Rob’s blog

Maybe speechwriting doesn’t matter so much after all..?

You’ve probably heard speeches you'd swear were content-free. Here’s one that actually is — and it’s a TEDx talk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S0FDjFBj8o Beneath that hollow exterior lurks actual content: a pretty devastating critique of how a thin speech can...

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The Presentation Audience’s Bill of Rights

WHEREAS life is short and our time on Earth is finite; WHEREAS the duration of a bad presentation is subjectively many times longer than that of a good one; WHEREAS the dedication of audience's time and attention to a speaker is a gift of considerable value, not to be...

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When your audience isn’t feeling the Bern

This weekend, Bernie Sanders spoke to a predominantly African-American audience at the dining room of a South Carolina church. According to this account, the response from the mealtime crowd was tepid: polite clapping for all but a couple of lines. We’re used to...

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Capturing a speaker’s voice matters

This post argues that speechwriters shouldn't worry about capturing a speaker's voice. Structure the speech well, Mike Long argues, and it'll all come out in the wash. And while I understand that all the tailored turns of phrase in the world can't save a bad speech,...

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The State of the Union is social

There's a point I've been hammering for years now (and I do mean years): the rise of social networks and easily-shared media should mean a profound change in the way speakers and speechwriters approach our craft: at once both broader in scope and more conversational...

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A great podcast for speechwriters (and other storytellers)

"Tell a story" is advice you'll often hear about speechwriting. Telling a story—and telling it well—can be a key to connecting with your audience, and making your message memorable. What you won't hear as often is how to tell that story, and how to tell it really,...

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Boring slides aren’t what’s wrong with PowerPoint.

Kindly allow me a short rant. Because this article from Business Insider is driving me a little nuts: PowerPoint presentations are the standard for presentations in the workplace. Except that they kind of suck .... It's not really Microsoft's fault. PowerPoint gives...

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