Rob’s blog

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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Communicators, it’s time to end audience abuse.

Audience abuse comes in many forms. It happens in speeches. An unprepared speaker who just can't communicate. A bait-and-switch session that doesn't deliver what it promised. A speaker who spends their time pitching themselves. A speaker who leaves you cheering......

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A speechwriting lesson from House of Cards

I'm (finally) watching the convention episode ("Chapter 48") of season 4 of House of Cards. And early on, there's a great exchange between a new speechwriter and the pair of writers who've been with the Underwoods from the beginning. They complain about his...

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Speaker as performer: Michael Port’s “Steal the Show”

When I coach speakers, there are many moments that feel like breakthroughs. When they show a little vulnerability, and share something of themselves. Or when they internalize the text of a speech well enough to hit every point effortlessly. But few moments give me the...

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Writing to be heard: a key to speechwriting

Wil Wheaton recently posted something to Medium, and it's well worth reading on its own merits. But one passage jumped out at me in particular, and it's one crucial key to speechwriting: Please note that I wrote this to be spoken/performed, and it may not translate...

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