Rob’s blog

Getting better feedback

"Could you read this?" a friend asked me, handing over the manuscript for his novel. "I'd love your feedback." So I did. I read all 200 pages and made detailed notes about story, character and voice. How the dramatic structure needed tightening, the personal stakes...

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Don’t make your audience unsubscribe from your speech

I just sent this in response to “Why are you unsubscribing from us?” (on the third screen you had to click through to unsubscribe): The constant stream of “ALERT!” “URGENT” and other messages just got too much. If everything is urgent, then nothing is. I know the data...

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Don’t be fooled by Resting Audience Face

You’re trucking along in your speech, performing with verve and passion, and look out to the crowd... ...only to see face after face that looks completely unresponsive. Hell, you think. They hate this. I’m losing them. And, you know what? Maybe you are. But here’s the...

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Don’t just read your speech. Perform it.

There's a big conceptual leap that absolutely transforms a speaker's connection with an audience, and magnifies their impact tremendously. It's the leap from reading a speech... to actually, authentically performing it. Instead of a recitation, your delivery becomes a...

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Wrapping up my first Facebook Live speechwriting clinic

Thanks to everyone who joined me this morning for my first official Facebook Live speechwriting clinic. (I say "official" because I've done a few impromptu runs at this in the past. Let's define "official" as "I gave people some warning and made a custom graphic for...

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Speaking at a rally? Here’s how to make it count.

If you work with a mission-driven organization, you may find yourself speaking at a political rally soon. (Maybe sooner than you think, the way things are going.) You may be there to offer a short greeting and encouragement, or to deliver a rousing featured address,...

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The danger of “but.” The power of “and.”

Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted something that, on the face of it, looks perfectly reasonable for a left-wing political leader to say: https://twitter.com/SenSanders/status/801253188821250048 The fact that Sanders says but instead of and in that tweet makes...

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