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AAOS fellow Christopher M. Nysteven, MD, receives one-on-one media training at the 2010 Annual Meeting.


Published 9/1/2010
Michael F. Schafer, MD

Improve your image, presentation, and media skills

“Out of the box” activities during the 2011 Annual Meeting

As you begin to think about and plan your travel for the 2011 AAOS Annual Meeting, I would like to share with you three different areas for participation that I have benefitted from over the years.

The Annual Meeting is the premier place for orthopaedic learning, networking, and education—but it also includes out-of-the-box and useful communications activities. When you receive your 2011 Preliminary Program next month, keep the following activities in mind as you slate out your schedule.

An Academy tradition
Give back to the local San Diego community and build a family fitness and fun park in one day. For the past 10 years, on the day before the Annual Meeting, the AAOS builds a playground.

In New Orleans this past March, the scope of the project was expanded to a Family Fitness and Fun Park with a safe, accessible playground. Today, hundreds of families are enjoying the benefits of the park built by AAOS members and industry partners.

We need your help to do the same in San Diego. This build will also be a multi-generational park and include equipment for balance, flexibility, and strength and a walking/running track for aerobics. These activities help reduce and prevent falls, build strong bones, and give those recovering from joint replacement a safe place to exercise. The different stations will include descriptions of how to do the exercises, information on why exercise is important, and injury prevention tips. A safe, accessible playground will be centered in the middle of the fitness park so 5- to 12-year-olds with and without disabilities can play safely together.

The Family Fitness and Fun Park Build will be Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011. You can volunteer for a few hours, a half day, or the whole day. The day begins around 8:30 a.m. and wraps up around 3:30 p.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony. This meaningful project still needs volunteers and sponsorships to ensure we are able to continue the Academy legacy of giving back to the Annual Meeting’s host city.

To volunteer, visit www.aaos.org/fitnessbuild; to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, call Kayee Ip at (847) 384-4035 or e-mail her at ip@aaos.org

Media training courses
Media training will help you become an effective spokesperson for your practice, for your specialty, and for the AAOS. You’ll learn how to make the most of every media encounter, how the news media works, and the keys to a successful interview.

Two interactive sessions—one introductory and one advanced— will be held on Thursday, Feb. 17; sessions are limited to 25 participants each. Advanced training will be from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, while beginner level training will be from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. These sessions are free and offered on a first-come, first-served basis to active fellows, residents, and candidate members.

In this training, you will learn how to do the following:

  • Communicate your objectives.
  • Create clear and unambiguous key messages.
  • Take control of an interview.
  • Create sound bites.
  • Bridge from an irrelevant question to your message.
  • Speak in English, not “doctor-ese.”
  • Use appropriate gestures and body language.

Foolproof your presentations
You probably give presentations often—whether to your hospital administrator asking for more funding, to your state or specialty society, to community groups, to patient groups, and even in a job or media interview. This presentation skills course will teach you how to deliver an audience-focused presentation, leave your audience wanting more, and make a lasting and memorable impression.

This course will teach you the following important skills:

  • How to focus on what your audience really wants to hear
  • How to overcome jitters
  • How to incorporate an effective PowerPoint presentation…without overdoing it
  • How to use body language and vocal techniques
  • When you should take questions
  • How to organize your presentation simply and clearly
  • How to use humor and ensure your audience remembers what you said

The workshop includes an introduction to best practices for PowerPoint (and Apple Keynote) presentations. It’s free, fun, and open to the first 15 fellows, candidates, or residents who register.

Presentation training will be offered in two sessions on Friday, Feb. 18: one from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and the other from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Block out the time
Add a little fun to your Annual Meeting experience by participating in one or more of these focused activities. For more information, call Kayee Ip at (847) 384-4035 or e-mail her at

Michael F. Schafer, MD, is chair of the AAOS Communications Cabinet. He can be reached at mschafer@nmff.org

Tip of the Bone
When you are doing an interview for television, remember that first impressions are key and can make or break the interview. The following ideas will help you keep the interviewer and the audience engaged:

  • Smile when you are introduced and tell the reporter that you are happy to be there.
  • Maintain eye contact with the reporter to show you are engaged in the discussion.
  • Thank the reporter at the end of the interview. If you are asked whether you have anything else to add, have something to say, such as “For more patient information on back pain (or whatever the orthopaedic topic is), visit orthoinfo.org.”