Ep. 52. Drop the pitch! Why selling from the stage sells you and your audience short
Here’s why you should leave the sales pitch behind when you head to the mic — and how you can do a much better sales job if you aren’t selling.
Ep. 51. Zoom in on your audience
Having trouble connecting emotionally with a speech you’re writing or rehearsing? Maybe it’s because you’re trying to speak to the whole audience instead of just one person.
This episode, here’s why you may want to take a leaf from TV cop shows — and zoom way in.
Ep. 50. The Pigeon of Dorian Gray
I’m always telling you to tell stories… so for the 50th episode of the podcast, I’m going to share one of my own. It’s about what a dead pigeon taught me about being a good speechwriter.
Ep. 49. What kind of emotional connection do you want with your audience?
Coming up empty as you try to write your speech? Wondering why your presentations aren’t landing quite as well as you know they should? You probably know you should connect emotionally with your audience — but maybe you need to think through just what kind of emotional connection you’re both looking for.
Ep. 48. Find your speaker superpowers in your origin story
we love to hear how superheroes got their powers — their origin stories. And audiences will want to hear yours, too. Here’s how to tell the story of how you got here in a way that connects with your audience and even moves them to action… faster (cough) than a speaking bullet.
Ep. 47. Careful with that spotlight!
As leaders, it can be tempting to forget that not everyone likes being the centre of attention. And when you have an audience, you can all too easily throw a harsh, unforgiving spotlight onto someone who isn’t ready for it. This episode, we look at how to wield your audience’s attention responsibly, whether it’s from the stage or online.
Ep. 46. “Long Shot”: Why speakers and speechwriters need some one-on-one time
This summer’s film Long Shot is an entire movie about how speechwriter and speaker relate to each other. And it has something to teach us about making that relationship work — and how the key ingredient is time.
Ep. 45. What HBO’s “Succession” can teach us about how NOT to write a speech
What does a speech look like stripped of the craft of speechwriting? HBO’s hit show Succession gave us a glimpse with a hilarious eulogy delivered by character Connor Roy… and in the process, helps speechwriters and speakers avoid delivering dull, lifeless speeches.
Ep. 44. Speakers, have a seat (in the audience)
You can write a speech for a someone. Read it through. Rehearse with the speaker. But you won’t really know how effective it is unless you’re there when they deliver it. This episode: why speechwriters should fight for a spot in the audience, and how to use it to write better speeches.
Ep. 43. “How do you do, fellow kids?” — Speaking to young audiences (with Robin Stevenson)
A lot of speakers who’d happily get up in front of a thousand-person audience start getting the shakes at the thought of speaking to children or (gulp) teens. Fortunately, we have child-and-teen author Robin Stevenson here to share her experience speaking in front of countless school auditoriums and classrooms. She’ll tell us how you can keep your next young audience rapt from beginning to end.
Ep. 42. Speechwriters of the world, unite! Creating communities of practice: interview with Elana Aptowitzer
Writing is usually a pretty solitary pursuit. But solitary doesn’t have to mean isolated. Find out how Elana Aptowitzer created a community of speechwriters inside the Canadian public service — and how you can start building a community of your own.
Ep. 41. Changing the world… with op-eds
We’ve focused on speaking and speechwriting in the podcast — but there’s more than one way to connect with an audience. And one of the best: the venerable op-ed piece. Today’s guest knows op-eds better than anyone I know: Professor Mira Sucharov is the author of Public Influence, and a prolific writer of op-eds.