Rob’s blog

Wrapping up my first Facebook Live speechwriting clinic

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.

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.

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

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”

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

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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Will Donald Trump kill speechwriting? (Spoiler: no.)

Will Donald Trump kill speechwriting? (Spoiler: no.)

A few months before the GOP convention, the leading contender for the party's presidential nomination is Donald Trump: a man who draws huge, rapturous crowds... yet delivers long, rambling speeches that are apparently entirely off the cuff. Now, let's be clear:...

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Translating client feedback: What they say vs. what they want

Translating client feedback: What they say vs. what they want

One of your most important skills as a speechwriter is listening to your client when they give you feedback. That often means hearing past their words, to what they’re actually saying… and it almost always means probing more deeply for the real issue behind a comment...

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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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