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Speech Writing Success: An On-Line Speech Writing  Course

This is a an intensive speech writing program of study that covers the territory of speech writing from first request to last draft.

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RESONATE Now Free for iBook Users

Nancy Duarte’s great book (RESONATE) on visual story telling is now available for free for iBook users. So if you are a Mac or iPad user, just go to the iBook store, and search on the title and there you go. A bonus is that this version is multitouch and interactive. Not sure if this is a temporary or permanent offer, so you had best act fast. It doesn’t seem to be free in Amazon Kindle versions, so this may leave Windows users out.

The Abstract Conundrum

If you write speeches for others, to be delivered at major conferences, you will be asked, by conference organizers, to provide an abstract of the presentation – often months ahead of the actual event.

This makes sense from organizers’ perspectives, since they want to provide summary information for potential attendees in their publicity and program documents.

However, for the speechwriter, these requests can present some problems. Although it is often done, it always seems to me slightly absurd to write abstracts of documents of any kind that have yet to be written.

I often find myself in the position of writing speech abstracts long before I even start on the speech itself – before I have even finalized with the speaker messaging he/she may or may not want to include in the talk. Messaging by the way, that will inevitably change, as the speech goes through development and drafts.

The only way around this conundrum is to write an abstract so broad that “you can drive a truck through it.” That’s a bit of an art form in itself. Writing an abstract that is useful and interesting, without locking yourself into a specific direction or message, that your speaker may want to change later on, is no easy job. But that’s why you are paid the big bucks.

So, although I hate to offer advice that suggests writing generalizations is a good idea, it does apply to speech abstracts. Just make sure they are fascinating generalizations.

I said it wasn’t easy.

Taking registrations for Online Speechwriting Course

For information and registration go here.

Free Finding Work Teleseminar for Freelance (Speech) Writers

Whether you are starting out in your freelance writing career, or just need a bit of inspiration and a few marketing tips, this free teleseminar my be exactly what the doctor ordered.

Date & Time: Tue, Sep 17th, 2013 at 10:00 am PDT. Even if you can’t make that date, if you register anyway, an MP3 file will be available for you to listen to at a later date.

Please register for the above meeting by visiting this link: http://colinmoorhouse.enterthemeeting.com/m/WJF3R6AX

“I only need a few words…”

Whenever I hear those words from clients, I know I might be in for a long interview. It usually means they don’t know what they want to say. And, they think I can make up a three minute speech on the spot and deliver it to them on a silver platter in an hour or two. Right.

I write a lot of these short speeches. A lot. Be warned – they can be very
time-consuming. A lot of the research time you expend for short speeches is
geared to determining what you won’t actually need to use. But, you
have to go there if only to find out that you don’t have to go there.

Let’s say your speaker is called on to give a one-minute ribbon-cutting
speech. Sounds easy enough. Or, is it? What’s the event? Is it a new building
on an old site or a refurbished building on an existing site? Who will be there? What’s the history of the enterprise? What’s the connection between your speaker and the event? How many people do you have to acknowledge in a one-minute speech? Do you have time to acknowledge any? And so the
questions go on and on, and you can see why it is not quite so simple as
“I only need a few words … ” implies.

In a counter-intuitive sort of way, the shorter the speech, the longer it takes
to write. Unless you are an in-house speechwriter, or you otherwise know
your client and his needs very well, don’t fool yourself into thinking you can
spit out a three-minute speech on a moment’s notice. You can’t.

The moral? Just because it’s short doesn’t mean it’s easy. Or cheap. Trust me on this.

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