public speaking

Speech Writing and Slide Decks

How important is speech writing? Very. So is the editing of that writing. What about rehearsing? That too. Remember, what and how you say things is what distinguishes your presentation from a silent, humanless slideshow. You are the distinction. Your presentation should work without the slide deck. The slides are there to augment and amplify […]

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Public Speaking

Coronavirus concerns are impacting my clients internationally and domestically. Events are being cancelled. The speakers themselves are choosing not to attend. Audiences don’t want to show up. It looks dire, but we aren’t here to stoke conspiracy theories, blame, or any other such nonsense. Whatever you think about all of that isn’t relevant if you […]

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 […]