Speaker's Mistaken Belief #1

Here's what writers and speakers often believe that is just flat-out wrong: "This material is so valuable that all I have to do is provide it and they'll listen."

No, they won't.

Listening is hard.

Unless you make your talk compelling on its face, all the life-and-death power in the world won't get the audience to listen, let alone take action.

Don't kid yourself. Your first task is *not* explaining stuff. It's not even persuasion. Your first task is **getting them to pay attention.**

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Wouldn't It Be Nice?

Fifty-five years ago this weekend the Beach Boys released their album Pet Sounds. At the time...

* It was the least popular album they had done.

* Its singles were less successful than what came before.

* Critics were lukewarm.

* Many fans decided the band's best days were behind them.

Yet Pet Sounds is now one of the most influential and beloved recordings ever made.

The writing tip?

First reactions aren't always deep or valuable.

Wanna be a great writer -- even in PR and business? After you know what your client wants, give them your own best take on it, even if it's not like what's come before. It's the only way any writer (or artist!) stands out from the crowd.

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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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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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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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Four Quick Speechwriting Tips


Here are several things you can do right away to better engage the audience every time -- check the video!

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Buy Some Random Books You Won't Read Anytime Soon

#speechwriting Mar 01, 2021

 Build a library of useful resources on the super-cheap -- especially if you write speeches.


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Important Isn't Enough

#speechwriting Feb 26, 2021

NOBODY'S GONNA PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SPEECH JUST BECAUSE it's important. Listening takes too much effort to do well for long.

Speechwriters must make audiences want to listen. Here are some ideas on how to do that: https://us6.campaign-archive.com/?u=0609fcd33c658d02090de606f&id=7469ec0707

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Using Props in a Speech? Plan for These Two Things


Don't end up with a nasty surprise. Plan ahead for getting the prop on stage, and ensuring they can see it from the back of the hall.

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