Adventures in Speech Writing

Adventures in Speech Writing

Adventures of Speechwriter Anthony Trendl

Adventures in Speech Writing

I have a sexy job. It isn’t really, but that’s the impression some people have. Too many movies romanticize my type of work. In the course of conversation, someone might say, “So, what do you do?” There’s a range of reasons people ask such a thing — maybe they want to guess my income level, find a common place that we can relate, or they want to sort out the social hierarchy. My professional life isn’t without adventures. I have loads, but so do you.

Sometimes, I tell people I’m in marketing. My goal is to have a healthy conversation. The novelty of what I do can make a conversation all about me or my job.

This happened just this week as I was leaving the library. Someone wanted to use the table where I had been working several hours. Brief small talk about the wonders of being an entrepreneur was followed by the “usual conversation.” I do my best to explore their questions because I love curious people. Their curiosity isn’t always convenient or conducive to a new relationship.

Lines of Questioning

There are a few lines of questioning these things go. It isn’t all bad, mind you, but the other conversant’s curiosity sometimes stifles my ability to learn about them, or they put me on a pedestal (as if I can speak like President Obama or Tony Robbins — which, no, not even close).

“Do you write for politics?”

“Do you know any famous people?”

“Oh, I’m so bad at public speaking.”

“Do you get to fly on their jet?”

(answer key: yes [but not like you might think], yes, oh, no. More answers below.)

Who is Interesting?

I understand there’s intrigue to what I do. Doctors and lawyers face a version of it. So does my friend who is an extra in several Avengers movies (you’ve seen him — he gets killed gloriously at the end of Black Panther). Pastors do as well. They’ll sit on a plane and rather than watch an in-flight movie, they’ll carefully tread through two hours of theology, confession, or soapboxing.

Who else? You name it — everyone does something interesting: the military, police, the fire department, the mailman, the NSA people at the airport, bar owners, electricians, bakers… You see, this list could go on forever. Everyone is fascinating. Everyone has adventures.

Life is tricky. Be graceful when people want to know more and be wise as you navigate conversations.


  • Do I write for politics? Yes, but I don’t approach it as a partisan fight.
  • Do I know famous people? Quite a few, but non-disclosures won’t let me get into all of that. Athletes, philanthropists, high profile business leaders, and some just famous for being famous. They are real people too, some of whom are secretly doing wonderful things to improve our world.
  • You are not skilled at public speaking? Most of us still have more to learn. I certainly do. I can help you speak more effectively.
  • What about the company jet? No, not yet. I have invitations to stay at client’s estates. I have enjoyed meals in some exclusive restaurants. Not nearly often enough!

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