Rob’s blog

The Cicero Awards: a rare chance for speechwriters to shine

Let's face it, speechwriters: we're a hide-in-the-shadows, cheer-from-the-wings kind of bunch. Our work involves helping someone else be at their best on stage. Chasing the spotlight ourselves? Not our thing. But there's an exception. The Cicero Speechwriting Awards...

read more

Common myths about speechwriting

blockquote { font-style: italic; } Myth: "Speechwriting is a dark and mysterious art, known only to a handful of monks who live in a subterranean lair deep under an extinct volcano. There, they gather under each blood moon to add a single new member to their number,...

read more

Delivery: How to lift a speech from the page

.crunchtime {border:1px solid rgb(30, 115, 190); padding:.5em; background-color:#def;}"Put me up on stage in front of a microphone to speak off the cuff, and I do great," one of my workshop participants said not long ago, as we talked about speech delivery. "But give...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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,...

read more