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    Last week a fellow speechwriter called for some advice: Her potential client, a professional speaker, needed a new “generic” speech and was asking for a proposal. My fellow speechwriter was concerned because no […]
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    I’m often asked, “What’s the biggest mistake people make when they write?” The answer? They simply start writing – and fail to do their best thinking first. Here’s a fix: Before you start […]
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    1. Circle every weak “to be” verb: be, am, is, are, was, were. Rewrite as many as you can using action verbs. 2. Make two sentences out of one long sentence. 3. Circle every pronoun: he, […]
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    Think about the last time you delivered a Big Hairy Audacious Presentation to your management team, customers, prospects or peers. How did your prep go? Were you awash in so much awesome material […]
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    Have you ever attended an event with a cadre of amazing speakers – one after the next – that still felt a bit stilted? Disjointed? Disorganized? Even downright awkward? Maybe that’s because the […]
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    There we were – stuck in the boardroom on a Tuesday afternoon, three drafts in on a keynote speech – and I’d pretty much wrung all the best stuff out of my executive’s […]
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    Have you ever heard a public speaker say these things? “Look at this chart on the screen. You probably can’t read it, but …” Or how about this? “I’m a numbers guy, so […]
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    Will your next speech be somewhere far away from home? If so, challenge yourself to find a link to the local region – and mention it early in your remarks to create immediate […]
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    Hammered hard into my head during journalism school was the Write Tight mantra.  Back then paper didn’t stretch; the online world didn’t exist. So your story had to fit the space on the […]
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    I was interviewing a client for a speech on leadership when he interrupted my latest question and asked, “So what about you? Are you a risk-taker?”  I stopped typing, not often on the […]
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