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How to gain back more time for deeper strategic thinking

If you’re an executive, you’re likely giving speeches and presentations with important messages related to your company’s mission, vision and expectations for your team. But how effective and efficient are your speeches and presentations? Take this simple quiz to find out. First, think about the last speech or presentation you gave on mission, vision or […]

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3 mandatory elements of truly motivational speeches

Speakers deliver motivational speeches for one reason: to provide the insight, guidance and encouragement people need to achieve a defined goal.  For a B2B company, that goal might be taking risks to innovate and then launch an exciting new product – or responding fast to build on momentum gained in a niche market. But unless […]

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Speechwriting services: Is your speechwriter in the driver’s seat?

Executives who need speechwriting services will typically approach the engagement in one of two ways: They’ll either have a rather clear idea of what they want to say — or they won’t, so they’ll begin by sharing ideas that are literally all over the place. It’s the speechwriter’s job to help their speakers vet their original […]

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How to write an award-winning speech

Every speaker I know wants to write and deliver an award-winning speech. But what makes a speech award-winning? The best of the best? Worthy of recognition or a prize (like a standing ovation, perhaps)? It boils down to three simple things: An award-winning speech innovates. An award-winning speech communicates. An award-winning speech resonates. Let’s dig […]

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Executive communications: Is your speechwriter putting you on the spot?

CEOs and other leaders who’ve never worked with a speechwriter before sometimes wonder about the process. “How will this speechwriter get my ideas to resonate with the audience I need to influence?”   It’s an important question in executive communications. Because when you work with a speechwriter, it’s the speechwriter’s job to do the hard […]

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Public speaking tip: Don’t throw too much stuff at your audience

Have you ever heard a speaker say this? “Today I’m going to share a lot of information with you about Topic X, and I apologize in advance for throwing so much stuff at you all at once – but it’s all very important.” Yikes. Sharing a lot of “stuff” without a clear message or main […]

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Ethics in public speaking (don’t do this to cure writer’s block)

Sometimes speakers like to put some initial thoughts on paper for their speechwriters to use as a starting point. It’s the speechwriter’s job to first decide whether this material should be used, and if so, how it should be used. Yes, I’m talking about ethics in public speaking. Here’s a true story: Recently I wrote a speech for […]

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Public speaking tip: Don’t play inside baseball

Every industry has a language that only insiders understand. But what if you’re presenting to a diverse group of people who don’t live and breathe the words you use every day? I once heard a logistics expert give an overview presentation to a roomful of business people – from attorneys, bankers, accountants and consultants, to […]

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Good public speaking starts and ends with this

“What Matters in Speech?” is a talk given way back in 1921 by Henrietta Prentiss, then a passionate teacher of speech at Hunter College in New York City. Prentiss answers her own question, “What Matters in Speech?” rather directly in her remarks about good public speaking: “The first thing … is my identification with my […]

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