Eddie is a speechwriter, ghostwriter, and public speaking coach, with 10 years of experience in the field. He loves creating strong narrative-driven speeches that focus on balancing emotional and thought-leadership content. He has worked with executives, business leaders, nonprofit leaders, and everyone in between. His speeches range from keynotes, TEDx, celebratory toasts (weddings, retirements, awards); ghostwritten work includes op-eds and guest magazine articles.
He is the author of the forthcoming book, “Toast: Short speeches, Big Impact” find out more at: https://ricespeechwriting/toast-book
How to craft the perfect toast–honor the person, honor the event
Learn the techniques to craft a short speech that honors a person at a special occasion–from weddings to retirements to awards to graduations, the goals are the same but with slightly different executions. Learn what all great short speeches have in common and how you can use those techniques for your next short speech.
Speech and Presentation Writing Tips:
Another hurdle that trips up speakers is how to actually write their speech. Some write it like a memo or email and that’s how it sounds when they deliver it. Speeches are meant to be spoken, not necessarily written. Instead, learn how to compose your speech out loud as you write it. You’ll end up with a better product that sounds like you rather than a lecture read strictly from notes. Other writing tips include: the post-it note method to plan your speech; emulating other speeches you love; and scaffolded memorization.
Unique ways to do a speech:
If you have a hidden talent, you shouldn’t hide it. Why not use it to your advantage at your next speech or presentation? Eddie will share examples of speakers using raps and songs, poems, spoken word, playing an instrument, and props like Rubik’s Cubes, all to great effect. Your next presentation or speech should present your authentic self, why not show who you are?
How to get rid of ums and ahs and other public speaking confidence tricks
How many times do we want to rid ourselves of our verbal tics when speaking–overusing um, ah, like, but and, and so…the trick lies in your preparation and mastery of the material and your comfort level. Learn how to use scaffolded memorization to prepare, effective pausing to let your mind and tongue catch up to one another, and relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and muscle relaxation so that you can be your best self when speaking.
How to deliver your speech when you can’t be there in person–tips on Zoom, video recording, and alternative methods.
One lesson we’ve learned during COVID has been how to give (and not give) virtual speeches and presentations. What seems to work: pre-recording with great light, video, and backgrounds. What doesn’t: winging it with a sub-par setup. Let’s talk about what you can do if you can’t make a speech in-person as most of us will still be social distancing for some time well into 2021.
Easy speech structures you can use today
One of the reasons that your message doesn’t connect with your audience is your lack of organization when it comes to your speech. The Hero’s Journey seems to get all the credit but there are other practical ways to organize your speech, such as: 3 stories, 1 story, Billboard and headlines, Lesson+story. You can apply these structures to any presentation or speech you’re giving and it will give your speech the cohesion it’s been lacking.
For Public Speakers and Leaders:
Why speakers should be using podcasts and other forms of media outreach during COVID and after to get their message out
Even with promising news of a vaccine, we have a long way to go for in-person events to resume. Even then, with large demands on our time, it’s not always feasible to attend a conference. Speakers and leaders should look to guesting on podcasts as a way to get their message out. The price of the technology to be a podcast guest (a mic and a good webcam) has fallen dramatically since a few years ago. Now, speakers can build their platforms from their home office. Plus, podcasts are targeted at perfect niches that there is a podcast for every audience.
What to say when we return to work–advice for company and organization leaders
Leaders must address the return to work head-on as we work together as a nation to get as many people vaccinated as possible. Employees will still wonder about your company’s position on being vaccinated before returning to work; if remote work will still be the accepted norm; if other health and safety precautions will be taken in case there is another outbreak of a novel virus; the best leaders will be the ones who handle these topics authentically and transparently.
How speakers and leaders can use op-eds effectively:
Can’t speak in public for a while? Even without CV 19 not everyone has the time to attend conferences or work on getting booked as a speaker. 700 words might be easier to put together than a 20-minute keynote.
Use op-eds to test out ideas, too: Adopt an entrepreneur’s mindset–prototype, test, test, test, and respond to feedback. Rather than toil away on an idea and publish it to minimal fanfare, can you at least make it succinct enough and news-worthy enough to get published? Some ideas are worth 700 words and others are worth 70,000. Use your opinion piece as an MVP for an idea before investing time and money into something untested.
Why most public speaking coaching is broken:
Pre-covid, public speaking training was a collection of 1-day and weekend seminars where the usual promise was to make speakers “more confident” by the end. However, most of those trainings were nothing more than a coach giving their opinion on what makes for an effective performance mixed in with some drama techniques. The result? Participants felt more confident by the end but the change was hardly lasting (cite article). Public speaking is a skill like any other–can you get better at golf in one weekend? Can you become a better basketball player in one weekend? Maybe you’ll pick up a few tips, but improvement over time requires specific feedback, authentic practice, and repetition.
How authors can improve their author talks by going beyond the typical chapter readings:
Nonfiction and fiction authors can present better talks by looking to the problems that their work solves for their readings. For nonfiction, this is straightforward–tell new stories that aren’t found in your work and a few that are. For fiction, look to the larger themes that your work addresses or the original research you did for your book. Sure, you can read some from your book but you’ll lose your audience if that is the bulk of your author talk. Plus, tips on handling Q&A, such as how to provoke questions from a tough audience and how to answer only the ones that will be the most fruitful.