Friday, 13 August 2004

Newsletter Issue 83, August 2004

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 83, August 2004

Hi guys,

What is globally socially acceptable in an email? Check out the very simple Top 10 Rules For Email Etiquette below.

If public speaking isn't your favourite thing, check out Tips for Public Speaking Success.

Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Top 10 Rules for Email Etiquette

In society we have socially imposed rules that form our own peculiar mix of "good manners". These vary widely from society to society, race to race, religion to religion, forming the social grease that enable groups of people to live together.

This is why it is very stressful when we are out of our own environment; we are missing our social framework that we rely on - without even being aware of it - to guide our behaviour.

For example, in NZ if you are going to dinner at someone's house, it is good manners to take wine or food for the host. In Germany, it is rude to take food or wine as a gift for the host; you take an odd number of flowers with no wrapping (to look like you picked them yourself, I think; and everyone plays along, although all know it isn't so). In Japan as a dinner guest, you give your host a modest present of gift-wrapped food or drink which won't be opened until after you leave (in case they are disappointed in the gift)... and if the gift is too expensive, you insult the host.

So while gifts are relatively universal, what and how you give is not. However, there are some common areas of life that are becoming truly international, and one of those is email; probably because national borders are largely irrelevant, and English appears to be lingua franca.

While it is somewhat debatable as to exactly what the top ten "good manners" rules when writing email are, following are my personal top ten dos and don'ts;

  1. Remember that this is communication, so write in sentences using language appropriate for your audience, and use correct spelling, grammar & punctuation
  2. Read the email before you send it, correcting for sense, completeness and eliminating possible mis-meanings
  3. Always spellcheck before sending
  5. Enter a sensible subject line & if you change the subject of an email, enter a the subject while leaving the old still there for reference eg “Pay Increase (formerly RE: Overwork)”
  6. Use the bcc field when bulk emailing to protect the email privacy of your mailing list people
  7. Ensure that rich text and HTML messages are clear without the formatting. After you bold, italicise, and underline to make your meaning clear, the recipient may only be able to receive messages in plain text so will miss the thrust of your message (also, many companies will only receive in plain text as it is still safer & takes less server space)
  8. Do not attach unnecessary files - some people have very limited emailbox space
  9. Be sparing on the fwd button; do not forward viruses or claims without verifying them first, and don’t forward chain letters or hoaxes
  10. Be careful when using Reply to All - check the list before you send to see who will receive your email

And of course, you all do this perfectly now; but you can tell those others who do this to you!

Tips for Public Speaking Success

Recently I had the pleasure of reading a good article on how to reduce your fear of public speaking. I contacted the author - Joe Takash - and he was kind enough to let me reproduce it for you to share his simple - yet effective - advice.

Studies show that public speaking is the number one human fear - more common than fear of death. In other words, most folk would rather be the person lying in the coffin than the one delivering the eulogy. Something is definitely wrong here!

The ability to successfully communicate in public is a key determinant in the success or failure of many careers - not just those in the speaking profession. Whether you find yourself addressing the board at corporate headquarters or simply answering your boss's question at a weekly staff meeting, it's time for you to conquer your fear.

The following are the "little things that make a big difference" when speaking to a group of people. Incorporate these into your approach and you'll find that your task is much easier than you thought possible.

  • Visualise. Before you begin, consider practicing some relaxation exercises. Visualize yourself doing well.
  • Network ahead of time. Introduce yourself to as many of the attendees as possible before your speech. Thank them for coming. Learn about who they are and what they do. If you already know your audience, take some time to chat with your colleagues. Familiarity with your listeners will help you to relax, which in turn improves your effectiveness as a speaker.
  • Names. Consciously strive to remember people's names; it increases your confidence, humanizes your audience and creates good will. It's more personal to say to a group, "Joan, what do you think?" than, "The lady in the red dress with the big glasses has a question."

Helpul hint: When you engage in your pre-speaking networking, try to develop associations that help you remember people's names. For instance, if you were to meet Ben Edwards, a gentleman who happens to have a blue ballpoint pen behind his ear, in your mind, repeat something catchy, like "Blue Pen Ben." Have fun with it! Include everyone.

  • Contact. Now that you are familiar with your audience, communicate to them that they are all integral parts of the learning process. Make eye contact with everyone, and do so with “kindfidence,” a combination of confidence, courtesy and respect.
  • Smile. No matter how serious the subject matter of your presentation, a pleasant smile is an outstanding tool for disarming every audience. Keep this in mind from the time you enter the room to the time you leave. You will be amazed at the difference a smile makes.
  • Tune in. Pay attention to the body language of every audience. Try to get a feel for what they want. How do they feel? Are they absorbing your presentation? Ask questions and refer questions to other audience members. Again, engage everyone, so that everyone feels significant.
  • Use your creativity. Take some chances. Tell personal stories. Use your sense of humor. Make it fun for your most important audience member: You! If a joke bombs, so what? If you can't take time to laugh at yourself, you'll leave the job to other people.
  • Be yourself. Incorporating these skills does not necessitate changing who you are. There is no substitute for authenticity. If a certain approach feels too forced to you, then consider a different tactic that better fits your character. "What you see is what you get" is an attitude that everyone appreciates. Be the best "you" you can be!
  • Talk the talk. Experience is the best teacher. Consider joining Toastmasters or another professional speaking organisation. Seek out situations where you can get experience speaking before groups - volunteer for a committee, speak at your church, participate in school board meetings, coach a team or teach a class. Familiarity is the fastest way to beat the demon of fear and ensure effective communication with any audience.

The author, Joe Takash, is an American professional convention, conference and sales meeting speaker. He has given more than 3,000 presentations since 1988. His sales coaching has won clients more than a billion dollars worth of new business. Joe is the president of Victory Consulting in Chicago, IL, USA. Visit his website or email him at

Maori Keyboard Definition

Microsoft New Zealand have a download link on their website so that you can enable your keyboard to type Maori macron characters.

Apparently the University of Waikato approached Microsoft with the idea to alter the standard US/International keyboard to easily insert the macron characters by redefining the tilde key (~`) on your keyboard.

You just;

  1. Download "maorikbd.exe", saving to your PC
  2. Click on the download & follow the instructions
  3. Then, once installed, press the ~` key, then any vowel that you want a macron over.

The converted tilde-cum-macron key works for both upper and lower case.

However, if you need the left quotation mark, simply press the tilde key twice; and if you require the tilde, just Shift + ~`.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;

  • SP, Service Pack - usual MS terminology for a patch pack for Windows OS & Office; usually prefixed by the OS version and suffixed by the pack number (eg XP SP2)
  • RC, Release Candidate - the beta version of an SP.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Short+Hot Keys... and now tips

Over the next few newsletters, we are going to look at all the Function keys for Outlook. Here is the second selection - all you can do with Alt & numbers;

  • "View 10 days; works when using general keys for moving around in the day/week/month/view" Alt & 0 (Zero)
  • "Go to previous folder (with the File Open or Insert File dialog boxes) or view 1 day in day/week/month/view" Alt & 1
  • "Open the folder one level up from the open folder (Up One Level button); use within the File Open and Insert File dialog boxes" Alt & 2
  • "Close the open dialog box and opens your World Wide Web search page (Search the Web button); use when working in the File Open or Insert File dialog boxes" Alt & 3
  • "Delete the selected folder or file; use within the File Open or Insert File dialog boxes" Alt & 4
  • "Create a new subfolder in the open folder; use within the File Open or Insert File dialog boxes" Alt & 5
  • "Switch between List, Details, Properties, and Preview views (click the arrow next to Views); use within the File Open or Insert File dialog boxes" Alt & 6
  • "Display the Tools menu; use within the File Open or Insert File dialog boxes" Alt & 7

Hot Linx

Want to make your IT headaches seem tiny? Check out the IT requirements for the Athens Summer Olympics at,289142,sid14_gci992124,00.html

Know anyone who wants to come & live in New Zealand, but who is stuck because they don't have a job yet? They might find that New JobZ could help at

Feel like the winter blues are settling on you? Perhaps you need a dose of culture as a pick up. Check out what's the Suter are doing at

Want to know what blogging is? Then read about Rebecca Blood's potted history of Web Logs at or check out 

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here