Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement


Ideas Abound: What I Do

Many writers have more ideas than they have time to execute.

Am I the only one? I don't think so.

I keep a running list of sentences, paragraphs and ideas that I might want to use later. I mean my stuff, not quotes and things.

It is no help that inspiration happens at inconvenient times. You know what I'm saying, right? A good idea is, as you know. a terrible thing to waste.

It is pretty simple. I keep it easily accessible in the cloud, able to be edited from any device (except Kindle, unfortunately). I use Google Docs. It is a basic, numbered list. Some items might have 500 words, and others might have just a few words.

Once I use an item, I delete lest I accidentally use it a second time. How awkward would be if a reader was reading something of mine and thought, "Great line. Where have I read that before?"

There's nothing complicated about Google Docs. It functions much like Microsoft Word. Word is ultimately more sophisticated and has its place in a writer's life, but mostly, I use Docs. It is free, and I can even write with it on my Android.

If you have a Gmail account, you already have a Google account. Take a look at Google Drive. It is somewhere between DropBox and Microsoft Office.

Similarly, when an idea gets big enough, it gets its own file. Nothing may come of it, but it is always there, like Ahab's white whale, beckoning me.


Merry Christmas to the One

Happy birthday to the Lord of Lords, to the King of Kings, to the One we adore, to the Ancient One, to the Ageless One, to the One who was in the beginning and will always be, to the Savior of souls, to the Forgiver of Men and of Women, to the One who knows us and who will never forget us, to the Painter of clouds, to the Composer of wind songs, to the Sculptor of mountains, to the Poet of love, to Him who is coming back soon, to the Child once born of Mary, to Him, Jesus the Christ, the Messiah and Victor, Redeemer and Friend.


My Tales Are Where?

It is an odd thing being a writer. You never know where your work will show up. In this case, being half-Hungarian helped.

Take a look: Modern Tall Tales.


Proud Owner of SpeechWritingBooks.com

I launched SpeechWritingBooks.com. It is pretty much what it sounds like, books for speechwriters.

I already know I've missed a few books, and will add to that list as I can.

Do you have suggestions?


Thinking About Space Oddity by David Bowie

David Bowie has found his way into my ears. "Ground Control to Major Tom... take your protein pills and put your helmet on..." You know the rest. Some of you are already looking for it on Spotify or YouTube.

I've known this song for 35 years. It, along with Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, was one of my first favorite songs. I don't know when I first heard it, but it has always haunted me. First, it occasionally popped up on the radio, then I bought the cassette, and now, listen to a digital version off a playlist.

Of course it haunted me. A guy becomes so fascinated with space travel, or intoxicated by it, that he decides to disconnect from Ground Control, and fly freely. He knows the implications of this choice are eventually dire. He's left the Earth and isn't coming back. He sends a message back to his wife that he loves her.

That's heavy.

Chris Hadfield -- he's a real live astronaut -- took a different take on the song. In fact, he recorded actually in space. Real space, not just high up in a special plane. Take a look, listen to the rewritten lyrics.


My Old Cafe Is No More (And What This Means)

It occurred to me today the coffeehouse I oft-frequented, Caribou Coffee in Glen Ellyn, IL, is closed. I knew it closed last month, but the significance just hit me.

It seems the Peet's Coffee & Tea people bought the Caribou company. Most of the Caribou stores will close, if not already. Some will be converted into Peet's, others, like mine, will be vacated, to eventually house some other, unrelated business. Mine is among those closed for good.

The place had been dwindling. Employees left in droves -- old timers were replaced by people who rotated in and out. The hours were reduced too. I could not longer work late there. It became fast food, so to speak.

A Peet's will open up nearby in another old Caribou in downtown Wheaton, IL. The coffee, I expect, will be better. It can't help but be. Caribou was improving, but was still stuck in the old-school cafe method of not roasting and delivering the same day. This meant the coffee was often stale.

I went because of the atmosphere and people. When I wanted better coffee, I bought from Intelligentsia or I Have a Bean. The people though, were wonderful.

There was Mike, the piano teacher. I talked metaphysical authors with him. And Dave the computer guy. He explained Bitcoin to me. Plus, a myriad of fellow writers, and a group of Russian guys who played dominoes. I didn't know the Russian guys, but I looked forward to the others.

Sooner or later, I met with every friend who lives locally there. Now, I need a new place. Peet's won't do -- that former Caribou is too small and too for any decent conversation. I have other cafes that do much better, like River City Roasters, and the recently open CafĂ© K'Tizo.

Oh sure, there are places like Starbucks, and I suppose I wind up there. But where will the others be?

Sooner or later, someplace will settle in as "the place," but for now, I'm wandering.


Speech Writing News - Proud Owner of Speechwriter.net

I have recently acquired speechwriter.net. It was previously owned by the late Sandy Anderson, an esteemed speechwriter who enjoyed an illustrious career which included writing for President Gerald Ford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and three Secretaries of the Army.

I never met Sandy, but originally used his site as a guide as I developed my own. I took mine a different direction, but applied a great many of the things he used.

I have speechwriter.net redirect to AmericanSpeechwriter.com. I invited you to check it out. You might enjoy the classic speeches. I've included text, video and audio whenever possible.

Have a great day!


Robin Williams is Dead

Robin Williams, RIP. He died today, possibly of suicide. His publicist released the statement, “Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”

Man, he was good. The world just got a little less funny today. Age 63.


Social Media: Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook

Ripe Bananas
Consummately creative, you can find and follow me all over social media. I love comments, shares, likes, you name it. I get right into the mix too, so jump in.

My official Facebook page. Books, ideas, literature, art, tall tales, short tales and cattails. See the ordinary in an extraordinary way. Fans of Twain, Kipling, Thurber will find this a friendly place. From the quirky to the funny to the unbelievable. Family-friendly. We talk about classic children's literature, what makes good horror, the integration of the arts. I occasionally offer free stuff, announce speaking engagements and literary performances.

My Pinterest page. This leans heavily on the craft of speech writing and speech delivery, but I post fascinating discussions on creativity as well, like a two-hour interview with Robert Downey, Jr.

My Instagram photos. Here I am in pure play mode. While I'm only using my smartphone, and I'm entirely untrained as a photographer, I'm always on the lookout for interesting ways of seeing the ordinary. Whether an unusual angle, funky lighting, or a a strange juxtaposition of some commonplace items, you're bound to see something fun. The bananas are there.

My Twitter page. Here, it is a mix of everything in bite-size gulps. The fullness of my interests flows through, from chess to jazz to running to coffee.

My LinkedIn profile. Want to connect professionally? Head on over and find my profile. I'm all business there. You'll see my email address which will help you connect. I'm especially interested in connecting with others in the communications industry. Then, after we connect, message me an introduction.


Work Backwards to Move Forward in Executive Communications

As you go to your audience's perspective and walk backwards, you will bring them with you. By being honest, open and vulnerable, you will be able to lead your audience to where you need them.
You'll get your audience to the place you need by understanding where they are and working backwards through concerns one-by-one.

read more on LinkedIn


How to Have a Brilliant Slideshow (Or Not): Is PowerPoint Your Best Choice?

How to Have a Brilliant Slideshow (Or Not)

My recent article on LinkedIn looks at whether or not using a PowerPoint slideshow is a good idea. If so, why? Please check it out, and leave a comment. I love reading what others think.

Slideshows have long been a part of public speaking. More often than not, the speaker spends hours dwelling on every jot and tittle. Some of that is good and healthy. The speaker refines his or her message, trying to say clearly and persuasively whatever brings them to the podium. Mostly, though, the speaker is stuck sorting through templates, font choices and figuring out what to say on each slide. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but we need to remember what's of primary importance. Read more.


Theater and the Art of Public Speaking

Theater and the Art of Public Speaking - a piece I wrote for LinkedIn. I explain the difference between an essay and a speech.

Take a look. I'd love to know your thoughts.


Presidential Speeches


As you may know, I'm a hardcore non-party member. I am not a Republican, which disappoints a great many friends. I'm not a Democrat, which infuriates another portion. I'm not Libertarian. I didn't join the Tea Party. When I ran for Student Council when I was in fifth grade, I ran Independent.

I expect to stay that way.

Most of what I see in politics disappoints me, as does the heavy partisan side-choosing that leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

I don't like the littering of this good Earth with political signs. OK, that's less serious than aggressive corruption, but it does bother me.

Two of Illinois' recent governors are in jail. One is Republican. One is Democrat. I voted for both of them.

As such, I have turned down every political speech writing opportunity.

I thought about how I can help good candidates. Yes, you are out there. Some of you play fair, live with integrity, and avoid the angry finger pointing and blame game. I want to help you.

Find me here: