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Speaker Helps Attendees ‘Present Their Best Self’

Attendees of Monday’s Women in Otolaryngology Luncheon cover their ears and speak to get a sense of what they sound like when they talk to other people.

This year’s Women in Otolaryngology (WIO) Section Luncheon keynote speaker, Susan Miller, PhD, delivered bits of confidence-building wisdom Monday during her talk, “Presenting Your Best Self.”

Her presentation gave specific details on how to make that important first impression—and how to continue making a lasting impression on those we encounter in various professional settings.

“We make that first impression within a tenth of a second,” she said. “That’s really important that we make that impression well and powerfully.

“I’m not going to teach you anything new. You know all of this. My intention today is to inspire you. To have you walk differently out of this meeting. To speak differently, as you choose. To have messages that are able to inspire and be powerful and have you feel confident.”

One tool Dr. Miller shared with attendees is how to create a message map, which helps present any message in 15 seconds. It starts with a short sentence explaining what you do. It ends with you making three general points about the company.

“I’d like you to start thinking about a message map about what it is you do in your institution and why it makes a difference,” she said. “These message maps will help you to present messages that you can more effectively communicate because you’re not worried about what you’re going to say.”

During the conference, Dr. Miller challenged the women in the room to walk differently and speak with confidence. She said they can experiment with their stance, walk, and how they talk to the people they meet at the meeting.

“On the way back to your home, you might think about a situation where you presented yourself perhaps not as effectively as you wished you had and review it and ask what you could have done differently,” she said. “When you get back to work, pick a behavior, something you may want to change, and work on it for a day.”

She also encouraged attendees to leave messages on their answering machines as if they were introducing themselves to someone so they can critically evaluate how they’re being heard.

“How you are seen and heard is incredibly important,” she said. “You are authentic leaders and I want you to show up and be seen in a way that you feel confident about yourselves.”

During the Women in Otolaryngology Section General Assembly following the luncheon, the organization elected new officers. Kathy Yaremchuk, MD, was selected as chair-elect, and Suzanne Galli, MD, was elected member-at-large. A. Kristina Hart, MD, was selected as information officer.