Leadership communications with Rob Cottingham

30 years ago this spring, I wrote my first speech as a professional — and started a career in leadership communications that has now spanned three decades.

To celebrate, I’ve launched a speechwriting and public speaking podcast: 30 short episodes with the key lessons I’ve learned in the business of planning, crafting and delivering powerful speeches.

Check for the latest episode every Tuesday and Thursday.

Ep. 38. To tell the truth: Speaking without misleading

Most of us like to think of ourselves as basically honest people. But as speakers and speechwriters, it's surprisingly easy to find ourselves misleading our audiences: accidentally or (gulp) deliberately. Find out how — even with the best intentions — you may be...

Ep. 35. Speechwriters on stage

Want to be a better speechwriter? One of the best ways to improve your speechwriting is to get out from behind your keyboard and get in front of an audience. Why speechwriters should also be speakers — and how you can get started. Music: Theme: "Good Times" by...

Ep. 34. When the questions get tough, the tough get prepared

It may be in a media interview, a Q&A, a debate or a townhall. But when you're a leader, chances are sooner or later you're going to face tough questions. It just comes with the territory. The key to being ready for tough questions? Equally tough preparation. And...

Ep. 32. Getting started in speechwriting

There's no well-worn, signposted career path to being a speechwriter. That's the bad news. The good news? There are plenty of other paths in. This episode, we look at how to break into speechwriting — and some lessons from my own first big break. Music: Theme: "Good...

Ep. 31. Sorry seems to be the hardest word: delivering a great apology

None of us is perfect, and sooner or later, leaders have to apologize for something. Sometimes it's something out of your control; sometimes it really is on you. Apologize well, and you can come out with stronger relationships and a better reputation. Apologize badly,...

Ep. 30. Build your organization’s podium strength.

Over the past 29 episodes, we've looked at how you can be a better, more effective speaker and speechwriter. For episode 30, let's magnify your impact — helping your whole organization tap into the power of public speaking.Also, I reveal my hidden agenda.Music:...

Ep. 29. Broaden your media diet

This episode, we talk about how expanding the kinds of media you like to read, watch and listen to can make you a better speechwriter and speaker. Links: The 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon. Music: "Upbeat" by John Luc Hefferman. Used under a Creative...

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