SPONSORED BY

The 2024 World Conference of the Professional Speechwriters Association will take place in Washington, D.C., two weeks before the United States election.

There, leadership communicators from around the globe will gather to:

  • Tackle the current rhetorical climate directly and honestly, with a vigorous, rigorous, constructive dialogue.
  • Enjoy an intimate, confidential respite to talk shop, swap experiences and help one another get better at their craft.
  • Find new courage and true inspiration to help the principals they serve provide the leadership this world needs.

“In 15 years of speechwriting, I’ve never felt such a deep connection to our broader community as I did this week,” wrote Chris Mallinos, speechwriter to Canada’s Minister of National Defence after last year’s World Conference. “It meant a lot to connect with and learn from so many brilliant writers. I can’t wait to do it again.”

“Each year the World Conference refreshes my soul, connects me to people I respect and admire and enjoy,” wrote corporate executive communications director Catherine Keller. “And it pushes my mind and heart to consider new ideas and confront challenging feelings. It’s special and different and a bit unruly … and it feels really, really good.”

And Colgate University associate VP of communications Mark Walden wrote simply, “I can’t remember another gathering that has given me so much to consider.”

Whether you have or haven’t participated in the PSA World Conference before—come, and get everything you need from the only other people in the world who can give it to you: your colleagues, in leadership communication.

AGENDA

(All Times ET)

MONDAY, OCTOBER 21

Preconference Workshops (Optional, But Included in All-Access Pass)

Workshop A (9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.)

Rhetoric Masterclass: The Art & Science of Speechwriting

How do we harness both our creative muse and evidence-based approaches to craft memorable speeches that elevate our principals and inspire audiences? In this interactive, multimedia workshop, Terry Szuplat—one of President Barack Obama’s longest-serving speechwriters and the author of the forthcoming book Say It Well: Find Your Voice, Speak Your Mind, Inspire Any Audience—will share advanced strategies and tips for mastering both the art and science of speechwriting. (And every participant will receive a free copy of the book.)

In this workshop, Terry will:

  • Take you behind the scenes at the White House—into the Oval Office and aboard Air Force One—to show you how President Obama and his team of speechwriters collaborated to produce speeches that still resonate to this day.
  • Examine some of the common barriers to effective communication and how the Obama speechwriting team worked to overcome them.
  • Share the latest research from the world’s leading scholars, psychologists, and neuroscientists showing the science behind effective communication and persuasion and how you can apply these techniques in your own work.

This session is not about the theory of rhetoric. It’s a hands-on workshop that will empower you with new skills and transform how you think about, prepare for and write speeches. Whether you write for leaders in government, business, advocacy or philanthropy or beyond, you’ll return to your keyboard energized and inspired, and you’ll see why Terry’s workshops have been called “captivating,” “inspiring,” and “a truly life-changing experience.”

Workshop B: (1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.)

From Reagan to Obama: How to Use Speeches to Create Ideology and Build Power

Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama relied on many of the same techniques to build and promote very different ideologies. And it’s exactly this similarity that reveals hidden writing methods that every speechwriter in every sector and from every point of view should master.

That’s what legendary University of Chicago Writing Director Larry McEnerney taught at the European Speechwriter Network conference this year, and it’s what he’ll teach us.

In his bracingly rigorous and delightfully entertaining style, McEnerney will show you:

  • What you can learn from Reagan’s first inaugural, which McEnerney argues should be ranked third among all U.S. political speeches. If you’re going to be a great communicator, you must understand the Great Communicator.
  • Subtle but exquisite techniques from Obama’s 2008 campaign speeches that leave them hovering somewhere between legend and myth in our minds—and that, as much as any other element of his campaign, won him the American presidency.
  • The deeply edifying connection between these two very different leaders, making two very different arguments. From focus to problem-constructing, from thematics to ideology. We’ll employ well-tested linguistics-based methods to learn how to use ideology like these two masters did—in ways that are conventional yet unorthodox, familiar yet radical, challenging yet comforting.

This workshop is for those who like to sink their teeth into the intellectual depths of speechwriting.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22

8:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m. • Gather for Breakfast

9:00-9:20 • Opening remarks by PSA Executive Director David Murray

9:20-10:30 • World Conference at the World Conference: An Emergency Meeting on the State of Global Rhetoric

In 2024 multilateralism frays at the edges, misinformation tears at the seams and elections around the world threaten the very idea of global collaboration—all while multiple global emergencies and conflicts demand our full attention and cooperation. What the hell is going on? And what can speechwriters, as the architects behind the world’s most influential voices, do about it? This keynote panel is an urgent summons to speechwriters throughout the world to unite in Washington October 22, 2024, to find the answers to three questions:

  1. What can speechwriters do to elevate international discourse so it crosses borders rather than building walls?
  2. Do current speechwriting methods need to change? What’s working? What’s not?
  3. Where are the opportunities and threats heading into 2025?

Brent Kerrigan, former head speechwriter for UN Climate Change moderates a conversation with a panel we’re building of speechwriters from some of the world’s most influential international institutions—including Claire Craanen, speechwriter for NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Florian Gimbel, Deputy Chief of Police Communication at the International Monetary Fund and Sarah Gruen, Director of Speechwriting for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Bring your own ideas. We’ll need them.

10:30-11:00 • Candid Collegial Conversations

11:00-12:00 • Beyond Speechwriting: Two Happy Destinations for Speechwriters Seeking the Next Thing (or Just Another Thing)

As “pure speechwriting” jobs have declined in recent years, many “pure speechwriters” have employed their skills in another line of writing work, or grown into a broader communications role. Many of the former have gone into the rewarding, lucrative and lately popular craft of ghostwriting, says Dan Gerstein, CEO of Gotham Ghostwriters. Gerstein convened the first Gathering of the Ghosts this year—a conference that brought almost 150 book ghostwriters together to discuss why theirs is one writing specialty on the make. One of those scribes is veteran speechwriter and beloved speechwriting teacher Mike Long, who has enjoyed a huge surge in ghostwriting work over the last several years, and learned a great deal in the process: about the craft, the ethics and economics. He can tell you whether ghostwriting is for you. As for the latter—no one has made the jump from speechwriter to strategist more profoundly or enthusiastically than David Meadvin, former speechwriter to House Majority Leader Harry Reid and the leadership teams at Meta (then Facebook), Bloomberg, and Citadel. After almost seven years as a leadership consultant at Laurel Strategies, Meadvin now heads up One Strategy Group, recently named a “Challenger firm to watch” by Axios and a PRWeek 2024 Up and Comer agency. He’ll talk about why and how he built a new career on a strategic foundation—with speechwriting as the cornerstone.

12:00 p.m.-12:45 p.m. • Lunch with Industry Colleagues

Scribe, find your tribe—at labeled tables full of colleagues from specific sectors in business, government, nonprofit, university and independent speechwriting.

12:45-1:15 • Your Turn! A Crowdsourcing Idea Frenzy

Swap one-minute work hacks with the only other people in the world who do what you do. Get ready to scribble down ideas—and come prepared to share.

1:15-1:30 • Break

1:30-3:00 • Breakout Sessions, for Your Craft & Career: Six Sessions in Two Tracks

1:30-2:00

Craft Track: Make This Your Lane, Too: Coaching Senior Leaders to Communicate Better Through Behavior (and Beyond Words)

You handle all manner of speeches, talking points, op-eds and LinkedIn posts. But the truth is that a leader is communicating constantly, far beyond these formal communiques—on an elevator ride or in the cafeteria with employees. Leaders need to be aware of that reality and how to mold what they say and how they behave, consciously and consistently. Is this really in a speechwriter’s wheelhouse? Yes, says Jennifer Jackson, who has focused on symbolic leadership communication throughout much of her illustrious exec comms career. She’ll show you how it’s done.

Career Track: “How Much?” What Independent Speechwriters Are Charging (and Why They Aren’t They Charging More)

This is the market-research session your clients don’t want you to attend: A candid and informative conversation about how much writers are charging, and how much we should charge for our highly specialized product. This session will also feature original survey results, from the PSA. Veteran independent speechwriter and speaking coach Jean Card will facilitate, and everyone in the room will participate.

2:00-2:30

Craft Track: The Carrot and the Stick: How to Write Speeches That Express Love and Exercise Power

Speeches have a unique ability to lift people up, bring them together and create a sense of belonging. But a personal engagement from the leader of a major institution must also do more. It needs to convince stakeholders (sometimes even whole nations) of the things that are worth fighting for. In this session, the Grand Award winner of the 2024 Cicero Speechwriting Awards, Eleonora Russell, shares how she makes sure that the 32 Allied nations and 43 NATO Partners recognize themselves in her boss’ speeches. She explains how she achieves what she affectionately refers to as “the Santa Clause effect”—while also using the same speeches to remind audiences around the world, friendly and unfriendly, exactly what the NATO military is capable of. 

Career Track: A Mile in the Boss’s Shoes: What a Speechwriter Learned When She Became Her Own Principal

Amber Epling-Skinner has written hundreds of speeches: commencement speeches for university presidents, keynote speeches for statewide elected officials, floor speeches for legislators—and most recently and profoundly, speeches for her own campaign to the local school board. Being on the other side of the microphone has given Amber a new perspective on what it actually takes to be the principals she has always served. She’ll share insights with her fellow speechwriters in a session that will help you to form a stronger appreciation and more genuine bond with your own principal and deliver a consistently better product. If you don’t decide to run for office yourself!

3:00-3:30

Craft Track: When English Isn’t Your Speaker’s First Language: Mastering Global Speechwriting’s Lingua Franca

English is widely accepted as the language of business, international politics, and science. But if it’s not your speaker’s first language—or yours—it’s hard to help them find a satisfying level of fluency. Jim Holtje specializes in speechwriting and delivery for non-native English speakers. A multilingual C-suite speechwriter for international corporations—and a Columbia University professor who’s taught hundreds of students from over 40 countries—Jim will teach you how to structure and write speeches that effectively cross languages and culture. He’ll also offer train-the-trainer techniques for helping principals with delivery.

Career Track: Boss Best-Case: What I’ve Learned from a Principal Who Insists on Candid, Compelling Communication

Renell Wynn didn’t know what she was getting into when she went to work as vice president for communications for Wesleyan University President Michael S. Roth give years ago. And though Roth at the time praised Wynn’s “strong record of strategic, data-based thinking, creative energy, and dynamic leadership,” he probably didn’t know what he was getting into, either. Through one of the most tumultuous periods in the history of higher education, the two of them have combined to create some of the most compelling, confident leadership communication in any institutional sector. How did they do it? Wynn will share lessons she’s learned—lessons that may help you bring out the best in your principal, too.

3:30-4:00 • Big Break: Take a Walk to Clear Your Mind or Pair with a Colleague and Deepen a Connection

4:00-5:00Either Ethics in Speechwriting Are Evolving, or We Are: An All-Star Panel, an All-Conference Caucus

Have you written a speech that you disagreed with—even for a client you generally admired? Where’s the line between rhetorical license and factual falsehood? When is it okay to divulge the name of a client? When (and to whom) do you have to disclose having used AI in research or composition? Are independent speechwriters obliged to be open about their fee structure? Bring your own dilemmas and views to this panel, moderated by Peter Loge, Director of George Washington University’s Project on Ethics in Political Communication. Panelists include: Obama White House speechwriter and American University speechwriting adjunct Terry Szuplat; McCain-Palin and Mitt Romney speechwriter Lindsay Hayes, Vice President Gore speechwriter and American University speechwriting adjunct Eric Schnure and global corporate speechwriter and Columbia University speechwriting adjunct Jim Holtje.

5:00-6:30 • Drink Together, Think Together, Synch Together: Cocktails with Your Colleagues, sponsored by the Cicero Speechwriting Awards. 

Under a patio tent—and in the Cone of Silence—members of the Discretion Profession will swap stories, share laughs, drown sorrows and celebrate one another’s success as we toast the winners of the 2024 Cicero Speechwriting Awards. Perennially, one of the happiest moments of the speechwriting year.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23

8:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m. • Gather for Breakfast

9:00-10:30 • All-Conference Caucus: Courage, and the Communicator’s Soul

We will listen and react to a series of mini-talks exploring the need for courage in communications and other thorny topics weighing on the minds and hearts of communicators navigating the inherently fraught world of institutions and the powerful people who lead them. Speakers will include: Lech Mintowt-Czyz, owner of Speech Success and long time energy-industry speechwriter, discussing the moral obligations of speechwriting; Mame Kwayie, Director of Leadership Communications for the American Dental Association, sharing tips for building the confidence to have any conversation with your leader (even awkward ones); Felicity Barber, founder of Thoughtful Communications, talking about her journey away from being “the person behind the person”; and Amy Arbogast, co-founder of Spark Speak, challenging the assumptions we make about effective public speaking. Come prepared to share your own stories, exorcise your own professional demons and find courage for the year ahead in a conversation led by fearless leadership communicator and close PSA pal Justine Adelizzi.

10:30-11:00 • Break

11:00-12:00 • Locknote Address: The Gettysburg Address, as You’ve Never Heard It (or Thought About It) Before: What It Meant Then, and What It Means Right Now

This was not a ceremonial speech. It was a strategy speech, designed to “convince a very skeptical public in the north that they should keep dying” despite their doubts about a cause “that they didn’t particularly believe in,” says legendary University of Chicago writing professor Larry McEnerney. In this intensely instructive and ultimately inspiring session, he will walk us word-by-word through the speech to show the techniques that Lincoln uses to make a terribly difficult rhetorical argument. This talk will be particularly encouraging in an age and at a moment when our own arguments, even to our own constituencies, seem impossible too.

12:00-12:15 • Closing Remarks. Adjourn.

SPEAKERS

Justine Adelizzi

Justine Adelizzi

Justine Adelizzi is an award-winning speechwriter and executive communications leader who has dedicated her career to creating fearless communicators. She is the founder of FEARLESScomms—a communications, coaching, and consulting firm—and a senior advisor for One Strategy Group.

Amy Arbogast

Amy Arbogast

Amy Arbogast is a Co-Founder and Lead Coach of Spark Speak LLC, where she provides coaching sessions and workshops to individuals, corporations, and professional organizations. She is committed to helping all speakers find their unique voices, communicate their messages effectively, and forge meaningful connections with their audiences. She is particularly passionate about supporting neurodivergent speakers and challenging traditional assumptions regarding public speaking expectations. Amy is also an Associate Professor of Writing and Speaking at the University of Rochester, where she directs the Speaking Center, a public speaking peer tutoring center.

Felicity Barber

Felicity Barber

Felicity Barber has been writing speeches and managing executive communications for CEOs in finance for more than a decade, including the leaders of BlackRock, Lloyd’s of London, and two Federal Reserve banks. She now runs her own business Thoughtful Comms, supporting clients with executive communications and speeches, and training the next generation of speechwriting talent. She hails from London, but home is Weehawken, NJ, where she lives with her husband, her two children, and a black cat called Minton.

Jean Card

Jean Card

Jean Card is a speechwriter and mindset-based speaking coach who helps her clients translate complicated issues and stories into compelling, persuasive English. Jean spent six years in the executive branch of the U.S. government as a speechwriter for the Secretaries of Treasury and Labor as well as the Attorney General. Since her time in government, she has been a columnist for U.S. News & World Report, a spokeswoman for national organizations, a political commentator in national and global media, and a podcaster. She is a graduate of Middlebury College—where she majored in English—and has also studied at the University of Kent at Canterbury in the U.K.

Claire Craanen

Claire Craanen

Claire Craanen works at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. She’s served as a speechwriter for the NATO Secretary General and NATO Deputy Secretary General since 2018, and writes speeches, press statements, op-eds and other written material in both English and French. Claire is a member of the non-profit organisation Women in International Security (WIIS) in Brussels. She co-founded WIIS-Brussels in 2015 and served as its first Secretary General from 2015 to 2022. She has a master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, and a certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Claire is Dutch and French. She is married and has two children.

Amber Epling-Skinner

Amber Epling-Skinner

Amber Epling-Skinner is Director of Communications for the Columbus (Ohio) City Auditor and a school board member elected to her first term in 2023. Prior to serving in local government, Amber worked for the state overseeing the strategic communications for the Minority Leader and the 37 members of the Ohio House Democratic Caucus. She has counseled candidates running for office as well as university presidents, college deans and university administrators on message development, media relations and reputation management. With three teenage daughters at home, she has gotten even better at persuading an audience and finding common ground in a challenging climate.

Dan Gerstein

Dan Gerstein

Dan Gerstein, the CEO of Gotham Ghostwriters, has been writing and communicating professionally for more than 30 years. He started his career as a local sports and news reporter at the Hartford Courant. He then went on to spend more than a decade as a speechwriter and communications strategist on Capitol Hill and for two presidential campaigns, serving as a senior advisor to Senator Joe Lieberman from his home state of Connecticut. In 2004, Gerstein moved to New York to become a political consultant (primarily working with issue advocacy groups) and commentator, serving as a contributing columnist for Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and Politico and an occasional TV analyst for Fox News, MSNBC, and NY1. In 2008, he launched Gotham, which has become the country’s premier ghostwriting agency, featuring a network of 4000+ accomplished editorial specialists. Gerstein, 56, lives in Manhattan with his wife Simona, their daughter Ella, and their dog Ugo.

Florian Gimbel

Florian Gimbel

Florian Gimbel, Deputy Chief of Policy Communication at the International Monetary Fund. Prior to his current role, he served as senior speechwriter to two IMF Managing Directors: Christine Lagarde (2015-19) and Kristalina Georgieva (2020-23). He joined the IMF after a distinguished career at the Financial Times, including London-based assignments and his role as Asia Investment Correspondent based in Hong Kong. He received his MPA from Harvard Kennedy School; he also holds an MBA from Vienna University of Economics.

Sarah Gruen

Sarah Gruen

Sarah Gruen is a speechwriter and humorist based out of New York City. She currently serves as the Director of Speechwriting for the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, overseeing all speeches given by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, official delegations, civil society events, and more. Before joining team USUN, she was a Senior Director at the speechwriting firm West Wing Writers, where she co-led the firm’s humor practice, and wrote for EGOT winners, Fortune 500 CEOs, and visionary leaders in government, social justice, and philanthropy. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal—as well as in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, and Points in Case under her own name.

Lindsay Hayes

Lindsay Hayes

Dr. Lindsay Hayes is the President and CEO of Free the Facts. Previously, she served as a writer and communications consultant in the White House, the U.S. Senate, a Cabinet-level agency, and on several political campaigns. Hayes was the director of speechwriting for Romney-Ryan 2012 and part of the McCain-Palin writing team in 2008. Through her firm, Redpath Writing, she has assisted corporate, political, and non-profit clients with a wide range of projects, including former Speaker of the U.S. House Paul Ryan’s NYT bestseller The Way Forward. Hayes holds a B.A. from Boston College and received her master’s degree and Ph.D. in political communication from the University of Maryland, where she taught undergraduate courses for over a decade.

Jim Holtje

Jim Holtje

Jim Holtje has been in the speechwriting, corporate communications, and adjunct teaching arenas in the U.S. and overseas for more than 30 years. His experience includes speechwriting for the CEOs of IBM, Siemens, McGraw-Hill, RGP, as well as UNESCO’s Director General. The author of six books—including The Power of Storytelling for Prentice-Hall—Jim recently founded Speak Up International, LLC, a New York-based consultancy specializing in speechwriting and delivery coaching for non-native English speakers. Jim’s been teaching speechwriting and public speaking at Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs since 2016 and won SIPA’s 2019 Outstanding Teaching Award, among other honors.

Jennifer L. Jackson

Jennifer L. Jackson

Jennifer L. Jackson is a Managing Director in CRA | Admired Leadership’s Strategic Communication Practice. Jennifer has a passion for advising leaders and teams at the intersection of leadership, strategy, and communicating for results. She helps people and organizations drive outcomes through clear articulation of vision and strategy, executive visibility, effective team dynamics, and deliberate stakeholder management. Before joining CRA | Admired Leadership, Jennifer spent more than a decade at Kimberly-Clark Corporation, navigating roles in Internal and Executive Communications. She built a strong reputation for advising established and emerging leaders during transitions, including CEO succession, CFO integration, and significant leadership changes across regions. Before Kimberly-Clark, Jennifer worked at the American Red Cross, Edelman, and the Texas Business and Education Coalition. An alumna of Georgetown University, Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, complemented by a Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Development and a Graduate Certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Brent Kerrigan

Brent Kerrigan

Brent Kerrigan launched Global Speechwriter after serving five years (2017 – 2023) as the head speechwriter at UN Climate Change. This built on his decade of writing speeches for the Government of Canada (Departments of Agriculture, Transport, Infrastructure & Communities) where he wrote for ministers, MPs, and provided speech content for two prime ministers. He currently provides executive speechwriting and communications support for government and business leaders throughout the world on sustainability and climate change issues.

Mame Kwayie

Mame Kwayie

Mame Kwayie is the director of leadership communications at the American Dental Association. An award-winning communications leader and writer, she’s helped professional associations and their executives find their best voices and connect with audiences in person, online, or in print. The native Houstonian holds a Masters in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University and a B.A. in Communications from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Peter Loge

Peter Loge

Peter Loge has nearly 30 years of experience in politics and communications, including a presidential appointment at the Food and Drug Administration and senior positions for Sen. Edward Kennedy and three members of the U.S. House of Representatives. He currently leads the Project on Ethics in Political Communication at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs and continues to advise advocates and organizations.

Mike Long

Mike Long

Mike Long is a speechwriter, author, and ghostwriter. In addition to his own books The Molecule of More and Taming the Molecule of More, he has worked behind the scenes with authors on a dozen published titles, most recently the memoirs Three-Time World Champ (BenBella) and A Bushel of Beans and a Peck of Tomatoes (Post Hill Press). Mike is also an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. He teaches writing at Georgetown University and leads writing seminars around the world.

Larry McEnerney

Larry McEnerney

Larry McEnerney was for 30 years the director the University of Chicago’s writing program, a program which specializes in the most advanced academic and professional writing. Beyond the campus, Larry has consulted worldwide for law firms, consultancies, financial institutions, non-profits, government agencies, and individual political, professional and business leaders.

David Meadvin

David Meadvin

David Meadvin, CEO and cofounder of One Strategy Group, is a corporate and executive communications strategist with broad experience in both the public and private sectors. He has a proven track record as an adviser for CEOs and top leaders across sectors and industries. Prior to cofounding One Strategy Group, David served in a number of senior roles in both the private and public sectors. He was President of Laurel Strategies, a Washington D.C.-based advisory firm. Before that, he was Vice President for Executive Communications for the financial services firm Citadel, where he led communications and strategic planning for the CEO and other key leaders. Previously, he was Director of Corporate and Executive Communications at Bloomberg LP, serving in a similar role for the company’s CEO and top leadership. As an executive speechwriter and communications specialist for Facebook, David helped develop the company’s external narrative during the IPO period. In the public sector, David served as chief speechwriter for the U.S. Senate Majority Leader, and also director of speechwriting at the U.S. Department of Justice for the Attorney General.

Lech Mintowt-Czyz

Lech Mintowt-Czyz

After 20 years as a journalist, including nine years as a news editor on The Times (of London), Lech Mintowt-Czyz became speechwriter to the CEO of Shell. He is now an independent speechwriter and thought leadership consultant through his company Speech Success, with clients in sustainability, energy, engineering, real estate and biotech. Lech lives in London.

David Murray

David Murray

David Murray is founder and executive director of the Professional Speechwriters Association and the Executive Communication Council. He is an award-winning journalist and is editor and publisher of Vital Speeches of the Day, one of the world’s longest continuously published magazines. Murray is author of several books, including this year’s communication blockbuster, An Effort to Understand: Hearing One Another (and Ourselves) in a Nation Cracked in Half (Disruption Books, 2021). He lives with his wife Cristie Bosch and daughter Scout Murray, in Chicago.

Eleonora Russell

Eleonora Russell

Eleonora Russell is the Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Advisor to the Military Committee and International Military Staff at NATO. Which is a longwinded way of saying: she communicates about what is happening in the biggest and most successful political-military Alliance in the world. After working as the speechwriter for the President of the Dutch Senate, Eleonora spent the last 7 years writing for the military. First on the top national level, and now on the top NATO level. Eleonora won the Grand Award for the 2024 Cicero Speechwriting Awards.

Eric Schnure

Eric Schnure

A former White House speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore and Director of Executive Communications at GE, Eric Schnure now advises high-profile leaders across sectors, helping make their messages more memorable, their stories more compelling, and their delivery more effective. A sought-after humor writer in Washington, Schnure is also renowned for teaching. He is a long-time Adjunct Professorial Lecturer at American University and conducts popular workshops all over the world. He is the co-author, along with Bob Lehrman, of The Political Speechwriter’s Companion, 2nd Ed. (SAGE, August 2019). And he’s the dean of the Professional Speechwriters Association’s Speechwriting School.

Terry Szuplat

Terry Szuplat

Terry Szuplat is a speechwriter with more than 25 years of experience helping leaders in government, business, advocacy, philanthropy, and entertainment inspire audiences around the world. His new book Say It Well: Find Your Voice, Speak Your Mind, Inspire Any Audience (September 2024) shares the lessons he learned as a White House speechwriter and how anyone can use these lessons to become a better speaker. As one of President Obama’s longest-serving speechwriters, from 2009 until 2017, Terry helped craft nearly 500 speeches on global security, international economics, U.S. foreign and defense policy, entrepreneurship, development, and human right—in that time joining the president on visits to more than 40 countries, overseeing and editing a team of speechwriters and assisting with State of the Union addresses. Today, Terry runs his own speechwriting firm, Global Voices Communications, and he teaches political speechwriting at his alma mater, American University’s School of Public Affairs.

Renell Wynn

Renell Wynn

Renell Wynn has more than 15 years of substantial executive experience, driving the communications and marketing strategies of some of the most prestigious universities in the United States by helping research institutions advance the human condition through service, care, research, teaching, and learning. Currently, she is vice president for Communications at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. Her passion for learning and service as a marketing executive has been extended to the support of community organizations that are dedicated to helping young people thrive. As a board member of many Boys and Girls Clubs, Girls Scouts of America, and Parent Teacher Association, Renell believes these groups build young people’s character, confidence and positions them for successful lives.

SPONSORS

One Strategy Group is the next-generation corporate strategy firm that advises C-suite leaders and growth-focused companies on reputation, communications, and market positioning.

Gotham stands alone as the first and last word in ghostwriting—a one-stop solution for any author or speaker looking for help telling and selling a story. Whether they’re working on a big-think book, speech, article, memoir, corporate or family history, cookbook, or screenplay, our clients all have one thing in common—they’ve found the right partner for their project.

Speechwriters of Color is a community of expert and aspiring communicators across the world founded in 2020 to change the face of professional speechwriting by supporting, empowering, and building community among communicators of color. We write for leaders at every level of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, from local organizers to heads of state. Not all of us have the word speechwriter in our job title, but we all utilize the power of writing to make a difference. You might never have heard our names—but you’ve certainly heard our words.

LOCATION

Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business
Rafik B. Hariri Building
Georgetown University
37th and O St., N.W.
Washington, D.C.
(202) 687-0100

Please note: Parking on campus is limited, and we strongly recommend visitors travel to the conference by taxi or rideshare. In any case, DO NOT use the Georgetown University address, as it will navigate to the front gates across campus. Uber, Lyft, and Google Maps all recognize “McDonough School of Business Rafik B. Hariri Building” if you type that name directly into the apps. Here is a link to more detailed information, a campus map, and parking instructions should you need them. Public transportation and shuttle options are also available, but less convenient. Once in the building, we’ll be on the fourth floor, in Fisher Colloquium.

CONFERENCE ACCOMMODATIONS

The PSA has secured limited room blocks at the two hotels listed below. We cannot guarantee room availability after the cut-off date of September 20, 2024, or once these discounted room blocks are sold out.

The Georgetown Inn, a historic boutique hotel a short walk from our meeting space on campus. The rate is $319 USD per night. To register under the room block, please call (202) 333-8900 and reference the Professional Speechwriters Association.

Glover Park Hotel Georgetown, a contemporary and comfortable hotel option within a 5-minute Uber ride to the Georgetown campus. The rate is $209 USD per night. To register under the room block, please click here.

If you find the hotels listed above can no longer accommodate the nights you need, Georgetown University recommends several other options near campus. Have a look.

TRANSPORTATION

From Reagan National Airport, Georgetown’s campus is conveniently reached by taxi or rideshare, and economically reached by taking the Blue Line (towards Largo Town Center) to the Rosslyn Metro Station and taking the free Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle to campus.

PARKING

Local attendees parking on campus will need to pay to park in the Southwest Garage, which is accessed by entering campus via the Canal Road entrance off of M Street (use 3611 Canal Road as the address for directions using GPS). To get to the Hariri Building from the garage, exit the garage through the North exit and walk around the football field to the stone-faced building on the other side of the field. Here is a link to more detailed information, a campus map, and parking instructions should you need them.

FAQ

I can’t make it to the World Conference in person this year. Is there a virtual version?

Yes, you may register for a virtual version of the conference, and access all conference sessions live online. You’ll be able to participate in Q&A sessions with speakers. And there will be Zoom networking groups, to have the same discussions with fellow virtual participants that in-person participants are having in the room.

Can several people from my company log in to the virtual conference at the same time?

No. This event is restricted to only one login, so only one computer can be connected to the webcast at any time. You can have multiple people in a room viewing the virtual conference, but not multiple people watching from their individual computers.

Will the virtual sessions be recorded, so that I can view them later?

Yes indeed. Links to all session recordings are available the week after the conference, and viewable anytime until the end of the calendar year, 2024.

REGISTER

Cancellations Policy
No refunds on cancellations less than 30 days before the event. Within 30 days, your payment will be credited toward a future Professional Speechwriters Association event.

Both IN-PERSON REGISTRATION and VIRTUAL PARTICIPATION rates are shown below. Register by July 19 to get these special early bird rates.

Members of the Professional Speechwriters Association receive a 25% discount on all registration products (discount is automatically applied to the cart when current members are logged in.)

Phone registrations please call 312-585-6383.

$375.00$1,995.00

SKU: N/A Category: