"I recently used Teresa Zumwald’s speechwriting services for two big events. … Teresa was able to mold my experiences into stories that resonated with both sets of listeners. ..."

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What’s the next compelling story you need to tell?

  • Are you ready to captivate your constituents by adding a “wow!” factor to this year’s annual report?
  • Do you need to create electronic and print publications that are relevant and enticing for busy, mobile employees?
  • Are you charged with explaining – and then promoting – a complicated policy or program?
  • Do your materials need a creative touch and a professional polish to boost your brand in the marketplace?
  • Are you concerned whether your marketing communications campaign will deliver results – by next quarter?
  • Does your website require rich, engaging content – not just a physical facelift?
  • Do you need articles and case studies written and placed to position you as an industry expert?
  • Are you bored by presentations and speeches that are too routine and ridden with clichés and predictable phrases?
  • Will you be sharing thought leadership at an important meeting of your peers or stakeholders – but need help writing your speech?
  • Do you want to add life back into your language?


Contact Zumwald & Company today.

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We help clients develop a strategy for every project, program and campaign.

To inspire audiences to action, you must have a strategy based on analysis. Creating the right strategy starts with getting inside your head and asking all the right questions.

We specialize in communication planning, employee communications, publications and copywriting.

You can build trust, support and engagement by being clear, open, honest and credible with people who have a vested interest in your organization: employees, members and stakeholders.

We specialize in communication planning, marketing communications, publications, copywriting, public relations and digital marketing.

If you want to move the needle, don’t just share key messages. Instead, dig out and tell the compelling stories that stand to change the behavior – and the lives – of your customers, clients, constituents and the public.

We write speeches for leaders that are memorable long after the engagement
is over.

Reading any old narrative aloud isn’t the same as delivering a well-written speech – with purpose, passion and power – that’s styled for a specific audience and crafted for the ear, not the eye. Collaborate with a trained speechwriter – and leave a lasting impression.

July 24, 2014

More on “Keep it Sticky!” (How to Make Your Next Speech the Talk of the Town)

I was thrilled to share six ways to make speeches “sticky” with 80 attendees at the Women in Business Networking Lunch ‘N’ Learn Tuesday. (Translation: A sticky speech has the power to help people hear, understand and remember – so it has the power to help people change the world.)

Here’s a bonus example I didn’t get a chance to share Tuesday.



I is for “I get it!”

That means “You got me … You touched me … You connected. Now I get it. There’s something in this for me.”

Maya Angelou once said, “… people will never forget how you made them feel.”

So when you speak, make your audience FEEL something!

You can only connect with people if you reach them on some emotional level that makes them say, “I get it!”

When the University of Michigan’s president gave the commencement address at the California Institute of Technology last June, she had a tall order: How could the president of a university from the Great Lakes region possibly connect with students-now-graduates who’d gone to school on the West Coast?

She got a little clever. She connected by making them feel:

As president of the University of Michigan, I can report that Caltech alumni make a significant impact at our institution. Nearly 50 members of our faculty have Caltech ties, with one-third holding Michigan’s most distinguished professorships in research and teaching.

That includes chemist Melanie Sanford, truly one of our star professors …

And James Duderstadt, a nuclear engineer …

And mathematician Philip Hanlon …

Now this is just the world of Caltech in Ann Arbor. Multiply this influence nationally and globally, and you have every reason to be proud of a university that today becomes your alma mater.

After she hooked them by evoking emotion, appealing to their school pride, she didn’t stop there.

She told the graduates:

With this reputation comes obligation. It’s one thing to be smart – which you are. You know that, and Caltech knew it when they admitted you.

It’s quite another achievement to make a lasting impression with your intellect.

One of the great graduates of this institute was Frank Capra. He was the Steven Spielberg of his generation. Given that we’re in the backyard of Hollywood, I think Capra’s remarkable career provides worthy life lessons – lessons about creativity, humanity and impact – some 95 years after his commencement.

She went on to share those three lessons by telling stories from Capra’s life.

But look at how she set that up:

First, she praised her audience for being smart – and then challenged them to make a lasting impression with their intellect.

Second, she did it with humility. Not by telling a University of Michigan story, but by sharing life lessons from their fellow Caltech alum, Frank Capra. (You probably know him as the filmmaker behind that Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”) But the speaker made Capra relevant and real to this 21st century audience by introducing him as “the Steven Spielberg of his generation.”

Her approach: brilliant. Simply because she found so many ways to connect, inspiring her audience to say, “I get it!”


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