How to write a commencement speech

A commencement or convocation speech should deliver a powerful message, one that students can draw on for inspiration in their lives beyond the academic walls.

Commencement speeches, typically about 10 minutes long, have the power to change lives. Not usually in big ways, of course. More in the sense of giving an uplifting message that students can take with them from graduation out into the world when they need inspiration.

Sevy Petras is co-owner of Priority Life Care, a chain of retirement homes. She was invited to speak to the graduating class at Tiffin University in Ohio. [Read more…]

Poetry and Rhetoric in Washington DC

How do you inspire a divided nation to unite around a common cause? With poetry, of course.

The world was held spellbound on January 20, 2021, as a 22-year-old read poetry composed almost up to the last minute for Joe Biden’s inauguration.

There have been only seven inaugural poets in US history. Amanda Gorman is the youngest. And two weeks prior to her recital, she was still struggling to put it all together. [Read more…]

Political speechwriters must leverage authenticity

Speechwriting is a special skill. And political speeches require an extra layer of understanding.Most of all, they require authenticity.

What is the most important feature of a political speech?

  1. Ideas?
  2. Vision?
  3. Alliteration?
  4. Emotion?
  5. Leadership?
  6. Credibility?

No. No. No. No. No. No. Authenticity. That’s the key on which all of the above rest. [Read more…]

Speech: Support your kids to keep them in school

This is an important speech about staying in school that every parent should read.

We help write a lot of speeches. But few are as important as this one. I don’t mean to diminish the importance of Best Man speeches or Maid-of-honor speeches. But this one can turn people’s lives around.

You’ve heard the “stay in school” message for teenagers countless times. This is not a message for teenagers. This is the speech about staying in school that parents should read while their children are still in elementary school. In fact, the earlier the better.

[Read more…]

How to Write a Best Man Speech

Our approach to writing a best man speech is to make it personal.  There are plenty of places online to find generic speeches with canned jokes, but…seriously?

It’s that time of year again.  No, I am not talking about spring.  I am talking about best man speech writing season, which always comes just before wedding season.  Best man speeches are among my favorite writing projects, so if you know anyone who might soon be giving a best man speech, please send them my way. But be forewarned – I will ask questions! [Read more…]