Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement


Why Clarity Matters: What President Trump Should've Said: A Speechwriter's Analysis

My newest article on LinkedIn:
Why Clarity Matters: What President Trump Should've Said: A Speechwriter's Analysis

Words have power. Please read my view on what President Trump could've said. It is apolitical. #speech #president #trump #communications #racism #Charlottesville #politics #publicspeaking


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.


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.


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.


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/


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."


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.