A career in medicine requires physicians to speak effectively with both colleagues and patients. At certain points in training—residency grand rounds is one example—physicians and medical students are asked to present before groups.

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What does it take to succeed with those presentations? A module in the AMA Medical Student Leadership Learning Series answers that question.

"Developing effective presentation skills is important for medical students to prepare them for presenting their cases or research to other medical professionals," said Ann Manikas, the AMA's director of organizational development and learning. "However, having the fundamental skills of presenting will also help in interacting with staff and patients even in small groups or one-to-one interactions. Being aware of our own body language, reading the audience, being able to present information in a clear manner and the ability to respond openly to questions and concerns in the moment are skills that will help set students up for success for their entire career."

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One of five modules to help develop tomorrow's leaders in health care, the series covers topics such as conflict resolution and collaboration. These 20-minute, interactive modules offer advice, realistic scenarios and printable resources.

Learn more with the AMA about the keys to medical student leadership.

Look up any list on fears or phobias and public speaking is toward the top. How can you make sure that your nerves don't affect your presentation? The module—entitled "Present Like a Leader"—offers several nuggets of advice.

Prepare: A well-researched, rehearsed presentation tends to overcome any nervous energy.

Be positive: If you imagine presenting confidently to an audience, you are more likely to do so when the time comes.

Engage your audience: Greet attendees before you present to establish a rapport. When it comes the actual presentation be sure to make eye contact.

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Speak clearly: Don't be too quiet or speak in a monotone. Be sure to emphasize the most important parts of your presentation and pause between important points to let the data sink in.

Be aware of body language: Smile, maintain an upright but relaxed posture, and avoid tapping your feet or swaying.

The aforementioned medical student leadership modules are among the many benefits available exclusively to AMA members. The AMA is with its members every step of the way. For medical students, that means the AMA provides resources to thrive—academically and in charting your career—throughout your four years of undergraduate medical education.

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