FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Who can apply?
Any active or retired SOAP member.

Why should I apply?
A: If you’re ready to make the next step in your educational career but aren’t sure how to get that first opportunity, this database is for you! If you’ve had opportunities, but you’re ready to speak about something you’re really passionate about and you don’t know how to find the right audience, this database is for you! If you believe that diversity, inclusion, and representation matter in education, and you want to be included in the effort to measure and improve education in OB anesthesia, this database is for you too! Curriculum developers will have the opportunity to see what YOU are interested in, and reach out to match you with an audience who wants to hear what you have to say!

What does the application include?
A brief application form , your CV, and a single Word document including comments, letters, or other feedback from previous lectures (at the state/national/international/Grand Rounds outside your home institution level). We know this feedback comes in many forms, so include what you think would be most useful to show an evaluator that you are ready for the national stage! Applying should take just a few minutes.

What are the applications evaluated for?
We are looking for 2 things: excellent speaking skills and commitment. You can demonstrate skills through with reviews or comments from previous Grand Rounds/state/national/international level talks you’ve given. You can demonstrate commitment through your previous experience giving talks at these levels, or through successful completion of the SOAP Mentorship Academy.

For the Mentorship Academy, participation in the Speaker Exchange Program or a Mentor/Mentee pairing that focuses on speaking skills are great ways to demonstrate your commitment. You’ll want to include comments from the Exchange Program or from your Mentor as evidence of either of these if applicable in the Word document you upload with the application.

Who will evaluate the applications?
Members of stakeholder committees (Intersociety, Education, Research, and Annual Meetings/Live Events) will evaluate the applications. They will be looking for evidence of speaking competence as defined by the NCA’s Competent Speaker Evaluation Form, which is a standardized and tested instrument used to assess public speaking competency at the higher education level. It was developed by the NCA Division on Communication and Assessment. Each application will be evaluated by 3 randomly assigned reviewers.

What happens once the applications are evaluated?
An application will be determined to be either “Ready” or “Not Ready Yet” for the database. If you’re ready, you’ll be listed in the database with up to 5 topics you’d like to speak about. You’ll be invited to resubmit with new topics after 3 years, but you can also change or add topics at any time. There will be an opportunity for you include a link to a video of a talk you’ve given for curriculum developers to see – this will help them feel more confident to “take a chance” on a new speaker they haven’t heard before, so while it’s optional, we definitely encourage you to include one! You’ll also have an option to write who your target audience is as well as include learning objectives to make your entry in the database even more enticing to curriculum developers.

What happens if I’m “not ready” for the Speaker Database?
SOAP wants to help you! One of the best ways to become ready is through a resource available to SOAP members -- the Mentoring Academy! Participation in either the Speaker Exchange Program and the Mentor/Mentee Program (if approached with a focus on improving speaking skills) are clear demonstrations of commitment.

What will the database list?
The database will include your name, rank, title, email address, your primary practice location including city and state, the topics you’d like to speak about (including details on target audience and learning objectives for each topic if desired), and an optional link to a video (<15 min) of you speaking. This video will not be used to evaluate you, but rather to be viewed by curriculum developers/meeting organizers as desired. It’s optional but strongly encouraged for those with less prior exposure!!

Who can access the database?
We are prioritizing transparency and direct communication! Any SOAP member can access the database by filling out a brief form. The form will include name, institution/organization, email address, what speaking opportunity they are looking to fill, and how they have filled this opportunity in the past. This form will help us keep track of whether this is working and assess satisfaction with this endeavor.

Does SOAP provide an honorarium or stipend to speakers in the SOAP Speaks! Database?
No.  SOAP does not provide any monetary benefits to speakers.  Curriculum developers are encouraged to follow their own institutional policies and procedures with regards to speaker compensation. 

What should I do if I have an idea about how this could be done better?
We want to hear from you! Email us at [email protected] to help us improve this database to better serve you.