public speaking

Heart + Mind = Influence

“The royal road to a man’s heart is to talk to him about the things he treasures most.” – Dale Carnegie When developing a speech, the heart matters. As intellectual as the topic may be, pulling in the listener’s heart is key to your speech’s success. Your delivery is part of that: are you passionate […]

Listening to Discover Voice

Listening is key at American Speechwriter. Writing in a client’s voice is the constant challenge. A client might say, “I want to have an exciting, passionate speech,” when in fact they will eventually prefer a fact-filled talk. Listening involves questions and follow-up questions and clarifying questions. But, even after a long conversation, listening cannot do […]

President Tom Kirkman Wings It (Should You?)

“‘Wing it? That’s an interesting communications strategy, Seth.” – President Tom Kirkman, “Designated Survivor” (Netflix) Kirkman caught an unexpected opportunity to speak to potential supporters during the third season of the popular political thriller. With no time to prepare a speech, he takes the mic and goes for it. He “wings it.” Or does he? […]

Text vs Style

Speech Tip: Text vs Style Great speeches always involve a great message. Personal charisma can help tell that message well, but it is the substance you need to be extraordinary. We envision great speakers as having amazing podium skills. They do, but what sets them apart is something quieter: the writing of their speech itself. […]

Speech Tip: Nervous?

Speech Tip: Nervous? I am. And there’s nothing wrong with that. A client is giving a speech tomorrow. He’s giving someone an award for a year of great service, and with it, thanks for a great 15 years. The client wants to knock it out of the park. I think I wrote a great speech […]

Speech Tip: Avoid PowerPoint

Speech Tip: Avoid PowerPoint Jeff Bezos doesn’t like PowerPoint in presentations. Neither do I. Why not? They distract the audience and the speaker. It is as simple as that. That’s not even getting into the design question — so many aren’t done well. Too many words, too complex of a message (charts that are more […]

Public Speaking: Book Me

Those of you who follow me on LinkedIn know that I’m emphasizing public speaking. The quick gist is below, but for the full shebang, please check out my public speaking page Public Speaking: Keynotes, Workshops, Breakout Sessions * Clarity of Message. How to speak efficiently. * Confidence Building. Your audience wants to hear from you. […]