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Professionally Speaking

"...the most prolific blogger in the speechwriting business." - David Murray, Vital Speeches of the Day.

Last Build Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 01:56:41 +0000

Copyright: 2006-2009

White House staffers resettle in Silicon Valley

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 01:56:41 +0000

Kudos for the FT’s Hannah Kuchler for reporting on the number of Obama-era White house staffers who’ve gone West and taken up lucrative speechwriting and communications roles in Silicon Valley. She notes that the talent from DC is a match made in heaven for Silicon Valley companies. There was always a simpatico feeling between leaders […]

Creative Video for Communicators

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 05:38:21 +0000

This Saturday I attended the annual Presidents Day meeting of the National Speakers Association Northern California Chapter. As a past Chapter President (2008-09) I was invited to the meeting where the current national president, Brian Walter, CPAE, CSP held a brilliant workshop modestly titled ‘A Bazillion Extreme Ways to Use Video DURING Your Speeches’. This […]

A blast from the past: The influence of the wealthy in politics

Mon, 25 Dec 2017 21:35:25 +0000

Dipping into past blog posts I came across my 2006 comments on the cultural differences between Japan, Australia and the US around attitudes toward the wealthy. While the Japanese hammer down the nails that stick up, to enforce conformity, and the Australians whack their tall poppies, Americans are famous for their adulation of the wealthy. […]

The Year of the Sahasrara

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 19:22:21 +0000

An wonderfully acerbic column by Jo Ellison in the Weekend FT alerted me to the fact that the good folks at Pantone have announced that the ‘Color of the Year’ for 2018 is Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet, which is subtly different from the Blue Iris (18-3943) that was color of the year 10 years earlier. […]

Let’s welcome more refugees to America!

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:29:46 +0000

Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight — Bob Dylan, The Chimes of Freedom As I’ve previously posted immigration, legal or otherwise, is the lifeblood of the United States. Refugees form an important source of immigrants who are often among the least understood, most victimized and yet most valuable additions to a […]

Comfort Zone

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 00:34:44 +0000

The good folks at men’s outfitters Tommy John (“A man’s under layers shouldn’t be stuck in the past. Or anywhere else.”) have, rather surprisingly, produced a great infographic on how to remain calm under pressure — such as might afflict any chap called on to speak in public. Since they claim that their underwear “won’t […]

Speaker Magazine

Tue, 24 Oct 2017 16:10:53 +0000

An excellent resource for anyone curious to learn more about the business of professional speaking (and presentation tips in general) is the archive of SPEAKER magazine, published each month by the National Speakers Association. You can scroll through back issues back to 2007 (including my own Relevant Resources columns from 2012). Recommended.

Podcast: Shel Holtz on Social Media and Speechwriting

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 00:44:46 +0000

On Wednesday October 4th the Silicon Valley Speechwriters Roundtable hosted a conference call with Shel Holtz. We discussed the ways in which social and digital media — which have given rise to content marketing — offer a host of options to speechwriters to draw attention to the speech before, during, and after its delivery. Shel […]

Media Files:

Announcing: A Conversation with Shel Holtz

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 17:49:34 +0000

I’ve long been an admirer of communication strategist Shel Holtz. who is a regular speaker on topics surrounding the application of online technology to strategic organizational communication. He speaks regularly at IABC and Ragan Communication conferences. On Wednesday October 4th the Silicon Valley Speechwriters Roundtable will host Shel on a conference call. We’ll be discussing […]

Kombucha makes it to Middle England

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 21:28:52 +0000

I was amazed to hear mention of kombucha on the August 31st edition of the long-running English radio soap The Archers. Two of the village women are in a competitive keifer (pronounced “kaa-fear” in an Ambridge burr apparently, not ‘kee-fer” as in the USA) making competition and a neighbor who’d been visiting farm stores in […]

Command and control

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 18:36:59 +0000

I loved Tim Hartford’s column in the Weekend Financial Times Think like a supermodel to wrest control of the gig economy. While his provocative headline referenced the challenges facing Uber and TaskRabbit ‘independent contractors’ who have a ways to go until they can face up to their digital masters with the same insouciance as the […]

Infographic: How to deliver a world-class presentation

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 00:08:40 +0000

Kudos to Hong Kong based Malcolm Andrews for publishing a great infographic on how to deliver a world-class presentation. Malcolm is UK national who has been involved over the last 10 years in the development of business management and communication skills for companies across Asia. As well as corporate programmes, he has conducted 1:1 Executive […]

A Conversation with Tim Pollard on Fail-Proofing Your Communication

Sat, 20 May 2017 19:06:51 +0000

On Thursday May 18 members of the Silicon Valley Speechwriters Roundtable were in conversation with Tim Pollard, author of The Compelling Communicator: Mastering the Art and Science of Exceptional Presentation Design. In his new book, Tim Pollard has developed a systematic approach to the design and delivery of presentations and speeches that is applicable to […]

Media Files:

Toastmasters International Announces Founder of Freedom Writers Foundation as its 2017 Golden Gavel Recipient

Wed, 17 May 2017 23:38:35 +0000

Toastmasters International announced today that world-renowned speaker and educator Erin Gruwell is the recipient of the organization’s 2017 Golden Gavel award. The award, presented annually to an individual who exemplifies excellence in the fields of communication and leadership, will be presented to Gruwell during the Toastmasters International Convention, Aug. 23-26, 2017, in Vancouver, Canada. Here’s […]

Book Review: The Compelling Communicator, by Tim Pollard

Mon, 08 May 2017 17:45:11 +0000

The true value of Tim Pollard’s excellent new book is conveyed by the subtitle: Mastering the Art and Science of Exceptional Presentation Design. While much of the literature on what makes a ‘compelling communicator’ focuses on cultivating delivery skills and stage presence, Pollard rightly consigns these topics to a brief Epilogue. Rather, his focus on […]

Guest Posting: How to be a Presentation Hero, by Adam Noar

Mon, 01 May 2017 20:06:16 +0000

Adam Noar is the founder of Presentation Panda. He’s an expert marketer, entrepreneur, and presentation design expert. After building a successful website in the sportswear industry, he’s refocused on what he loves most: Building and designing exciting presentations for clients. Presentation Panda uses a simple, clear, and vibrant approach to presentation design. This material is […]

Pseuds Corner: The language of perfume

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 20:16:28 +0000

Back in 2007 I commented on the pretentious language of wine reviewers with their overblown phrases such as ‘dried cherry, pebbles and black tea aromas’ and ‘roasted red cherry, warm oak to round the edges’. I’ve now discovered a topic even more worthy of inclusion in Private Eye’s Pseuds Corner — the language of perfumiers. […]

Infographic: The Do’s and Don’ts of Presenting

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 04:29:55 +0000

The good people at Walkerstone in the UK (a team of professional trainers who are also business writers and marketers) have produced a great infographic, with an informative preamble, on the Do’s and Don’ts of Presenting. This content appears with their express permission. The Do’s And Don’ts of Presenting There are two elements to making […]

Pod Save America

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 23:35:04 +0000

I’m impressed by the new podcast from the Obama speechwriting team (who suddenly have time on their hands). Pod Save America is a lively, irreverent and highly partisan discussion hosted by hosted by Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor. In the latest episode they are joined by second-term chief speechwriter Cody Keenan […]

Queen for a day

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 20:27:17 +0000

I enjoyed a wonderfully eclectic article by Douglas Coupland in the Weekend FT on the Queen. Since I make no secret of my age, I’m proud to say my life has been almost exactly coterminus with that of her majesty’s reign (with only my first four days on the planet spent when her father was […]