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The EntreMD Podcast

Ep #157: How I Prepare to Deliver a Great Talk

The EntreMD Podcast with Dr. Una | How I Prepare to Deliver a Great TalkI’m bringing you an all-out masterclass in this week’s episode about how I prepare to deliver a great talk. And this isn’t just theory. I’m spilling the beans on exactly my process before I get up and speak, regardless of how long I have to prepare, and I’m sharing how you can apply these lessons to your own talk.

There are three main areas I focus on as I prepare to deliver a talk. Whether it’s a live physical event, an online event, or even when I’m recording a podcast, it’s equal parts mental work, strategy prep, and delivery. And I’m taking you through how to bring these things together to deliver a precise talk that has the potential to change lives.

Tune in this week to discover how to deliver an incredible talk. I’m sharing how to quiet the mental chatter that your brain will inevitably throw your way. And even if you don’t have a gig at this time, this episode is still essential listening because once you understand what I’m sharing, you’ll see that when it comes to delivering inspiration and knowledge, you have something to offer the world.

If you need help either discovering your zone of genius or figuring out how to present it to the world, you need to join the EntreMD Business School. Enrollment is closed for now but you can join the waitlist for the grand reopening and in the meantime, listen and apply what I’m sharing on the podcast. 

If you loved this episode of The EntreMD Podcast, I invite you to join my signature subscription program EntreMD On Demand, giving you access to a library of business courses designed to help you thrive as a physician entrepreneur! 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why I never “wing it” when I’m delivering a talk, and neither should you.
  • What it means to prepare properly, and why that doesn’t mean you have to script every single word.
  • Why your brain offering you unhelpful thoughts about everything that could go wrong is just inevitable.
  • 3 different areas of preparation that I focus on in the time leading up to delivering a talk.
  • The thoughts I decide to think on purpose about why I’m the best person to give this talk and I’m going to rock the stage.
  • How to prepare to deliver an effective and precise talk: one that has the potential to change the audience’s life.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

Hi docs, welcome to The EntreMD Podcast, where it’s all about helping amazing physicians just like you embrace entrepreneurship so you can have the freedom to live life and practice medicine on your terms. I’m your host, Dr. Una.

Well, hello, hello, my friends. Welcome back to another episode of The EntreMD Podcast. I am super pumped that you’re here. And this is going to be an amazing experience. We’re going to have like a full-on masterclass. We’re going to be talking about how I prepare to deliver a great talk.

And this is not going to be theory because I’m spilling all the beans. I’m going to be telling you exactly what I do when I have to get on stage. I’ve hosted EntreMD Live. We had over 500 doctors register. How do I show up there? I’ve spoken at the Leverage and Growth Summit hosted by Peter Kim. He has thousands of doctors and attendants. How do I prepare to show up on those stages?

And I’m going to talk about the mental prep, the strategy prep, the delivery prep, all of it. This is going to be so good.

Now, before we get into that, I, as always, love to say thank you to you for listening, for reviewing, for sharing. And I want to read a review by one of out listeners, Dr. Funke Afolabi Brown. She’s a sleep medicine physician. She is the founder of Restful Sleep MD. Amazing. Amazing.

Alright, so she says this, “Truly inspiring.” And she leaves those five beautiful stars that I love to see. And she said, “The EntreMD Podcast has been one of the most transformational tools for me over the last few years. Dr Una has helped me see myself in a completely different light as an entrepreneur. I have been motivated, inspired, and challenged to dream bigger and take massive action. After listening for several months, I realized I needed to be in her circle and join the EntreMD Business School. I’ve taken such bold steps towards building a legacy for myself that I never knew existed before.”

She goes on to say, “Thank you, Dr. Una, for using your gifts to change your world. The podcast is a must-listen-to. Better still, join the EntreMD Business School.” Thank you so much, doc, for this very kind review. I really appreciate you taking the time to leave this review and I am so grateful that you said yes to yourself.

I’m so grateful you said yes to bold steps, to leaving your own legacy, taking control, building your own business. And I love all the wins you’ve been getting and I can’t wait to continue to celebrate them because they’re just going to keep getting bigger and bigger. So, thank you so much for leaving this review. I’m so grateful. I don’t even have words.

Alright, now if you’re listening to this and this podcast has touched your life in any kind of way, I would ask you to share and I would ask you to leave a review too. Let us know how it helped you.

Now, let’s get into the real good stuff; how I prepare. I’m taking you behind the scenes to see how I prepare to deliver a great talk. Now, I’m going to start off by saying this; I never wing talks. I don’t do it. And I’m going to share with you my reason why and I’m going to encourage you not to wing talks anymore.

So, maybe you’re like, “Yeah, I know what I’m going to say. I know what my content is. I’m just going to go there and whatever comes, I’ll say it.” Can you get away with doing that? Of course you can. Is that the way the ultra-successful prepare for talks? No.

They still prepare. They still put in the work. And for me personally, I just respect the person who gives me a stage, even if that’s me. I respect the person who gives me their stage, who lets me come on their podcast, who lets me come speak at their event a little too much to just wing it. So, I don’t do that.

I respect the person who is in the audience too much to wing it. So, I need you to think about this. Let’s say somebody went for a conference. They paid $2000 for the conference. They took time off work. They flew out to the conference. They paid for their Uber, they paid for their hotel room. And they did all of that because they believe, at this event, their lives are going to be changed.

And great things happen at events and people’s lives are changed at events. This is true. But then, the person who is going to be a facilitator for that change, the person who is going to speak, AKA me, then shows up and treats that casually. That is so disrespectful.

And it doesn’t have to be a big event where tons of people are coming, they paid a lot of money. I mean, I have too much respect for the people who would put me in their ears every week to listen to what I have to say to just wing stuff.

Like, “Yeah, you know, I’ll just say whatever comes to me.” No, I won’t do it because people have given me a trust. I have had people tell me, “Oh you’re mu commute on Monday morning.” Or, “You’re my walk on Monday nights,” or things like that, or Thursdays, because we have two episodes every week. And they have added me to their daily routine. The least I can do is to prepare to deliver.

And that doesn’t mean I have this script, like I’ve scripted every word and all of that. I’m going to show you what I mean by preparation. But I’m not just going to show up and say whatever. I’ve done enough talks that I can show up and say whatever and people will still say, “Oh, that was really good.” But I know that I did not serve them the way I should.

So, that’s my thing for not winging. I just don’t wing it. Now, you might say, “What if an opportunity just shows up?” Maybe a speaker didn’t show up at an event and they’re like, “Hey, will you take this person’s spot?” Well, you know me enough to know that my answer to that is yes.

My answer is yes. But the reason why I will be able to show up and deliver impromptu is because, all the other times when they were not impromptu, I prepared. So, that preparation muscle is a muscle. The more you use it, the bigger it is. The bigger it is, the more you can get done in a shorter period of time.

We talk about the signature talk formula and we’re going to talk about that framework. We’re going to talk about that a little bit. But I’ve used that over and over and over again that I know the framework of a talk. I know where to put what. I know how to open. I know how to close. I know how to do all those things. I’ve done it over and over again.

So, if you tell me, impromptu, I have to do something, well that muscle comes to play. And in two minutes, I can put together a powerful talk because that muscle is so big. You know what I mean? So, don’t wing it. Make that decision not to wing it. Make that decision to be the person who prepares for talks.

So, I just wanted to start off with that. So, let’s say I had to – you know, I’m like, “I have this speaking engagement two weeks from now.” Well, what do I start doing? So, there are three kinds of preps that I do.

The first prep is my mental prep. And you have to do this piece. And the reason for that is, our minds play games. It is so crazy the games that our minds can play. Literally go like, “Oh, you’re going to go do that talk. You’re going to forget your lines. When you’re getting on stage you’re going to fall down and people are going to laugh at you and your thing is going to fall flat because the audience aren’t going to want to hear what you have to say.” It’s on and on.

It’s before the talk. It’s while you’re talking, like, “Look at that person falling asleep. That is how boring you are.” That person probably pulled two all-nighters or whatever. We don’t know what’s going on with people, right? But that’s not the way, “Look at that person falling asleep, you are so boring. Look at that person. Look how straight faced they are. They are actually annoyed by what you’re saying,” and on and on and on.

And then afterwards, “You should have said this or you should have said that and you should have used this example and you should have used this word picture. Why didn’t you use slides? You could have been better with slides…”

So, I know all that is going to happen. So, I prepare for it. I prepare in advance. I know, the closer I get to the talk, the more all of that stuff comes up. And the thing is, it never really goes away. But the more you speak, the less you’re bothered by it.

I mean, I was going to speak recently. I don’t know, this may have been three weeks ago, four weeks ago, something like that. And right before I was supposed to get on stage, this whole thing starts, “Oh you see those stairs there? When you walk onto those stairs to go do your talk, you’re going to fall down.”

And the funny thing was, I even had the sound effect to it. Like, “You’re going to fall down and the whole audience is going to go like ha-ha-ha-ha.” Can you imagine? The whole sound effect. I was like, this is so crazy. How is this still happening? This is hilarious. And I was like, whatever. And I go on stage.

But I prepare for that. So, how do I prepare? Well, I make a decision. And the decision I make is, I will rock this stage. Now, rock the stage doesn’t necessarily mean standing ovation. That could be a part of it. But what you went to do on stage, the way you went to help people, serve people, inspire people, give them tips that they feel empowered, like, “I can change my life right now,” all of that, I decide. I make a decision, “I’m going to rock that stage.”

Can you make that decision? Of course. You make that decision, you figure out the rest later. I made a decision. Same way during the pandemic, it hit, there was chaos, confusion everywhere. I was like, “I don’t even know what this is. But I’m making a decision. 2020, I’m going to thrive.” And thrive I did. Okay, decision, it starts with that.

So, I make a decision, I’m going to rock the stage. And then I start adopting some power thoughts, just dependent on the kind of negative thoughts that come my way. So, I have power thoughts like, “I’m the woman for the job.”

Because I have this thought of, “You’re not really a speaker. You’re not really the person who can help these people. There are other speakers who are better than you.” And I’m like, I’m the woman for the job. And that’s a thought I sit on, brood on, imagine, play with, all that kind of stuff.

I have another thought, like, “Everything I’ve done has prepared me for this moment.” And I adopted that because I would think things like, “I’m not prepared enough. I’m not ready for this.” Or maybe I didn’t have enough time to prepare and I’m like, “I’m not ready.”

And I’m like, it’s not about your preparation now. You’ve been working on stuff. You’ve been doing Facebook lives. You’ve been doing videos. You’ve been speaking at other events. You’ve been doing all this stuff. You’ve been preparing for this for years.

And you might say, “Yeah, that would work for you. It won’t work for me because I haven’t spoken on so many stages.” Well, yeah, but you’ve been working on your message. So you’ve been working on your business. You’ve had all these experiences. Maybe you’re already a practitioner of what you teach other people to do. You are the person. You’re the man for the job. You’re the woman for the job. And everything you’ve done has prepared you for this moment.

Or some would be like, “Well, you say you’re a business coach. Tony Robbins is a business coach. You’re not that kind of business coach. You’re not that experienced…” or whatever. And I’m like, “I only need to be three steps ahead.” So, think about the concept.

I have a 13-year-old and I have a six-year-old. So, when the six-year-old was born, my 13-year-old was seven, right? And she’s not mommy. She doesn’t have the capacity to have a baby. She doesn’t have the capacity to look after a baby alone. But there are so many things that’s he can do for her sister. Why? She’s seven years older than her.

In the same way, I don’t need to know everything, I just need to be three steps ahead. If I’m three steps ahead, we’re good. I’m the woman for the job.

So, I start sitting with these kinds of thoughts and sitting with them. And the reason I do that is because I’m like, I’m going to ace this talk and I need to show up this way. I need to show up on stage like I’m the woman for the job. This stage is mine for the next 45 minutes, and I’m going to deliver.

So, I do that and I sit with that and I imagine that. And listen, I always used to let my imagination run wild until I realized one day, I was like, “Wait a minute. My imagination is mine.” It’s a tool given to me to make my life better. Why do I lend my imagination to all these negative, silly, crazy thoughts?

Because if you think about it, you think about falling down as you get on stage, it’s a picture. So, why would I brood on that picture when I have the choice. I can choose what I want to dream up. I can choose what I want to imagine. So, for my events, I literally would, in my mind, go to the event, go on stage, give my talk, show up confidently, all that stuff, people’s lives will change.

After the event, people are coming up to me, they’re talking to me, they’re like, “Oh my god, this changed my life.” Six months down the line, someone’s like, “Oh, I started this business because of you. I launched my podcast because of you. I now know how to balance my life because of you,” and all this stuff.

My imagination is free. So, I let it run wild with the stuff I want to see. And so, I would do that. And so, I would sit with those power thoughts. I’ll play it out, me being on stage and all that kind of stuff. That’s all my mental prep. And the mental prep is to prepare me to show up dominating on stage.

Now, the second thing, the second prep is my strategy prep. Now, you’re like, “Strategy prep?” Yeah, because listen, speaking is a weapon. It is a weapon that you can use to get a result. It’s a weapon. So, think about a gun in the hand of an amateur person and think about a gun in the hand of a sniper.

They’re completely different. They’re both guns. But they’re completely different because of the skill of the person who is using the weapon. So, I’m using guns just because I wanted to use my sniper example. But I want to be a sniper style speaker.

I want to go on there and execute with precision. Now, precision doesn’t mean I don’t have ums and ahs, you know. That’s not what it means. Precision means that the people who came have experienced transformation because I spoke.

Now, for me, you know what my mission is. You know what I’m about. I’m about helping doctors build profitable businesses so they can live life and practice medicine on their own terms. I’m about empowering doctors. I’m about showing doctors that there’s an alternate reality.

I’m about showing doctors, “Listen, the overall acceptance rate into medical school is 7%. Apparently, you’re really good at doing things where the odds are not in your favor. 50% of businesses fail. But 93% of people who try to get into medical school don’t get in. You survived that, so you can survive business.” That’s what I’m about.

So, when people walk away after I talk, I want them to go like, “Wait a minute. There’s this whole world that’s open to me. Wait a minute, I can 10X the revenue in my business. Wait a minute, I can 10X my impact inside and outside the exam room.” That’s a win.

I want to be a sniper who can do that with words So, for my prep for strategy, I’m not going there for fun. I’m not going there to have cute pictures for social media. I am going to change lives. I’m going to go and make an impact. This is my legacy. This is not a joke.

I am trying to bring change to an industry. So, what do I do for strategy prep? I think the thoughts that will help me deliver with precision. So, thoughts like this. Who will be in the audience? Because the first job of a speaker is to create wins for the audience. It’s not about me. It’s not about me getting a standing ovation. It’s not about that.

So, who’s going to be in the audience. What are their perceived pain points? Because guess what people are thinking about all the time. Their pain points. Their problems.

And so, if I’m going to be an effective speaker, I need to be speaking to that. What are their pain points? What outcome do I want them to have? Am I going up there to play, or is there a specific outcome I want them to have? Is there something I want them to walk away with? Is there something I want, in six months, for them to say, “Oh my goodness, this changed?”

What is that outcome? What limiting beliefs do they have? So, for instance, one of the limiting beliefs that physicians have is, “I’m a one-trick pony. I can only do doctoring. I can’t do anything else. There are no other options for me.”

So, if you were part of EntreMD Live 2021, you’d have noticed that I started off with reintroducing the doctors to who they are. I’m like, “Listen, the healthcare landscape has changed so much that we’ve forgotten who we are. There’s a loss of autonomy. There’s the burnout at an all-time high. There are physician suicides. Everybody’s telling us what to do. We don’t even have the freedom to choose what prescriptions to give our patients or how long we need to be in the room with them. And that has made you forget who you are.”

And then I go on to tell them, “You’re a physician. You get to do what 97% of the population wants to do and they’re not able to do it. You’ve done hard things. You’ve gone through adverse times. You went through the rigor of medical school and residency. This has nothing on you. You can do this.”

What am I doing? Overcoming limiting beliefs so my message can get through, so they can get the outcome that I want them to get. So, I sit with that. What are their limiting beliefs? Because you have to weave that into the talk. Because if we don’t help them overcome that, then they’re just not overcoming that.

What will stop them from executing? I talk about that. You think about that. So you can include it because you don’t just want them inspired. You want them to be able to execute. For instance, I’m taking the time to walk you through all these things because the next time you get on stage, I want you to be able to crush it.

Okay, what do they need to know? So, are there some practical things they need to know? Because sometimes, the entire talk is what they need to know. But if you don’t address the limiting beliefs, if you don’t talk about what will stop them from executing, then they have a lot of information but they can’t do a whole lot with it.

And how do they need to feel? When people listen to me talk, I want them to feel like they can change the world, they can change their world, that their limiting beliefs are not real, that the things they’ve been afraid of are not real, that they’re actually free to do what they want to do.

How do you want them to feel? You’ve got to weave that into your talk. So, if you don’t decide on these things, then your talk is not in the right container. This is the container that will make sure your talk hits that target and gets the result. So, I do that. That’s my strategy prep.

Now, the third prep is my deliver prep. Because now that I have everything, I have to show up on stage and I have to deliver. Now, in the EntreMD world, we talk about the signature talk framework. And essentially what is, is you start with a story or a statistic. You do the actual teaching. You give a call to action because you want the people to take action. And you have your “imagine” if you want to leave them on a high.

That’s kind of the framework that we would you. Se, now I take all the content, what I want to say, and I plug it into these four pieces; story, teaching points, call to action, imagine.

I plug it in there and then I’m like the person with tweezers. I start looking like, what here is fluff? And I take the fluff out? So, what here is confusing? I clarify it. I look at it from the eyes of the audience. Like, “Okay, so this whole thing, if someone doesn’t know this concept, if this was me 10 years ago, would this message score a point with me? Would this talk be clear to me? Would this talk inspire me or confuse me or make me more afraid, or make me so overwhelmed that I don’t think I can do anything? What would the impact of this talk be?”

So, I start – it’s a process in my house. We call it staring. So, a lot of the times, I’ll write out, on my dry erase board – this is outline. Not script, per se. But I just have this outline. And every so often, I’ll come, I’ll stare at it, stare at it, play it in my mind, make some tweaks, walk away.

And then some of the time I’ll come back to it, I’ll stare at it, stare at it, look at it, make some tweaks, walk away, and stuff like that. So, if I have a talk a month from now, I may just put the outline there. You don’t have to do this. But I may just put the outline there and just keep playing around with it. And the more I stare at it, the clearer it gets. So, when I get on stage, I can deliver like a sniper.

So, that’s how I prepare. That’s how I prepare. So, I have my mental prep. I have my strategy prep. And then I have my delivery prep. Of course, there are other aspects. There’s the energy you show up with, how you dress, all those kinds of things. But these are the three things that, a lot of times, people don’t do. So, I figured I would give you this. The other ones, those are easy to pick up.

So, what I want you to do with this is I want you to prepare a signature talk. And it might sound like, “Oh my god, a signature talk?” No, don’t make it complicated. I want you to prepare for a talk.

And you might say, “I don’t have a gig.” That’s fine. There’s Facebook live. You can always make your gig. There’s YouTube. You can prerecord it. Either way, you can create a gig. You can create a gig. But if you already have a gig, then even more awesome. You’re just going to go deliver. You’re going to go deliver. You’re going to prep for it. You’re going to go deliver.

So, I want you to prepare and I want you to deliver a talk. Even if you haven’t done it before. You might say, “Dr. Una, I’m such an introvert.” Listen to me. I realized that I hung onto my whole, “I’m an introvert,” thing and converted it into a handicap.

You’re not handicapped. So, you’re introverted. So, you like your own company. You like taking walks by yourself. You like being by yourself. This is true. But you can still rock a stage. And the reason why I want to challenge you to do this is because I found out that I love speaking and I love live events and I’m an introvert.

But if I never said yes in the face of my fears, I would never have realized that I’m wired to do this stuff. Do you see what I’m saying? So, prepare your talk and deliver your talk. And if you do it online, tag me. If you’re speaking at an event, let me know. I want to cheer you on because you can do this.

And doctors, we have the best information, we have the best stories. I mean, we should be speaking. So, prepare your talk, gig or no gig. And then, once you do that, my challenge for you is rinse and repeat and rinse and repeat and rinse and repeat. And every time you do it, you’re better. Every time you do it, it’s more profound. Every time you do it, it’s better. That can be you.

And I want that to be you. So, go do that. And you will start rocking stages and you will be a lot less afraid. And the anxiety won’t stop you anymore. And you will be able to change lives. At the time of this recording, we have had 136,000 downloads of this podcast in 100 countries. 100 countries. And how would I have had that kind of impact without speaking

What if I held back? What if I didn’t do it? All these people who are being touched and changed wouldn’t have been. Your world is waiting for you to say yes. So, I want to challenge you to say yes. And yes, there may be fear. Yes, there may be some anxiety. The more you prep, the less that will be. But you can do it in spite of that. And you, my friend, can change the world. So, go do it.

Now, this is one of these episodes I’m going to ask you to take it and share it with the doctors in your life, share it with the ones you know by text, share it on social media, share it in the groups you’re a part of. Because listen, physician voices should be heard. They should be heard. So, thank you so much for listening. Go share this. If you haven’t had a chance to leave us a review, go leave us a review. Those make Dr. Una very happy. And I will see you on the next episode of The EntreMD Podcast.

Hey, if you love listening to The EntreMD Podcast I want to invite you to join EntreMD On Demand. It is my signature subscription program that gives you access to a library of business courses designed to help you do one thing as a physician entrepreneur, and that is to thrive. Just head out to and I’d love to have you join us. See you on the inside.

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