Tuesday, May 31, 2005

meeting plans?

When your organization's members gather for the annual conference, don't get caught missing the chance to improve their communications skills. Whether you choose to offer media training, public speaking, or presentation training in pre-conference workshops, you'll be providing one of the most highly rated member benefits. You get members who can articulate on behalf of your mission, and they get skills they can use immediately to advance their careers. And all these trainings offer skills that can easily transfer to other situations, from the boardroom to one-on-one conversations. For more on our array of fun and effective pre-conference workshops, email us at info@dontgetcaught.biz.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A news site that sifts

No one gets too little news these days, so we prefer finding ways to sift for quality, quirks and questions of the day. If that's your goal, click here to check out "Reuters Recommends," a roundup of selected stories from today's feed from the wire service. New products to keep your eyes on, trends, and insights into the news all are featured. And if you place a story that winds up in "Reuters Recommends," use that kudo as a qualitative way to measure the impact of your coverage.

can you be too prepared?

Speechifying trivia: Woodrow Wilson, while U.S. President, led a small trend in short speeches, unusual in his day as it is in ours. A member of his Cabinet asked how much time he spent preparing to speak, and Wilson said, "It depends. If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.” We say: Keep the speech short and the preparation long, and your presentations will always win the audience's vote. Email us at info[at]dontgetcaught[dot]biz if you want to learn more about great starts and finishes for speeches, presentations and more.

Check out our sister blog, The Eloquent Woman, for more on giving great speeches and presentations and become a fan of The Eloquent Woman on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

too boring for TV?

Here's a recent article from The Onion that's almost too true for many scientists, physicians and other technical experts: being rejected as "too boring for TV." In fact, you don't need to dumb down your content to get your point across in front of a camera or in front of an audience. One of the best examples I've seen recently: a proteomics researcher in Chicago, who opened a talk by keeping his introducer on stage with him, pointing out that they had a genetic makeup that was 99 percent identical, despite her long brown hair and his baldness, among other differences. And that, he said, is what proteomics wants to understand: the remaining one percent. He grabbed the audience, and so can you...just takes some preparation. You can find out more by emailing us at info@dontgetcaught.biz.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

for you, blue

Tennis and your next television appearance have something new in common: the color blue. I always recommend you wear a strong French blue or royal blue shirt when you're on television: It flatters all skin tones and draws the viewer's eye to you better than most colors. (There's a reason all those backdrops at news conferences are the same color, you know.) Now the U.S. Tennis Association is applying that same savvy to the U.S. Open courts, which will be a royal blue, bordered with green. Click here to read today's Washington Post coverage on the change, and see the picture here.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

may news & info

"Nothing is as easy to make as a promise this winter to do something next summer; this is how commencement speakers are caught."
— Sydney J. Harris

While judging student commencement speeches for Boston University some years ago, my contribution was preventing a crowd disaster. One speech began with lists of the world's ills, prefaced at key intervals by "Breathe deep the gathering gloom!" Faculty members on the panel rejected it because it was depressing, but I had a more practical issue: Thousands of giddy graduates would be yelling "Watch lights fade in every room!" -- the next line in the Moody Blues song Nights in White Satin -- every time that line came forth. If someone at your organization is delivering a commencement speech, we hope it's completed by now, and missing any dangerous lyrics. Next time, when your speaker is selected -- a process that typically happens in September or October -- call us about writing the speech ahead of time, so you won't get caught in May. And for a laugh, click here to read Jon Stewart's recent commencement speech at the College of William & Mary. His great start: "Thank you Mr. President, I had forgotten how crushingly dull these ceremonies are. Thank you."

May 10 is a day of great starts in history: Hoover became FBI head in 1924, Churchill became British prime minister in 1940, 'Rock Around the Clock' was released in 1954, and Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994...and last year, don't get caught was launched to somewhat less fanfare. In this first year, we've achieved something every independent business dreams about: all our business comes from colleagues and their referrals. We'll keep the celebration low key this year, but want our clients and friends to know how very much we value their support and referrals. To find out what happened on your birthday or anniversary, go to www.historychannel.com and use the search engine under "This Day in History."

Our favorite online news source has long been the Associated Press, where you can see tomorrow's news today. Updated every hour or so, it features some of the very best journalism. Choose a local link into the system at the AP main page, and don't forget to look to the menu at left, where you can see indepth links to national, international, health/science, sports and entertainment feeds on the wire. Communicators and writers should check out the lesser-known but essential AP media news page, for updates on personnel changes at key media outlets, winners of the latest journalism awards, and industry issues.

A science writing job opportunity is available at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit. Check it and other openings out here, urges Bill Blaul, vice president for institutional relations at the center. We heard about this while speaking at the NACCDO-PAN Conference in Chicago last month, convened for public affairs and development officers at cancer centers nationwide. Click on "conference highlights" in the list of links at right to see my slides and handouts from that conference.

For all those who've remarked on our corporate image, the first anniversary of don't get caught lets us honor the people who made it possible. Our corporate image is the product of MSK Partners (www.mskpartners.com), which designed our stationery and business card. Sara Delgado of Gado Graphics (www.gadographics.com) expanded that to Web-size, designing our site and blog from front to back. Be sure to check out Sara's fine art, as well as her graphic skills, on her website. A contest for you: Where did the name don't get caught come from? Email us at info@dontgetcaught.biz and we'll publish the best guesses -- and the real answer -- next time.