Turn boring topics into great speeches

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What You’ll Learn:: 

New job? New client? New corporate strategy or policy issue? Chances are you’ll be expected to write brilliantly about topics that are unfamiliar, complicated and sometimes just boring. You’ll likely be asked to wade through facts and research without a clear indication of exactly what your speaker wants to say. That’s where you dig in and prove your value.

Join a panel of expert speechwriters and executive communicators to learn how to:

Get smart: Read, think and question until you understand

Practice the three D’s: Draft, dissect and defend—and repeat

Punch it up: Use analogies, descriptions and examples

Write like real people talk: Avoid fancy words, jargon, gibberish and acronyms

March 2019

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Presenter bio: 

Stacy Carlson is currently executive speechwriter and communicator for the CEO of Caterpillar Inc. Previously, she was speechwriter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and a freelance business writer. Stacy’s book, You, Me & the U.S. Economy: A Plainspoken Story of Financial Crisis was published by RosettaBooks in January 2010.

Stacy has worked for the U.S. House of Representatives, was western region political director on the 2000 Bush for President campaign and director of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Washington, DC office. She has also been a senior advisor in public policy at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld. She began her career at Silicon Valley Bank, specializing in lending to venture-capital backed start-up companies.

Christian Nwachukwu Jr. works at Bloomberg Philanthropies to advance the foundation's Government Innovation program, a unique effort of sustained, diverse investments to strengthen city halls and improve how local governments work around the world. Prior to joining Bloomberg Philanthropies, Nwachukwu served as director of speechwriting at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he was the chief speechwriter for Secretary Julián Castro and Deputy Secretary Nani Coloretti. It was the capstone of a seven-year speechwriting career, during which he served as director of speechwriting at the Corporation for National and Community Service, speechwriter for New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and senior speechwriter at the New York City Housing Authority.

Rob Friedman, affiliate consultant with Ragan Consulting Group, is a retired senior director of executive communications at Eli Lilly and Company, where for more than 20 years he wrote for CEOs and other senior executives. Friedman has also participated in TEDx events, coached TED speakers and trained thousands of professional communicators from around the world.