Posts Tagged ‘Ian Griffin’

A Great List of “Do Not’s”

microphoneAnother great piece in Silicon Valley speechwriter Ian Griffin‘s terrific “Professionally Speaking” blog. This one is a guest post from U.K. media coach Alan Stevens, that is chock full of excellent tips on how to give a great speech. My favorite part of the piece, though is his concise list of things speakers should NEVER do. Such as…

  • Start badly
  • Fail to understand equipment
  • Put too much on each slide
  • Patronize the audience
  • Use bad graphics
  • Turn their back on the audience
  • Speak inaudibly
  • Use jargon
  • Run out of time
  • End poorly

Quote Box: Great Story Advice from Hollywood

Hollywood_Sign_PB050006Stories give your audience a direct experience of whatever it is you want your speech to convey.

Michael Hauge

Ian Griffin, Silicon Valley technology speechwriter supreme, recently posted an excellent piece on Professionally Speaking,  his great blog. Griffin reported on a presentation at the Northern California Chapter of the National Speakers Association that analyzed the benefits of taking a “Hollywood approach” to writing and delivering presentations.

Hall of Fame keynote speaker and executive speech coach Patricia Fripp joined Hollywood story expert and script consultant Michael Hauge to discuss the importance of story telling in speeches. In particular, they demonstrated how vitally important stories are when it comes to eliciting emotions in an audience.

The whole post is a must read for speechwriters and executives, especially Hauge’s 10 Essential Elements of Every Great Story.

Some Thoughts on Authenticity

keep it realLiving in a swing state, I’m as sick of the deluge of political ads as that little girl on YouTube.  One of the goals of those ads, of course, is to convince voters that one guy is “real” and his opponent is a phony….which brings me back to one of the recurring themes of this blog: the importance of authenticity in speeches.

One of the most thoughtful bloggers on this topic is Silicon Valley technology speechwriter Ian Griffin. In a post a few years ago, he described the link between storytelling and authenticity. For a speaker to come across as authentic, Griffin pointed out, “his story must be congruent with his tongue, feet and wallet. He must show and share emotion.”

More recently, he described some of the barriers to a CEO’s ability to convey authenticity behind a mic. In particular, he cautioned about what happens when a speech passes through the hands of “the phalanx of communications staff, from the heads of Public Relations to the speechwriter, PowerPoint design team and event staff.” The best CEO communicators take the time to ensure that a speech doesn’t just provide accurate information, but also conveys who the speaker really is.

The stakes are extremely high. As Griffin says, “Audience’s remember those CEO’s who do take the time to embody their speeches as authentic communications of who they are. The rest, they forget.”

Books Worth Reading: 10 Steps to Writing a Vital Speech

10_Steps_Speech_smEven if it weren’t written by a friend and colleague, I’d highly recommend this new “Definitive Guide to Professional Speechwriting” by Fletcher Dean. Dean is Director of Leadership Communications (and speechwriter) at Dow Chemical. And this book reflects that fact that he has thought long and hard about the speechwriting craft. At just over 100 pages, the book is proof that good things come in small packages, because it’s filled with great insights and tips. Here are Dean’s  10 steps to writing a speech:

Know the audience
Target the words
Find the right material
Tell a story
How to say it: show or tell?
Structure the speech
Write the material
Rewrite for clarity
Using PowerPoint
Coaching the speaker

To hear Dean talk about the background of the book check out this great blog post in Ian Griffin’s Professionally Speaking blog.