TJ Schaid on becoming a trauma surgeon and presenter

Episode 113:
TJ Schaid on becoming a trauma surgeon and presenter


This is an episode for: presentation designers, aspiring speakers and startups in the science and medical field.

Molly Geoghegan, Narrative Strategist

Molly Geoghegan

Mar 21, 2024

We know that presentations are used across all kinds of industries but did you know they’re important in the medical world as well??

General surgery resident physician TJ Schaid joins the ‘cast to discuss his experience presenting research at various conferences around the world throughout his residency. Turns out, these medical presentations can play a big part of any surgeon’s journey!

From presenting dense data within a handful of slides (or clicks) to challenging existing practices, TJ offers so much insight in how to present to a niche group of experts—as an expert himself, of course. 

What's in the Spice Cabinet??

Fave movie??

TJ’s operating Pandora station? 

  • ODESZA radio

Walkout song??

Any advice to fellow and future presenters?

  • One thing I didn't mention that was really helpful for me during during my talks is to frequently reorient the audience when you're presenting pretty dense stuff. So when you throw up a slide, and you've got a bunch of data on a slide, yeah, they might understand the graph, they might understand the data. But the WHY it matters if you can, throughout the presentation, just a statement here and there, after these data. And multiple times, maybe four or five times, you say, “Okay, and now remember, we talked about this problem, you know, in the background earlier on, this is why this matters.” Keeping them reoriented, even these people that see data and numbers and science and experiments and know medicine, helping reorient them to the point of the data throughout the presentation, not just waiting to the conclusion, I find very helpful.


Click here to see the podcast transcript

Michael Mioduski  00:21

Molly, we need a presentation step. Just kidding. Welcome back to presentation thinking the storyteller Study Club. This is Michael Mioduski, the founder and CEO of ghost ranch communications, a presentation design agency, and I'm joined by my co host, your favorite Molly Gagan. Narrative Strategist, presentation nerd Molly, what's going on? Hi,


Molly Geoghegan  00:43

everyone. Welcome back. Mica you made you made the first joke, I was gonna say something like, is there a doctor aboard this plane, which is something I know that you guys had experience with. We have a very fun guest for everyone today. And as few or a family member are in the medical field that you might be familiar with some of this experience that we're going to talk about. But I'm a general surgery resident physician, and my friend TJ shade is an amazing person. And I learned TJ Well, first of all, welcome to the cast. Hello.


TJ Schaid  01:16

Hey, thanks for having me. I'm really happy to be here. This is awesome. Yeah,


Molly Geoghegan  01:20

this is kind of, you know, a product of us just chatting about work as we do at some various happy hours with our friends here in Colorado. And yeah, I remember learning six, eight months ago that you're like, Oh, I was doing another presentation blah, blah, up in where were you guys slow Slovenia in the summer? Yeah. And I was like, Hold on TJ, I thought you like worked in a hospital day in day out, which is for the most part true. But it turns out another big component of your job is giving medical presentations on your research and projects going on. So I was immediately excited to find that excuse to pat on the cast. And yeah, excited to kind of learn more about your world there.


TJ Schaid  01:58

Yeah. Well, so I am a general surgery resident. So that means I graduated medical school. I'm a doctor but I'm in my on the job training as a surgeon. So you know, kind of as you progress, your residency, you're given sort of graduated autonomy and patience and in the operating room, to the point where like, in your final, you know, one to two years, you're pretty much functioning like a fully trained surgeon with close supervision. I'll be attending surgeon, I'm over halfway through. So I'm in year five of seven. So seven years, it's a long, long training path. But it's five clinical training years and two years of research. But two years of research, not every general surgery training program does, or mandates the two years of research most academic programs, we'll do that. So any big universities that the program's affiliated with, are going to have these two years of research somewhere in the training. And so the research years are where I gained the majority of my speaking experience presenting data at these conferences and things like that. Okay,


Molly Geoghegan  02:59

cool. And what exactly is your area of expertise? Yep. So are the body?


TJ Schaid  03:04

Yep, well, well, the whole body actually. So I'm, I'm interested in trauma surgery. So trauma and acute care surgery involves caring for patients that have injuries that are injured, we kind of split up injury by mechanism, whether it's, you know, blunt mechanism, which is really the majority of the injuries you see throughout the country are blunt, and you think of like, you know, car accidents and falls and things like that. But then also penetrating injury, which, you know, in our country, unfortunately, it can be a lot of gun violence, but also stab wounds and other things like that. So and really what my area was focused on was our lab, rather, you know, we have it was a very large lab that we have, where we do a combination of basic science and clinical work, is we're interested in multiple organ failure. So you know, a lot of these patients, they come in and you, you know, you can keep them alive, you can give them a bunch of blood transfusions, take them to surgery, stop the bleeding, get them to the ICU, but then 48 hours, 72 hours after that, the rest of their organs start to shut down even remotely from where they were injured. And that's because of this massive inflammatory process that happens in the body, just from being severely injured and having been bleeding and in shock and things like that. So that's sort of what my, you know, without going too much into into the weeds of that. That is what my research is focused on, basically, systemic inflammation in the severely injured patient. Yeah,


Molly Geoghegan  04:26

it's important. No kidding. Yeah, I was gonna say we'll have to have you add a few useful diagrams for listeners to add some visual aids. Yeah. I'm curious. Just a little backup, non presentation related, but did you I'm always jealous of people that like have known from since they were little Did you always know you were wanting to be in the medical field? Helping people? Yeah,


TJ Schaid  04:46

you know, I sort of did and I think it started way back when I was Kashia was an elementary school. My dad busted up as shoulder skiing and I went with him to his doctor's appointments and you know, I I saw him, you know, speaking with orthopedic surgeon. And you know, I see my dad here, he's my hero, he's like, invincible, who is just totally dependent and, you know, looking up to this surgeon and really just hanging on his every word and listening to them, Hey, you know, and I thought you know what, that's pretty, pretty cool to have somebody who I think is my hero and invincible looking up to somebody like that and is putting their you know, was a shoulder wasn't as light but you know, for more or less putting putting their life in someone else's hands and and that physician having that privilege. And so I said, you know, I'm gonna be a doctor and then I thought I wanted to be and so that was that was like elementary school. Right. So then then from then on out, it was like, I am taking all the science classes and you know, I majored in biochemistry and undergrad, I went to a small private school, so we didn't have like, pre professional degrees, you know, it wasn't like pre med, but so I did biochemistry, you know, to be science focused. And then, you know, yeah, and then I went to med school, and I thought I was going to be an orthopedic surgeon, just based off of that early experience. And I realized, I like the entire body, not just bones and muscles are like, you know, all the organs and operating on the entire body. That's


Molly Geoghegan  06:09

such a good inciting incident. Thanks for sharing. Yeah, right. Yeah. A little different. Mikey. Often when we have product marketers on the podcast, we're like the road Product Marketing can be so many different things. No one studies it. But this is what you study. You know? Yeah, we're here in the medical field. You you study exactly that. And yeah. Now as I said, general surgery resident physician at University of Colorado, congrats on your five of seven. That's really, really amazing. Close. Yeah. You're in school, the latter half. Yeah. Yeah. It's


TJ Schaid  06:37

it's definitely a long road. And then it's not it's not over. It's been years either, because I told you, I want to be trauma surgeon. So you do an additional one to two years of fellowship training after that. So it's, yeah, by the time you're done, you're like, well, where'd my career went? Now? My career started? Yeah,


Molly Geoghegan  06:52

totally a decade later. Totally. It's not a casual commitment. But very important one nonetheless. And you mentioned that two years of this experience is the research. Right, Mikey? I know, we're just kind of dipping our toes in different kinds of research for presentation and pitch decks. Yeah, yeah. I'm so I'm curious to know, how does that kind of project start? Does it start with, you know, I'm thinking of the classic science experiments in school where you ask a question, and you're like, I'm trying to figure something out and get the research around it? Or do you get kind of assigned something to look into? How does that work?


TJ Schaid  07:25

Yeah, well, it's, it's, you're in a lab, you're in an area of research that you're interested in, you develop your own kind of hypotheses, right. And it very much like what you're saying, you know, the scientific method, you know, you you have a hypothesis, you do your background, you develop your hypothesis, you run the experiment, so you get the data, you analyze the data, and then it comes to the dissemination of this data. And because that's the whole point, right? You're trying to make this, you're trying to make discoveries so that you can let people know, hey, this is new information. And this could potentially change how we care for patients, or how we treat certain conditions and things like that. And so really, the the main way you disseminate this information is through publications, right? Getting articles published in journals, but almost just as important as that are, you know, to kind of go hand in hand with that is standing up in front of people to discuss what you've done, and the data that you have, because it gives them opportunity to hear it straight from the investigators mouth, ask questions, and it's just more of a, as you guys know, having a conversation you can learn more just conversationally than what somebody decides to put in writing in a paragraph form and, and diagrams and things that are published. So I would say, yeah, you for us. For me. Anyway, I walked in and my my boss said, these are the things that I'm interested in which of these would you be interested in investigating? I said, Oh, I really like to go after this topic. And then I designed the projects, got the data, you know, with the help of statisticians, and, you know, other texts to help me complete the experiment. And that was how it works. So


Michael Mioduski  09:01

can you tell us about where these presentations are delivered? Is it some kind of forum where there's like, a bunch given all in one day or a couple of days? Or is it everyone comes just for that one presentation? On the recent findings? Yeah,


TJ Schaid  09:15

no, the vast majority of the talks that I've given are at meetings at conferences, and I've done talks at conferences that are primarily clinicians. So they're all coming there. And a lot of the a lot of the research presented is more clinical patient outcomes data. Whereas a lot of the research that I did was actually like stuff from experiments in the lab, you know, more of the more of the hard lab sciences bench work stuff, but it's far and away at these large meetings where there's multiple sessions, multiple speakers, I'm maybe one of 10 during a session that stands up there at the podium, gives my 10 minute talk goes and sits down and listens to the next person. 10 minutes just like me get that, yeah, 1010 to 15 minutes. And then I've had a few, again, on my research, more more institutional and regional here out in Colorado, where it's just me and maybe one other person who also is researching the same thing. And so it's more of like a, I guess, expert discussion on a very niche topic. But for the, for the most part, it seems like large conferences that I talk at, at


Molly Geoghegan  10:25

the medical conferences, is there any I'm curious that they bring in I hear, it's for like, a lot of clinicians, and there's a lot of researchers like you that are presenting their findings so far, probably like work in progress, too. But um, I'm curious, do they ever bring in any keynote speakers, like people kind of off the cuff or a little bit out of the medical field to bring in some outside inspiration or something? Yeah,


TJ Schaid  10:49

absolutely. And I would say that, you know, not every, so all the talks that I've given have been me presenting my research my data, but at these meetings, there are a lot of speakers up at the podium, that are not, it's not all about the science there. This is also a a meeting of a large organization, you know, whether it's the, you know, the National Association for trauma, surgery, or some other type of some big surgical organization. So there's going to be president who's up there, given the presidential address, there's going to be we there's always a keynote speaker, and it always, you know, the conferences that I go, go to, it always happens to be surgeons, every once in a while, you know, in some in trauma surgery, I go to a lot of the trauma surgery conferences, you know, they'll bring in somebody to discuss that, that was maybe that is not a surgeon that is sort of a panel discussion, for, you know, like talking about their experiences as a patient. And you know, it's a hot topic in trauma surgery right now is survivorship meaning, you make it through you make it through your trauma, you get out of the hospital, then what? And so we so we get to talk to we get to so a lot of times they bring on patients who are survivors of trauma and discuss, you know what it's like having survived their serious injury and now moving right. So it's it's patients, a lot of times it's patients that will come on as sort of these non clinician panelists. Yeah. Sharing stories, sharing stories. Yeah.


Michael Mioduski  12:16

Yeah. TJ, What's the process like to get to get selected? Like, have you gotten rejected? Or what? Have you found any tricks to getting? Getting through to getting selected?


TJ Schaid  12:25

Yeah, absolutely. All of these conferences, you submit an abstract. So an abstract is just a very one page outline of your, your research your project, you got a background, which is a couple of sentence methods, the results and then a discussion or conclusions. And that's all you send it and then maybe like one figure, and so that's, that's how you send it, you send that in to and you get to choose what conferences you want to apply to. You know, as Molly was saying, I went to Slovenia, for one. So you know, I'm always I'm always looking for the international ones that are relevant. So I can't seem to blam. Throw my best work at those. Anyway. Yeah. So it is a there is a selection, there is a pretty rigorous review, a lot of people apply and then submit abstracts. And not, obviously, everybody gets accepted. And so you have to get accepted. And then from there, there are different depending on the conference, there are different sessions that you can be accepted into. You can add the podium to full Well, exactly. Full podium talk versus a quick shot. And there's even posters. Yeah. Oh, I've


Michael Mioduski  13:25

heard about these posters. Yeah. So yeah. What what's the difference between a podium shot and the poster session? Yeah, well, the podium


TJ Schaid  13:32

is, obviously it's longer. You're the only one out there, you've got a bigger audience. So a 10 to 15 minute talk. Yeah, you're, you'll take questions from speakers that will come up, you know, to the microphones afterwards. This is a bit yeah, it's a bigger stage. The quick shots are similar to that, but are just on a much shorter level, you'll get fewer questions. You know, it's only like, five, a five minute talk, you know, versus, you know, 10 to 15. And then the posters, the posters are, depending on the format of the poster session, you can either just be standing up there and have people just, you know, informally come around, look at your poster. It's, it can be a little weird at first, you just kind of standing there while they're like scanning over your post and you're like, are you gonna ask me something? Or? Yeah, it's like a science fair. Exactly. Yeah. Are those posters can be a little bit more organized. And people kind of come around in groups. And you you give your spiel, you know, your quick shot spiel and elevator.


Molly Geoghegan  14:26

Yeah. Gotcha. From a more technical logistical side. I had you ever. I mean, you know, we all had to create PowerPoint stuff in school, to a certain extent, but what was your experience like creating these presentations before like getting into your residency?


TJ Schaid  14:43

Yeah, I mean, I just done what you would have to do for school projects. I didn't have any, you know, extra special experience and making I just use PowerPoint. I know there's other programs that you can use to make presentations and I don't have any crazy experience with that regard. But PowerPoint works just fine. And honestly, I learned, as you would expect, you learn how to make your presentations better as you go as you move forward and do more and more of these and you see more presentations. So I think I think that helps. I think that's, that's what is really great about these conferences. This is not just me gaining personal experience going up there and learning from myself, but also watching other people get talks. Yeah.


Molly Geoghegan  15:22

What are some of those like? Yeah, everything is the same thing. Low hanging fruit, you know, like giving your first presentation to having gone to multiple conferences. Now, you've done it a few times yourself? What slides have been deleted? What kind of things were like, oh, I should definitely include that. Or that's too much text or any anything that sticks out, too? Yeah,


TJ Schaid  15:40

absolutely. I would say one thing that I learned, and I think it is probably applicable to really any slides that you any talk, is I really like animations. Um, yeah, you can do too many. Yeah, but yeah, it really, it really helps us bet. And the reason why it's helpful for me, and my talks is, again, as you as you mentioned, that's too much text as a frequent that's, people know, you know, you don't want to write a paragraph up there and have people be staring at it. But in science in science presentations, an entire slide could be one huge graph, then you have your audience looking at that graph. And I use animations to basically identify the different components of the graph, or, you know, a specific, I want to draw their attention to one data point that is really making my point or not, and so you can certainly overdo the animations. But I learned, you know, early on, I wasn't doing much and I'd go through, I wasn't doing any animations, and, you know, throw up a slide, throw up a graph or a table, and explain everything, in my words. But until I started, all of a sudden, pulling up a box, you know, flying in a box around a certain row in the table, or bringing an arrow into a point on the axis of a graph that really highlights, I found that that really, because because when you got just a ton of data that you're showing up there, even these people who do this every day, and are science minded, they can just glaze right over it, you know, because it's complex? No,


Michael Mioduski  17:15

it's a lot to try to ingest all at once. And or if it's just hanging up there for like, you know, you might have one slide that's so dense, it could be a five minute slide,


TJ Schaid  17:23

I'll even do that, like, I'll turn a, you know, they'll, for some of these talks, it'd be like, you can only have this many slides. And so on one slide, I'll literally just crap. And be like, I'm bringing in a lot of points here by just showing you all around this. Yeah. And so you know, along those lines to pictures and videos, I know you people say even even someone who if I were to just stand up there without slides and talk, they'd be able to pick it up more than someone who isn't dealing with this every day. This, you know, these science talks, that, that having the pictures really keeps them engaged, and the images and the videos, that's a huge thing, even for medical talks, I think for really any talk. Yeah. So


Michael Mioduski  18:07

what's in it for the audience, TJ? Like, what are they there for? And, you know, as you're preparing the presentation, what's in your mind when it comes to like delivering something that's going to, that they're really going to get something out of? Yeah, so


TJ Schaid  18:19

it's providing new information. And usually, it takes a form of something we discovered during these experiments. And I guess, you know, really, what makes it really interesting for the clinician is, how could this change how we treat patients, and a lot of my work was basic science stuff. So it's, it's not immediately translatable to the bedside, right? It's, you know, I'm dealing with cells and things, you know, under the microscope and things like that. But as we start to learn more about a disease process, and really start to unveil some of the, you know, the prophecies that happen, then we can target that more with therapy with medications with other medical decisions that maybe these clinicians had not thought about before. So what really will engage somebody is making it clinically relevant, relevant to what they're going to do for their patient in front of them. Right? Do you know


Molly Geoghegan  19:12

sometimes ahead of time, what types of clinicians might be there to kind of cater be like, this is the one key takeaway that we found. So we're gonna kind of really hone in on this, this data point or a proof point, right?


TJ Schaid  19:24

100% I even know, kind of on the flip side of that, who is going to be opposing me up at the microphone? Because what I'm going to say is going to be a little controversial. So resistance to change. Yeah, or just some, yeah, resistance to change, or that's going to challenge a current practice, you know, and so very, yeah, yeah. And it's true. And so yeah, I really, really have that knowing your audience. And the thing that's nice is that this is, again, I'm talking about trauma surgery. So I'm primarily going to these conferences with other, you know, trauma surgeons and other clinicians that my boss in my lab, the people in my lab, the surgeons that I work with, they know who's going to be there. Everybody knows everybody. I see the same people at all the conferences over the two years I went to I've come across the same exact people. So I know who, you know who leans one way and you know, who's a big proponent of x, y, and z versus Yeah, yeah. So like the background Intel? Yeah, exactly. So you kind of and that's the other thing that, you know, I would say is, is really important for these for at least my talks. And I think really any talk is just anticipating the questions anticipating what the audience is going to want to know, even after you give your spiel, what what other information or what is something they're going to want clarification on. And sometimes I even like, plant that in my script or knowing that they're going to want to ask about this. And I have an answer prepared. And it's frequently so preparing talks for I guess, for my sake, probably the hardest thing is preparing answers for potential questions. Oh, and just being questions. Yes, that's the most stressful thing. Because that's a


Michael Mioduski  21:08

master level stuff when you really can think through it. And yeah, I mean, you really, especially I guess, what's the airtime for one of your presentations? Like, how many different conferences did you get to go to and present the same, essentially the same presentation?


TJ Schaid  21:21

There was only only two conferences? So all these are different? All these are different projects? These are different. I mean, they're different presentations. Yeah. Yeah. It's a lot of you gotta have the experiments and projects and the ideas to be even to able to write up an abstract to go to these conferences. Yeah, not many conferences let you recycle. Oh, dang. Okay. Yeah. But the ones that are like invited, you know, invited lectureship that's like, they don't really care. But when it comes to like, one of these actual meetings, where it's yeah, you know, a scientific conference, you can't present what you presented at the conference, you know, earlier in the month or something


Molly Geoghegan  21:56

I had, it's not what I was expecting. I was like, Really, you can use the same like, yeah, presentation pointed


Michael Mioduski  22:01

question before? Yeah.


TJ Schaid  22:04

I mean, you you can and you can see, they're all sort of similar projects. Yeah, they're kind of there are common questions that are going to come up, you know, based on math, you know, method common methodology questions that she would come up. But, but yeah, otherwise, it's I've had to make a different presentation for 2030 different conferences or something, you know, so


Molly Geoghegan  22:23

yeah. Wow. She's who knew that these sorts of surgeons were also presentation designer? I'm so impressed. Yeah.


Michael Mioduski  22:31

So many amazing.


Molly Geoghegan  22:32

How do you feel today? Like, were you nervous the first time you had to get on stage? Or do you still get nervous? So how do you how do you kind of prep as far as nerves and performance and delivery? if you will?


TJ Schaid  22:41

Yes, I still get nervous. I got nervous. I'm nervous on this podcast right now. It doesn't, you know, it doesn't, you know, it doesn't, I don't think that nerves really ever are gonna go away, you're just gonna get more comfortable being nervous out there. Because I think the thing that allows you to be comfortable is preparation, preparation and repetition and sort of go hand in hand, the more you do things, the more you practice that particular presentation, the more you give just presentations, in general, you become more comfortable. Like I said, being in that position, which is always going to feel when you first walk up on that stage, you look out, at least this what I believe is you're always going to feel nervous, at least I am. And so yeah, yeah, the first time. Yeah, super nervous. But I like I said, if you practice and you're prepared, you can sort of just sort of fall back on that on that preparation. And that really, really helps, at least made me comfortable knowing that, hey, I've given this to the mirror, like, at times. So I'm pretty, you know, I can I can stare out into space, you know, and stay out into, you know, the back of the room and I can just rattle this off. No problem. And then,


Molly Geoghegan  23:46

yeah, I was gonna ask if you're practicing with Kelsey or the dogs or something. Yeah,


TJ Schaid  23:51

no, I have, I definitely have. It's, it's a huge. Other bit of advice I would give is literally, and it's, you know, may sound obvious, but practice, practice, practice, literally, write a script, and practice that script, over and over and over again. And say it out loud. Say it out loud. Say it, you know, in the shower, say your script. You know, when you're laying, you know, before you go to bed, say your script. And then I would say when you're writing that script, at least for me, and, you know, maybe dive in into like, bits of advice that I would give is, yeah, write it as if, with those little colloquialisms in there that Mitt like, actually write the script with those. Yeah. Yeah, so that you end up memorizing it and saying it more conversationally, otherwise, you know, it can be a downside for you. Practice, practice, practice and memorizing a script because then you just sound like a robot. But if you if what you memorize is also more conversational. Well, then it just comes off like, wow, this person is just a really good speaker.


Michael Mioduski  24:52

Amazing. Yeah, presentation preparation, Molly doctor's orders. You heard it here, right. Tina,


Molly Geoghegan  24:59

you're really validating all these points. Oh, you know, we've been doing this podcast for a little over two years, we've talked to professional speakers, aspiring speakers, people that have created like, books about speaking and that kind of thing. And little did I know that like, you're out there practicing all of these pieces in the medical world, you know, like speaking to your audience, not putting too much on a slide at once. Practicing out loud making it conversational. Yeah. So, you know, hats off, I'm impressed for sure. Yeah. I'm curious. Do you do any like, Do you do any on those colloquialism bits? Do you do any poker funny story in the beginning, kind of like, what do you have any like any funny jokes? You tell? Have you ever done anything silly like that? You know,


TJ Schaid  25:39

I rarely will like, bring in something kind of funny because it's Oh, it's little tough when it's, you know, like you got on science date? I 10. Yeah. But there was one there was one I did, which was at the end of the talk. I was like, you know, no one everyone's thought it was this way for so many years. And then I named dropped like three of the light, legendary trauma surgeons, and said, and they couldn't figure it out. But we have, you know, like, so he's just like, that's distracting, you know? Yeah. And so, you know, again, appealing to the audiences, you know, name dropping, those people aren't like, Oh, yes. Those are like, the gods of trauma surgery. What? How's he going to? How's he going to work this and so, right.


Michael Mioduski  26:22

Inside the joke,


TJ Schaid  26:24

inside joke, you know, and I still didn't get the laugh that I wanted. But you know, it never never lands quite like you want. I got a few laughs but you


Michael Mioduski  26:33

can imagine, to shake it up, though. Surgeons might be a tough crowd.


Molly Geoghegan  26:38

To crack. Yeah. Have you ever had any other funny? There's so much that can go wrong with live presenting. We talked about this sometimes with like tech. And do you get to rehearse once before? If you're on the big stage? Have you had any like crazy or memorable experiences with stuff going wrong or stuff being funny?


TJ Schaid  26:55

Yeah. So what I will say just to kind of think of that is Yeah, tech stuff, bit of advice that I would say, if you're had the opportunity to do this, go early, and ask if you can get your slides that come up on the screen and run through them on the actual screen, right, because a lot of times with PowerPoint, for example. And this is maybe a little in the weeds here. But like if you do PowerPoint, and then they pull it on to a you know, you make PowerPoint on Mac, and they pull it onto a PC and then your slides can get jacked up. And that can really throw you off play, especially when you got animations like me, and all of a sudden this arrow is like flying halfway off the screen. And you're like, so I would always because I happen one time early on where things were a little the way that it pulled in onto the presentation screen was not how I saw it on my own screen, right practicing. So that is like go early, get there early, talk to the you know, AV people, and then you can try and avoid these. And I've caught some things before. I've said Oh, can we pull this up? Whoa, this doesn't look right. And then I've actually I was I've been so thankful that right there and solve this problem before I got up there. So that's one thing. So I unfortunately haven't. Well, fortunately, I haven't had any crazy like tech, major issues like that. But the one thing for me, is I'm always worried that I'm going to somehow. So we got three dogs, we have two dogs for most of the time, and I've wrestled with these dogs and love playing with them, I get rough with them. And I'm always worried they're gonna scratch my face, I'm gonna get a huge scratch on my face. I'm standing up there, people are gonna be only focused on this. And every time that you know, this happens like the night before a dog like barely scratched me it's it's nothing. And my wife's like the dude, it's nothing. Don't worry about it. Most recent that here's where the story comes in. This is a long winded way to get around to it. But you're going to a big international conference. This is the one in Slovenia most recently. And I get to the airport, we're getting dropped off, I get out I'm pulling my bag out of the trunk. And I go to shut the trunk as I'm like, reading down to get the bag. And something must have been in the neck with a locking mechanism that was in such that the trunk was not catching. And so it just bounced up smoked me in the face. Oh, and this is the day before I've got to get this, you know, talk International Talk. So I'm walking into this trauma conference talking about you know, trauma and stuff like that I got a huge shiner, because it's a black guy. And I'm like, There's no way and unfortunately, no one says anything but they're like, What are they thinking? They're thinking something like this guy needs a trauma surgeon.


Michael Mioduski  29:28

field research, you



know, exactly right. You see the other guy? Yes, yeah, solidarity. Anyway,


TJ Schaid  29:32

a bit of a costumer prop to use. Exactly, exactly. But I was like the one time I'm always worried about this and then I it's not just a little scratch that I get worried about my dog. It's a literal. Yeah.


Molly Geoghegan  29:45

Yeah. Okay, that's a joke to open with that there ever was wanting to be like I just got smacked in the face by our


Michael Mioduski  29:53

Molly that might have brought us into the spice cabinet. TJ Are you ready for a little lightning round of some Sure. Okay, well, I guess are there any resources recommendations like, as far as books podcasts like, that helped you along your own speaking journey? Or did you just kind of learn it on the fly? How'd you? How'd you overcome some stuff?


TJ Schaid  30:11

Yeah, so I don't really have any resources, or even favorite well known speakers, or Ted, you know, TED talks or anything like that. But I really learn from my, like, my boss, and his internal team, maybe the internal team, exactly. And then go into these conferences, and then seeing the big names, you know, up on the podium, whether they're giving, they're actually presenting their research, or they're giving these like keynote, or presidential speeches and things like that. And so I just really try to emulate those people. I mean, that's why I'm doing this, I ultimately want to get to where they are. And so if I can, if I can, you know, carry over skills that I'm seeing, they're using, then yeah, then that's, that's the that's the end goal.


Molly Geoghegan  30:53

That's cool. Do you feel like as well, now that you've been in it for two years that you've been able to give some of that to maybe some younger team members or people a little bit, not as far along in their presentation, experience? Any advice you've given to people too?


TJ Schaid  31:06

Yeah, absolutely. And I've, I've had people approached me even, I was really, really humbled by it. After one of my talks, one time, someone from another university came up and said, You're a really good presenter. And I just want to let you know that you know, and he was, he was a PhD from some of the university. I was like, and I was like, Yeah, and I just gave him I just gave him some of these, you know, quick, quick, little bits. I'm like, Well, yeah, so you see how I use that slide with those animations there and see how I didn't highlight this by highlighted that I feel like you know, so I just gave him a little quick, you know, bit of advice that I had been given previously, that was I didn't know that to start and so someone told me that so now I'm going to share that with somebody else. And you know, hopefully they can share it with somebody else too. Absolutely.


Molly Geoghegan  31:54

Okay. Well, if not medical related we're big believers that you know, the professional and influences your personal and vice versa, but any favorite books of all time podcasts you listen to in your free time, even a movie. Oh, let's see. What should we plug? Yeah, take your time. Gosh, I


TJ Schaid  32:10

really movies. I mean, really any movie you're asking like any? Yeah, favorite media, the movie Goodwill Hunting. I just saw it kind of cross like I forget where it was. It was somebody posted some on social media or Instagram a quote from it or something like that. And it just reminded me that is probably my favorite movie of all time is Goodwill Hunting. Gosh, I love that movie.


Molly Geoghegan  32:30

I'd say you're in a in good company with that look for people's favorite film.


TJ Schaid  32:35

Yeah, otherwise Yeah, I mean music. I'm not there isn't like one song that I'm crazy about right now. I love I love listening to like, like when I'm operating if they allow me to put out usually it's the attending who gets to decide what what what Pandora? Yeah, I was DJing what Pandora station but I love just some good Odessa like Pandora radio while I'm operating. Favorite book add on now.


Molly Geoghegan  33:02

That's Kelsey there. Yeah, yeah, there you go. She's reading like 50 books a year.


Michael Mioduski  33:07

This is a presentation thinking first is like someone describing their their surgery. Pandora station of choice. Yeah, this is we are Yeah, we are amongst some impressive people right now. Molly and TJ because we usually we asked like, alright, you put it out there TJ Doctor President you're gonna get called in asked to keynote one of these conferences some day. What's gonna be your walkout song? No. DESA Yeah, no,


TJ Schaid  33:33

no, I couldn't it couldn't be Odessa. Geez, I don't know. I've never had a walkout song and see, I know that


Molly Geoghegan  33:39

they should add those to the to the conferences. You should suggest that Yeah,


TJ Schaid  33:43

well, you know, I just have to go classic. Ozzy Osbourne Crazy Train fun and I can't go running down the middle of the aisle. Slapping hands. Yeah, there you go.


Michael Mioduski  34:01

Tony Robbins himself. There you go. That's epic. Yeah,


TJ Schaid  34:05

great. Yeah.


Molly Geoghegan  34:05

I can totally see you doing that. You're very charismatic. I think you Yeah, I can see you bringing a lot of life to the presentations in general, but with a little Ozzy Osbourne Hey, go. Molly, some


Michael Mioduski  34:15

Colorado kids. That was one of the Colorado Rockies like the inaugural teams walk I think was like Dante Bichette or someone like that had had crazy train. It's the walkout. Gotcha. Every time it's like it's at its final. Yeah, it is.



It's hard not to get pumped up. Yeah.


Molly Geoghegan  34:29

Mikey. That so yeah. I love that part of a professional baseball game where the walkout song, every player gets a choice on walkout song. That's our signature question, TJ. So, when you have your TED talk, we'll look forward. Forward to that. All right. That's awesome. Right on any parting shots for the presentation thinkers or anyone that's like looking to create a medical medical presentation, maybe just starting their journey in residency? Any final words of advice? Yeah,


TJ Schaid  34:54

I guess one thing I didn't mention that it was really helpful for me during during my talks is To frequently reorient the audience when you're presenting pretty dense stuff. So when you when you throw up a slide, and you've got a bunch of data on a slide, yeah, they might understand the graph, they might understand the data. But the why it matters if you can, throughout the presentation, just a statement here in there, after these data and it multiple times, maybe four or five times you say, okay, and now remember, we talked about this problem, you know, in the background earlier on, this is why this matters and keeping them reoriented even these people that see data and numbers and science and experiments and no medicine, helping reorient them to the point of the data throughout the presentation, not just waiting to the conclusion, I find very helpful.


Michael Mioduski  35:45

That was gold. And that's applicable, Molly Right to any any type of presentation. That is such a great, that's


Molly Geoghegan  35:51

that Northstar Mikey Yeah,



yeah. Why does it matter?


Molly Geoghegan  35:55

Even with smart? Yeah, obviously, you're presenting to a room of very smart people, but the human brain need repetition to remember something. So you just need to hammer that in a few times. And, and that helps with your key takeaways. And I'm sure it certainly helps people remember your presentation. So what's what's next, what's the next conference up? Do you have anything Slaton?


TJ Schaid  36:13

So I don't have anything right now. I'm still so I'm back clinical, right? So I had my two years of research, which you still do some clinical work during those years. But it sort of shifts you choose to pick up and it's really only the ICU. It's not operating. But now I'm now I'm fully back clinical. And I've just trying to wrap up the I've got about two or three papers that I'm still trying to wrap up from my time in the lab. And it's, you know, when you're clinically busy, it's tough to do that, too. So I have no conference that I'm targeting right now with anything, but hopefully I can get these papers going and then and then we'll see we'll see what I'll talk with my boss and be like, Hey, where's gonna go to like Hawaii next or


Molly Geoghegan  36:53

pick the place for


Michael Mioduski  36:55

Hawaii? If you're listening? Yeah. Throw up some more conferences,



please. Yeah, let's go.


Molly Geoghegan  37:01

Absolutely. Island time. All


Michael Mioduski  37:03

right. Dr. TJ, this has been awesome having you on. Thank you so much for sharing with presentation nation. Molly, this has been a blast. We should do this more often.


Molly Geoghegan  37:12

Yeah. Awesome. I know. Thanks for expand. Thanks for really just validating our, what we've studied what we've studied and research so far with presentations. And yeah, I'm so excited to see what you do next. And if you're in the Denver area, TJ, you're and you're on. Hopefully this doesn't happen any last night, but if anyone suffered trauma today, you will be in good hands in the near future. So


TJ Schaid  37:33

yeah, well, thanks, guys. It was a privilege to be here. Yeah.


Michael Mioduski  37:37

Awesome. All right. And until next time, Y'all keep on pitching on pitching

About The Author

Molly Geoghegan, Narrative Strategist

Molly Geoghegan is a writer, organizer, and film school dropout. She hikes frequently with her dog, Guinness, and signs up for too many email newsletters. Having lived in Chicago, Paris, Dublin and Galway, Molly has made her way back to the Rockies and calls Denver, CO home.

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