I’m attending a three-day communications summit in Washington state about writing for executives. Since I’ve started doing more writing for my company’s CEO and COO, we all thought it was a good idea for me to attend. So far I’ve learned quite a bit. Yesterday I only had one session, but I took 10 pages of notes.
The session yesterday was about speechwriting.
I really haven’t done much with speechwriting at this point. I’ve helped a vice president or two with their slides for our national sales meeting. And I’ve done quick little intro speeches for other vice presidents. But I haven’t flat out written a whole speech for anyone, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s coming. So I was thrilled to find that there was a whole session on how to do it.
The guy who led the class (Fletcher Dean) was a ton of fun, really personable, very knowledgeable. He’s been writing speeches as a freelancer for 17 years, so I’m going to make an assumption that he knows what he’s doing.
One thing he pointed out that I hadn’t even thought about was that copy has to be tight and efficient but speeches have to have room to breathe. When you’re giving a speech, your listeners can’t go back and reread what you just said. So you have to repeat things over and over and over. You have to paint pictures with your words. I’d never even thought about that, but it makes perfect sense.
It was just really interesting.
I’m looking forward to today because of the other classes that will be held. I’ll probably post some more notes from later on. I’m learning a ton.