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Sooner or later speechwriters and other leadership communications practitioners find ourselves talking to a subject matter expert: somebody (usually part of your client’s organization) who’s going to give some of their time and knowledge to make your speech or article better. Here’s how to get the most out of their time and yours.

Thanks to Clare Kumar, Deb Rohac, Patti Bacchus, Evan Leeson, Ben Roberts, Ben Lucier, Mark Busse, Rob Beggs, Susan RoAne, Jamie Cohen, Luis Giraldo, James Glave, Anthony Floyd, Andréa Coutu, Richard Eriksson, Robert Beggs and Michele Owens who all weighed in online with their advice for talking to subject matter experts!

Music: Theme: “Good Times” by Podington Bear (

Incidental music by Lee Rosevere ( including “And So Then,” “Ingenuity,” “More On That Later,” “Looking Back,” “Systematic” and “Sad Marimba Planet.” Used under a Creative Commons license.

Photo: James Lee on Unsplash