The breakthrough speech: Crafting a career-defining moment

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What You’ll Learn:: 

Pretty good speech you wrote there. We’re proud of you, kiddo. But how often do people corner your dry-mouthed executive after a speech and offer compliments like this:

  • Today was the best all-hands meeting I have been to. It was a combo of your energy and the great content.
  • This was like a TED talk! Inspirational!
  •  You walked up as an HR manager. You walked off as a business leader.

Never? Oh. Well, nobody’s going to fire you. That’s just a rumor. But maybe you’d better up your game, help your poobah break through to a new level of leadership, and make yourself indispensable.

In this keynote, speechwriter, communications strategist, and award-winning novelist Justina Chen will share the 5 strategies to create a breakthrough speech.

Learn how to:

  • Harness the latest research on the most effective leaders
  • Create an editorial calendar that pinpoints potential breakthrough moments onstage
  • Reimagine the mission as a quest with heroes, trials, and triumph
  • Get personal and share your leader's moment of truth
  • Sound like a visionary, not a manager

A breakthrough speech is a partnership between you—the writer—and your leader. Those bigwigs are inspiring people. They bring incredible skills to your organization. Honest. Otherwise, why would they rake in the big bucks?

But you full well know what they’re not so good at: storytelling. That’s where you come in.

People have forgotten how to tell a story, says filmmaker Steven Spielberg. Not you. Soak up inspiration on your craft, and make Mr. or Ms. Corporate Jargon sound like Cicero.

Learn all the tools of your toolkit. Master every one so you can use them with surgical precision. Chen shares the most essential.

Find out the secrets of a “story spine,” and why your speech will collapse like a jellyfish without this backbone. Learn to convey a world view. Understand the importance of “the quest.” Master the “moment of truth.”

From establishing voice to describing “the magical object,” Chen explains the overlap between great leadership and inspiring speechwriting. Follow her lead and create breakthrough speeches for your audiences.

Start with Ragan Training.

February 2014

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Presenter bio: 

Justina Chen is an executive communications strategist and storytelling consultant. She was the former executive communications manager, speechwriter and publicist for the president of entertainment at Microsoft.  Justina's distinctive storytelling draws on her work as a communications strategist for several presidents at Microsoft as well as on her career as an award-winning novelist for young adults. Her work was lauded as "a staggering reminder of the power of exquisite storytelling." When she isn't working with executives, Justina conducts storytelling workshops and keynotes leadership, social media, marketing, and internal communications conferences. Her most recent novel, A Blind Spot for Boys, is on a Booklist Top 10 list. North of Beautiful was named one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books for Young Adults and was nominated for 9 state book awards. Her debut novel, Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies), won the Asian American Award for Literature.