Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

7/5/17

Public Speaking: How Long Should You Talk?

Public Speaking: How Long Should You Talk?

In my latest article on LinkedIn, I asked (and answer) a fundamental question for speechwriters. Whether you are a professional speechwriter or are writing a speech as part of your job, this question matters. 

I also get into what are some solutions to speeches which are too long or too short.

Please take a look, and I'd love a comment, like or share while you are there.

6/8/17

9 Things You Can Do Instead of Obsessing About a Political Hearing


9 Things You Can Do Instead of Obsessing About a Political Hearing


  1. Watch reality TV. Oh, wait.
  2. Play with your kids. 
  3. Do your job. That is, unless you are leaching time from your employer.
  4. Workout. New Year's Resolution, huh?
  5. Read something which will make you smarter or happier. Duh?
  6. Call your mother. She loves you, you know.
  7. Have lunch with a friend. That's what I'm going to do.
  8. Wash the car. Unless it is clean. Then, choose something else. The dishes? The toilet? Yeah, I said it.
  9. Help someone. Anyone. You know, that love your neighbor thing.

Those nine things. Or, is watching the TV or listening online more important than those nine things (and the other thousand things I didn't think of)? Can't read the transcript later? Hmm...

I'm referring directly to the James Comey hearing, the one which may, or may not, or who knows what, lead to President Trump being impeached.

5/18/17

Struggling with Postpartum Depression? Try This.


When Postpartum Packs a Punch: Fighting Back and Finding Joy

The book above I cannot review but wish I could. You see, I'd give it a glowing five-star review. It deserves one, but I can't. I'm Kristina Cowan's friend and was part of a small critique group which intensely worked on her book line-by-line. My bias is loaded, as is my intimacy with the book. Objectivity is not really available to me.

Any good reviewer knows the dangers, perceived and otherwise, of reviewing such a book.

What I will tell you is it is a good book. Kristina's journalistic skills are in full force here as she researched details with doctors, therapists, moms and others to ensure she covered the breadth of the story beyond her own experience.

About her experience: She tells the hard story of how she felt and reacted after giving birth to her first child. It is hard because as an intelligent, well-educated professional writer -- one who has strong credentials working for some of the top periodicals in the nation, she is vulnerable. It is more than vulnerability of the heart. That's no small thing. But she goes deeper and expresses her faith in Jesus Christ in the mix of all of this. Such a counter-cultural approach takes a kind of inner strength rarely seen at her level.

You can read on Kristina Cowan's blog her own thoughts on her book.

She explains what PPD is and is not, and reveals the most recent studies in the context of well-organized chapters. There are interviews with anyone who matters in the field as well as of moms from all walks of life.

What matters most is she does more than describe the problem honestly. That's huge: She works hard to demystify PPD and remove social stigmas attached to it. She then presents hope. Not just hope that says "wait it out and you'll get past this," but hope that there are ways a mom can be ready for PPD and, if in the middle of it, what she can do. Kristina's faith is engaged here, of course. So is her keen analysis of the psychology of PPD. She points the way out.

About critiquing her work: It wasn't easy. She arrived at each session with clean writing. No odd typos or grammatical errors littered her document. Sure, our tight group offered ideas. These helped I'm certain of it. What you read though is completely Kristina's good work. She never hesitated to reject our ideas if they didn't match good writing. Editing her writing, for me, was a lesson in excellence.

This excellence you'll see as you read. Every line is crafted for meaning, clarity and flow. When I read her work aloud, I found it came easily off my tongue.

If a woman you know is struggling through PPD, buy the book.

5/10/17

Chicago in Atlanta: New website

Chicago in Atlanta. That's me. And that's my new website Chicago in Atlanta.

The site is focused on helping we displaced Chicagoans now living in or near Atlanta. Hot Dogs, Pizza, Groceries, Drinks and Restaurants.

It started when I couldn't even buy a decent frozen pizza. A few Chicago pizza joints are around, and plenty of hot dog spots. I've no doubt there is a lot more than I've found, but I'm started and will add as I can.

I'm open to ideas.

Take a look. http://chicagoinatlanta.com/

4/19/17

Why You Need to Collaborate With Your Speechwriter

New on LinkedIn:
Why You Need to Collaborate With Your Speechwriter

A speaker giving a commencement address at a southwestern university called me last night to apologize. Essentially, he said, "I thought I was getting this monkey off my back [the writing of the speech]. As I'm going through your draft, I see that it is a collaboration. It is inspiring ideas and reactions. I'm working hard on a certain part as a result. This is going to be good. That's as it should be."

3/8/17

President Trump's Speech to the Joint Session of Congress: A Speechwriter's Analysis

I'm remiss is maintaining this blog, but also, in particular, in linking a recent article I wrote for LinkedIn. It is a brief analysis of President Trump's recent speech to Congress.

President Trump's Speech to the Joint Session of Congress: A Speechwriter's Analysis

The response has been strong albeit occasionally inappropriate. I'm a speechwriter and so a non-partisan look at a presidential speech is of professional interest to me. As you read the comments you will see some comments are not, in fact, professional. Some lean on racism, hatred toward the President, or are merely nonsensical.

Messages directly to me accuse me of bias. What's odd is both sides (pro/anti-Trump) think I am biased against their view. That's the result of people genuinely uncomfortable with their view or those who support their view from critical inquiry.

Some people had opinions based entirely on quotes they heard on their favorite talk radio show without actually reading or watching the speech. Yeah, I know -- intellectually irresponsible. Not to worry. I include links to both in my article.

I wrote what I wrote. Take a look and decide for yourself.

8/15/16

Joie de vivre

Joie de vivre. I don't know French, but I just learned this phrase. It translates to "the joy of living."

We're alive. I am. You are.

Why no joy? Well, I have joy. Especially joy. I Thessalonians 5, for those of you who read and try to live out the Bible says, "Be joyful always."

Mr. Trump. Mrs. Clinton. Lots of strife in the world. There's ISIS out there trying to scare people into whatever nonsense they believe. It goes on and on.

Joy transcends strife. It is something we decide.

There's a Wikipedia page dedicated to it. Learn more there.

6/24/16

Leap Into The Unknown

I saw the phrase "leap into the unknown" in a CBS interview involving the #brexit Britain EU question. While I've no qualified opinion on that difficult question, I like the phrase itself.

That's what any writer does -- any creative of any sort. Not just creatives, I'm sure, but that's my world.

I've decided to use a website with that domain to publish various thoughts on bold creativity. It'll reach into related topics, but that's the gist.

Take a look:

http://www.leapintotheunknown.com/

Please share, like, an otherwise get the word out.

1/11/16

David Bowie: A Sort of Eulogy & Blackstar Review

Anyone awake now knows David Bowie is dead. I learned when Kevin Max, a musician around my age, posted a quick note around 1 a.m. Chicago-time. Max only showed a picture and a quick “RIP” and a word or two. No names. No links to Bowie’s official page or some story in the New York Times. What else could he say? It was more than I wanted to know. I wanted to believe he was caught up in one of those horrid hoaxes. I wanted to believe that Ziggy Stardust would never die...

Here's the full piece: https://www.facebook.com/notes/anthony-trendl-writer/david-bowie-a-sort-of-eulogy/1008427625904986

My review of Blackstar on Amazon. "Haunting, Mysterious, Beautiful, Heartbreaking" http://amzn.to/1TPN75Q

11/16/15

Be a Great Human: Be Fearless: Beyond ISIS

My newest article on LinkedIn. Please share.

Be a Great Human: Be Fearless

Usually, I post something about public speaking or speech writing. Not today. I’m sitting in a cafe listening to jazz, drinking freshly roasted coffee before I begin my workday.

Behind me, a few people have met to discuss a business deal, and a couple others are laughing about something they did yesterday. A man and a woman smile and embrace as she enters the cafe. For me, it could be any day. But it isn't.

read more here

8/31/15

It Isn't My Birthday

My birthday was yesterday. I'm 49.

Now what?

Always ask that.

What now?

8/19/15

Yvonne Craig (Batgirl) Died - Mini Obituary

Admit it. You had a crush on her. Tough, feminine, and she rode a motorcycle as TV's Batgirl on the 1966 series Batman with Adam West and Burt Ward. Her alter ego was librarian Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon's daughter.

Of course you had a crush on her.

Find her stuff on Amazon (posters and pics, books, videos) Yvonne Craig on Amazon

She famously had a guest role on Star Trek as the alien with green skin, Marta.

Selected TV
Death Valley Days
Family Feud
Hennesey
It Takes a Thief
Kentucky Jones
Kojak and Emergency!
Love, American Style
McHale's Navy
My Three Sons
Perry Mason
The Barbara Stanwyck Show
The Big Valley
The Dating Game.
The Ghost & Mrs. Muir
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
The Mod Squad
The Six Million Dollar Man
The Wild Wild West

Selected Movies
Eighteen and Anxious (1957)
The Young Land (1959)
Gidget (1959)
The Gene Krupa Story (1959)
High Time (1960)
By Love Possessed (1961)
Seven Women from Hell (1961)
It Happened at the World's Fair (1963)
Kissin' Cousins (1964)
Ski Party (1965)
Mars Needs Women (1966)
One Spy Too Many (1966)
One of Our Spies is Missing (1966)
In Like Flint (1967)
How to Frame a Figg (1971)
Diggin' Up Business (1990)

Read more on Wikipedia

8/17/15

Over 1,000 Amazon Reviews Later, Other Reviewers Disappoint Me

Take a look at my frustrated commentary regarding Amazon reviewers last week.

After 1,100+ reviews and 17+ years reviewing on Amazon, I grow disillusioned at the superficiality of many reviewers:...
Posted by Anthony Trendl, Writer on Friday, August 14, 2015

7/31/15

Hungarian Bookstore: Got Gulyás? T-Shirt, Mugs, Hats (NEW)

New page on the Hungarian Bookstore, my labor of love: Got Gulyás? T-Shirt, Mugs, Hats

In other words, go to my site, click on every product, buy most of them, and helped me pay for my server space. Or, buy lots of stuff and help me develop products of interest of Hungarian Americans.

7/29/15

10 Things To Do While Windows 10 is Updating

10 Things To Do While Windows 10 is Updating 


  1. Nap. You need it. You are overworked as it is. 
  2. Read. Read something on your to-be-read list. No, not something work-related. Something fun. 
  3. Meet a friend. Yes, get offline and get a life.
  4. Pray. Most of the world says they believe in God. Talk with Him. If you are an atheist, meditate.
  5. Exercise. You are probably fat and blew off your New Year's Resolutions in early January. 
  6. Clean. Clean your house. Or, if at work, tidy up your files. 
  7. Visit. Go see your mom.
  8. Open the windows. No, not the Microsoft kind. Get some fresh air.
  9. Cook. It will feel great to make and eat a full meal. Invite a friend.
  10. Write. Not, not an email. Remember you are updating the operating system. Go get some paper and a pen. Write someone a letter at least five paragraphs long.
Full Disclosure: I've already updated Windows 10.