Rob’s blog

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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How to use humor in a speech (without getting burned)

One of the best perks of speechwriting is the way it lets you indulge your sense of humor. Nearly every time you sit down to write a speech, there’s a chance to tell at least one joke. That’s not something most other communicators get to do nearly as often. (Try...

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Why leaders should embrace gotcha questions

The long-standing Republican hostility toward the news media was on full display last week after the CNBC GOP presidential debate. And it led them to fall into a trap that tempts many speakers: settling for easy wins instead of preparing for difficult questions. Even...

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A guide to formatting speaking notes

You’ve written the speech, and it has everything: moving anecdotes, a few telling facts, a gripping narrative, a rousing call to action and a conclusion that will have your speaker's audience on their feet. (Clapping, not leaving. Important distinction there.) Best of...

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Wake up your audience by turning up the contrast

Even the most interesting topic can be rendered inert by the simple application of a dull speech. Audiences are human, and they crave a little drama along with their intellectual content.Nobody knows drama better than Nancy Duarte, famous for her concept of the STAR...

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