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Conferences and workshops

Science: Becoming the Messenger

About the series

In today's challenging economic climate and faced with ever-increasing competitive pressures, every scientist, every engineer, every researcher, and every educator must be able to champion his or her work effectively to the outside world. But how do you make the audiences essential to your success see the meaning in your science, your engineering, your research, or your educational endeavors? How do you make audiences really care?

Developed especially for the National Science Foundation, the "Science: Becoming the Messenger" communications workshop equips attendees with the same proven skills and techniques professionals use to win support, influence thinking, and alter attitudes. In one entertaining and eye-opening day, "Science: Becoming the Messenger" spans the communications spectrum-from message design and creation to delivery using traditional and new media-and launches attendees towards a lifetime of more effective communications.

The next workshop will be held Sept. 11, 2013, at the Wildcatter Stadium Club Lounge in War Memorial Stadium on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie, but attendance is limited. Only principal investigators, early career researchers, engineers, students, postdocs, and public information officers from institutions and universities in Wyoming who can clear their calendars for the full day may attend.

What makes this workshop so valuable? What makes it different?

There are far too many reasons to list all of them, but here are a few of the more important ones:

First, it's led by not just one, but three expert communicators who will reveal their professional approaches and real-world insights, and let you in on their secrets for communicating effectively.

Second, it digs deeply into how we communicate--what works and what doesn't. This isn't about putting lipstick on a pig and calling it a princess. We'll show you how to transform your communications into genuine royalty from the outset.

Third, this is no one-trick pony. The techniques you'll learn and the skills you'll begin developing can be applied immediately to making virtually all of your communications-from grant proposals and classroom lectures to media interviews, presentations and even job interviews-more effective.

Fourth, this workshop goes way past theory. We'll show you how to tell your story across a spectrum of opportunities--talk-and-slides, blogs, videos, Twitter, media interviews, and Q&A sessions.

Fifth, you won't just sit there like a sponge soaking up information. These sessions are interactive. You'll start transforming your story into an audience-dazzling communication during the workshop with coaching and even one-on-one help (if you need it) from the experts.

And sixth, this is a workshop about how to communicate effectively, led by experts who earn their livings communicating. Don't expect a karaoke performance where the presenter reads to you off of a slide full of text while you follow the bouncing laser pointer along word by word. Expect a day full of dynamic presentations from charismatic speakers who know how to captivate an audience with engaging information and an arsenal of multimedia material.

(See the Day One Agenda below for an overview of the day and descriptions for each session.)

Overflowing with interactive sessions, practical advice, easy-to-use guides, real-world examples, and hands-on exercises, "Science: Becoming the Messenger" has packed venues across the country and received rave reviews from the more than 2,000 of your colleagues who already have attended.

Here's just a sampling of what past attendees have said about the workshop:

  • "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! This workshop changed my entire outlook."
  • "Simply awesome. Thank you!"
  • "Wonderful, entertaining, enlightening, fun workshop! So much information that was easy to grasp and apply immediately."
  • "Really fantastic."
  • "This was really useful. Thank you so much!"
  • "Thank you all. The experts are just awesome."
  • "Excited to apply what I learned."
  • "This should be mandatory for all science majors-once as freshmen and again before they graduate. Graduate students should be required to take this workshop EVERY YEAR."
  • "Best workshop-ever."
  • "This is such an important training for scientists."
  • "I found the entire session excellent."
  • "Please keep up this valuable work."

Special additional opportunity especially for researchers

As a bonus, the "Science: Becoming the Messenger" workshop will conduct a second, more intensive, day of advanced training on Sept. 12, 2013 for a specially-selected group of researchers who apply. Building on fundamentals they learned the day before, Day Two participants benefit from one-on-one mentoring by the experts; gain practical experience in delivering their messages during practice talk-and-slides presentations, press conferences, and media interviews; and receive constructive feedback from the workshop facilitators and their peers (see the Day Two Agenda below for an overview of the day and descriptions for each session). Researchers wishing to be considered for this special training must invest time on the night before preparing for Day Two, commit to the full day of training on Sept. 12, and complete the appropriate section on the registration form. Only researchers wishing to be considered for Day Two should complete this section of the registration form. All others should enter "N/A" in the box on the form.

NSF assembled a one-of-a-kind, "dream team" of professionals with more than 75 years of combined experience as professional communicators to develop and conduct "Science: Becoming the Messenger." Dan Agan is a media strategist and communications counselor, a former network television programming and marketing executive, and a former Chief Marketing Officer for publicly-traded corporations. Chris Mooney is a best-selling science author and journalist, blogger, and hosts "Point of Inquiry" podcasts. Joe Schreiber is an Emmy-award-winning television producer and filmmaker, and for 23 years produced the "George Michael Sports Machine" for NBC (see full Speaker Bios below).

Each registrant should create a Twitter account prior to the workshop and enter his or her Twitter "handle" (username) in the Comments section of the registration form (see attached instructions). Laptop computers or tablets are required for Day One, and laptops (not tablets) are required for Day Two. Power strips will be available at each table. Any dietary restrictions also should be noted in the Comments box of the registration form.

There is no registration fee, and breakfast and lunch are provided, but pre-registration is required. Act quickly to reserve your place! Due to space restrictions, registrations will be accepted only on a first-come, first-served basis.

The registration deadline is Sept. 4, 2013 if you wish to be considered for Day Two and Sept. 8, 2013 to register just for Day One.

Note: registration may close early if the workshop fills up prior to the deadline.

Past events in this series