infotainment: Entertain your audience a bit while educating. Try connecting with them.
  6. Avoid political, racist, sexist, inflammatory jokes or comments.
  7. Never insult or make fun of someone in the audience.
  8. Post-talk: Repeat questions so the audience can hear them. Answer the question asked, not something else.
  9. Acknowledge if someone asks a good question.
  10. Admit if you don’t know an answer. Tell him/her that you will look it up, and get back to the person later.
Part 1: Pearls #1-10
Part 2: Pearls #11-20
Part 3: Pearls #21-30
Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Founder and CEO
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD


Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg SF General. ALiEM Founder @aliemteam #PostitPearls at Bio:
Michelle Lin, MD