•  
  •  

It is the season to bloviate….

via GIPHY

During every election season commentators and speechwriters like to bring out the word “bloviate” to describe the bombast that comes out of politicians’ mouths. It seems a good time to resurrect the word since we have elections going on on both sides of the US/Canadian border, with no end of candidates bloviating away to their hearts’ content.

Bloviate is a delightfully onomatopoeic word sounding much like it means.

H.L. Mencken perhaps best caught the essence of bloviation when …

Read more →

 
Backward Speech Writing

Backward Speech Writing

Sometimes starting a speech can be the most difficult part of the writing process.  We all know how critically important it is to hook the audience in the first minute or two, because if we lose them at the beginning, it is very difficult to get them back. However, it is all too easy to get so fixated on crafting the perfect opening, that we get frozen into a sort of writer’s block where we won’t proceed until we get …

Read more →

 
The Mind’s Ear

The Mind’s Ear

Some years ago, I was editing someone else’s speech — a dreadful bit of work that put me to sleep within the first two paragraphs.

The problem was easy to identify.

I was looking at a text meant to be read silently – not spoken aloud.

It was written for the eye, not the ear.

It was filled with overblown words and phrases that we would never use in conversation. There was no rhythm. No pattern. Nothing to engage me …

Read more →

 

Get Thee To Washington DC in October

Look, if you are serious about speech writing, about upping your game, or if you are just starting out, then you best get yourself to Washington DC October 7-8, 2015 for The Professional Speechwriters Association’s World Conference 2015.

David Murray will be moderating another of his great conferences and he always puts on a first rate show.

And if you are going to the Conference, you should also sign up tor the Speech Writing School on the 6th.

I know …

Read more →

 
A Singular Profession: The Strange Life Of A Freelance Speechwriter

A Singular Profession: The Strange Life Of A Freelance Speechwriter

A little over two decades ago, when I flung my medically insured/index pensioned/well-paid government job to the winds, and hung up my “speechwriter” shingle, my colleagues emailed their congratulations, always mentioning how “brave” I was. I took that to be code for how “stupid” I was.

“What makes him think he can write speeches and who hires freelance speechwriters anyway?” I could hear them asking. The answer to the first question was simple: I had worked in communications in one …

Read more →