Writers Are Like Party Hosts

#quicktips Apr 19, 2021

A great writer is like the host of a great party. The host is primarily concerned that the guests are enjoying themselves and getting good things out of the experience.

A host avoids indulging him- or herself because a host's obligation lies elsewhere. By the way, that's not a bad thing. Attending a party yields one kind of enjoyment. Overseeing the party yields another.

When you write something, think of yourself as the host. It's not about you. It's about your guests.

(This splendid idea comes from Charles P. Curtis, Jr., a brilliant writer and thinker of the mid-20th century.)


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My dinner with a celebrity

#speechwriting Apr 13, 2021

I remember a dinner many years ago with a celebrity I absolutely love, one whose name you'd know.

It was not what I expected.

This person spent the evening asking about me.

I was flattered, but I came away having learned none of the things I was curious to know about his fascinating life. I was actually a little frustrated -- he was *too* selfless, too kind!

There's a lesson in that for speakers and speechwriters.

When you've been invited to speak, it's because there are things about your life or your knowledge this audience wants to hear. Be gracious, sure, but tell 'em.

Whether it's the whole speech, a morsel to draw them in, or an anecdote to color a larger point, they asked to hear from you. So tell 'em.

Wanna read more? Check out my short essay: https://lnkd.in/gwmQJ76

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Speechwriting? Before you turn it in, read it out loud.

#speechwriting Apr 07, 2021

You'll find a fountain of ways to improve your speech, once you hear it yourself.

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Don't Play Where's Waldo With News Release Headlines

#pressreleases Apr 02, 2021

Reporters want to know whether this story matters to them. Your puzzles don't help. Just be clear.

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Write a Strong Last Line, Then Walk Off

#speechwriting Mar 26, 2021

Advice for closing a speech in the most effective way possible. Read it all here: https://us6.campaign-archive.com/?u=0609fcd33c658d02090de606f&id=96e0525511 

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Mike Talks Comedy with a Pro

#writingtips Mar 24, 2021

I had a great time with Dr. Dan French on his Rhetoric Warriors podcast. Dan's the star here. Besides being a great standup, he was on Emmy-nominated writing staffs for late night TV shows with Dennis Miller, Craig Kilborn, and more. We talk about my career and his, and do a deep dive late in the show on comedy mechanics. If that's your thing, you'll enjoy this conversation.



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How to Hold the Attention of the Audience

#speechwriting Mar 23, 2021

Don't count on how important your material is. Instead, pull them along from point to point. Here's a way to do it!

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How to Get in Wikipedia

Uncategorized Mar 15, 2021

A quick overview from my colleague and great friend Jonathan Rick: 


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Get Somebody Important to Answer Your Query


Talk about their interests, not yours. 

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