Rob’s blog

Knowing enough to be useful is enough.

Lauren Bacon shares a personal demon (possibly a genetic one!) about public speaking and imposter syndrome: My mother [is] a brilliant and successful woman who has spent her entire career in the nonprofit housing sector, and who runs an organization that she has built up from a small nonprofit with a few apartment buildings to … Keep reading 

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For everyone who wants Obama to be more animated…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9G8XREyG0QWhy Obama Now on YouTube.Now, this represents a lot of work — not just the raw animation and graphics work, but the tremendous visual imagination driving them. But it’s a superb example of how you can reach far more people...

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Resolution: quote more women

So often, when I’m reaching for a stirring quotation, I wind up with something a man said. (Or, in the case of Gandhi, didn’t say.) You may find the same thing. If so, and you’d like to redress that imbalance a little, bookmark The Eloquent Woman Index of Famous Women’s Speeches. It’s a collection of speeches … Keep reading 

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What you can learn from Bill Clinton, speechwriter

One of the most valuable things you can get back from a client after they deliver a speech you’ve written is the marked-up text – the changes they’ve made from what you wrote. You may not agree with every edit, but they’re very clear cues to what your client feels comfortable saying. Two inches of … Keep reading 

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And in the end…

In a great wide-ranging report on a National Speakers Association convention panel from Ian Griffin, these two sentences seized my attention: Dychtwald claimed he gets more accomplished in the last 60 seconds of a speech than in the first 30 minutes. “The audience are with me, everything I say hits home.” from How to write a … Keep reading 

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How Neil Young Helped Me Quit The Government of Canada

How Neil Young Helped Me Quit The Government of Canada “Been to the Royal Mint, I’ve been to Parliament, I’ve crossed the Rideau for a heart of gold…” Brent Kerrigan (who, btw, bears no responsibility for those lyrics) writes a great piece about escaping the financial stability of a gilded cage and starting his own … Keep reading 

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WaPo’s fascinating speech commentary feature

Say What: Paul Ryan on America’s tough issues – The Washington Post Check this out. The Washington Post took the prepared notes for GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s convention speech, and set up a page where you can comment on an individual paragraph, watch that segment of video, and call in the fact-checkers. What’s missing? … Keep reading 

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From 2010, good advice on joke-writing in speeches

From How political speechwriters do comedy. – Slate Magazine: Which brings us to the third rule: Use jokes as damage control. Clinton never made light of the Lewinsky scandal directly. But in 1999, he started off his WHCD speech by somberly noting that had the Senate’s impeachment vote gone another way, he wouldn’t be standing here today. … Keep reading 

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Health Secretary Sebelieus seeks speechwriter

U.S. readers, here’s a a dream job (provided your dreams tend to move very, very quickly, and you have several in one night): The Department of Health and Human Services is scouring for a scribe for Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.They’ll consider all levels of experience, but you must be able to “write well and quickly on a … Keep reading 

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Presentation lessons from Comic-Con 2012

Amanda Dyer, a non-geek at Duarte Design, says she and her colleagues find it helpful to draw on our knowledge and experiences to create simple yet compelling metaphors that make an idea come alive in the audience’s mind. And we encourage our clients to do the same. These ideas are the currency with which you … Keep reading 

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