Rob’s blog

Public speaking photos, free to use

Public speaking photos, free to use

A confession: I bought a stock photo of a microphone and auditorium five or six years ago, and I've been using the same damn photo ever since. What's more, a lot of other people have been using the same photograph too. (And not without reason. It's a natural: the...

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Join me at The Digital Nonprofit — Vancouver, June 11

Join me at The Digital Nonprofit — Vancouver, June 11

tl;dr — Come join me at this day-long digital strategy event for nonprofit leaders on June 11 in Vancouver, Canada! I'll be speaking about how digital transformation often means surprising disruption for nonprofits. One of my very first projects with Social Signal...

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Five ways to break into speechwriting

Five ways to break into speechwriting

Maybe you've written a few speeches for yourself or others that went over well. Maybe you're just attracted by the glitz and glamour of the profession. (Maybe you just fell over laughing.) Whatever the reason, you want to start speechwriting professionally. But where...

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Know your audience before you even meet them

Know your audience before you even meet them

Every speech has a goal, one that almost always involves changing the way your audience thinks and acts in some way. You can only do that effectively if you know your audience. But just how you do that isn’t immediately obvious. You probably won’t get to meet most of...

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A link is a promise.

A link is a promise.

A few years ago, I came across a "content curation" service that billed itself as the easiest way to share your "thought leadership." You'd enter a few search terms, hook up your Twitter account, and start sharing articles. It was a very...

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The Cicero Awards: a rare chance for speechwriters to shine

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...

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Common myths about speechwriting

Common myths about speechwriting

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, and — in exchange for her or his...

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Delivery: How to lift a speech from the page

Delivery: How to lift a speech from the page

"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 me a written speech to read and I just go dead," he added, slumping in his chair to...

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Getting better feedback

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...

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Public speaking and speechwriting: the essential guides

(photo of books with text) Leadership communications: the essential guides

Looking for advice on public speaking, speechwriting and leadership communications? Here are some of my most comprehensive posts, on topics that people ask me about most often.

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