Category: Speechwriting

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Most speeches are dull affairs because they are simply pieces of writing read aloud. If you don’t want to end up trying to swim across a lake in lead boots, it’s vital to remember that speaking and writing are fundamentally different ways of communicating.

Speech is evanescent; its medium is sound. It unfolds in a series of moments; each ...

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People often ask me, “what makes a good speaker?” My answer is simple: good speakers - and writers - talk in pictures. The language they use is full of images and metaphors. As they speak, the words they use conjure up pictures in the mind’s eye. Pictures that help listeners see and feel what they mean. Pictures that transform lifeless ...

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Constructing robust and persuasive arguments is an essential speechwriting skill. Sending your speaker to the podium with incoherent and illogical arguments is like sending a warrior into battle with a cardboard sword and chocolate shield.

But when it comes to intellectual rigour, it’s also important for speechwriters to bear in mind that ...

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Words make us feel things. The right word in the right circumstances can, metaphorically, put its arms around us and comfort us. The wrong word can leave us feeling uncomfortable, uncertain and wary of the speaker.

The first words a caller to the Samaritans hears are, "Samaritans, can I help you?" How different the experience would ...

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Next time you’re working with a client on a speech or presentation and they say they’re not comfortable telling stories, gently point out they’ve just started telling you one: the story of why they don’t tell stories. It's a potentially intriguing and revealing story that could offer valuable insights into what storytelling means to them and why ...

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Working with experts can be tricky. It doesn’t matter whether your client's a lawyer, an academic, a scientist, or some other kind of expert. They know it's vital to find ways of sharing their expertise with non-experts but, understandably, they find doing it a challenge.

Sooner or later, you'll hear yourself saying something like, "so ...

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The speaker steps onto the platform and walks purposefully towards the podium. You know little about them but, like most audiences, you want them to succeed. After all, life's too brief to waste time sitting through a speech that's dull enough to sedate a herd of stampeding elephants, isn't it?

The room falls silent. The opening of a speech ...

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