The Professional Speechwriters Association’s

Strategic Speechwriting: The Method and the Art

A virtual seminar in four sessions

SEPT 14-17


Are your speeches getting things done? Are your video scripts connecting your leader to key constituencies, getting a point of view across personally and powerfully and achieving important objectives for the organization?

Oral communication consumes the precious bandwidth of the communicator who writes it, and the pricey time of the leader who delivers it (not to mention the audience who hears it).

Professional Speechwriters Association resident writing coach Mike Long believes speeches don’t have to be this hard to write, and they ought to be more fun to deliver—and more effective, in the end.

In an intensive, interactive and vastly entertaining series of four two-hour virtual sessions, Long—one of the most popular speechwriting teachers of all time—will teach strategic speechwriting, the method and the art.

OUR GUARANTEE: After four sessions with Mike Long, you’ll race back to the task, eager to apply these advanced techniques and artistic insights of strategic speechwriting to your next assignment, to show your unsuspecting leader a whole new realm of possibilities.


DAY 1Think Before You Write: A Speechwriter’s Guide to Planning and Prep

Tuesday, Sept. 14, Noon-2:00 p.m. Eastern 

You wouldn’t set sail without a navigation chart for getting to the island—and to create a professional speech that finds its mark, you need a chart, too.

  • Out of Disorder, Order: How to carve a path for writing through a jungle of conflicting demands, unwieldy topics, and too many cooks in the kitchen
  • What in The World Are You Talking About: Clarify the reason for the speech by figuring out the “big takeaway”
  • The Jenga Problem: Using structure to build a compelling speech
  • E Pluribus Unum, In Reverse: How to “get to yes” with the audience by transforming one big argument into several smaller ones
  • Herding Cats: How to keep gatekeepers and unhelpful “helpers” happy from the start, and stop them from derailing the speechwriting process

DAY 2—Essential Elements of a Vital Speech: Openings That Demand Attention and Closes That Call for Action

Wednesday, Sept. 15, Noon-2:00 p.m. Eastern

For a speech to connect with an audience and keep them engaged, the opening must make them want to hear more, and the closing must send them away inspired to take action. Professional speechwriters don’t guess at how to do that.

  • The four elements every speech opening must have—no exceptions
  • The Perfect Beginning: Use tension to make the audience need to pay attention
  • The Mechanics of Making Them Listen: The audience’s main worry, and how to relieve it to gain their trust
  • Find out the end-of-speech secret that will give your speaker an advantage over everyone else on the dais
  • Emotion Drives Action: How to write a closing that uses emotion to compel an audience to get up and do something

DAY 3—Persuasion: Proven Techniques to Open Minds and Change Them

Thursday, Sept. 16, Noon-2:00 p.m. Eastern

Every speech is a persuasive speech. Here’s how to use psychology, classical rhetoric, and the best ideas from marketing to get people to open their minds to your ideas.

  • “Nobody won an argument by starting with Hey, stupid!” 
  • Socrates Writes a Speech: How the basics of your long-forgotten college rhetoric class make writing easier in the 21st century
  • First Ask Little, Second Ask Big and other lessons from the marketing laboratory
  • Revealed: A failsafe speech model created before your great grandfather was born
  • Numbers: How to use them effectively (and avoid abusing them) even if you’re no good at math.

DAY 4—The Art of Speechwriting: How to Use Storytelling, Literary Devices and Beautiful Language to Make Your Speeches and Scripts Sing

Friday, Sept. 17, Noon-2:00 p.m. Eastern

Listening is hard, and it’s the speaker’s job, not the listener’s, to maintain interest. How to do it? The lessons extend from Star Wars to the scholarship of Carl Jung. We explore the practical and even biological forces smart writers leverage to keep their speakers at the center of attention.

  • Instinct, Not Choice: How to leverage the perpetual human desire for stories
  • The power of creating a hero “just like me”—and how to do it
  • How to find the stories that are already imparting lessons in your organization
  • From Casey at the Bat to Stayin’ Alive: Using rhythm and the sound of words to enhance the listeners’ experience
  • Forgotten Lessons From 8th Grade Composition: The practical utility of literary devices
  • WWTWD: What would Tom Wolfe do? Call on the five senses to create worlds that audiences have never seen (or heard, or touched, or tasted…)


Meet Mike Long

Meet Mike Long

Based in Washington, DC, Mike Long is a speechwriter and an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. He is a former director of the White House Writers Group and a lecturer at Georgetown University, where he served most recently as the director of writing for the graduate program in PR. He is also co-author of The Molecule of More, on how the brain chemical  dopamine explains why we do what we do. Mike is the resident writing coach at the Professional Speechwriters Association.

He’s also a thrilling in structor, as his seminar participants attest:

“He was wonderful–cogent, insightful, and hilarious. I learned a lot.”

“Mike’s no-nonsense approach to writing is fantastic. He cuts through the fluff that so many writers get hung up on and provides practical, useful techniques that make his students better writers.”

“…has changed the entire trajectory of how I write and communicate.”

“Your teaching style really made class fun and entertaining.”

“Your advice is some of the best I’ve heard.”

“Before I took your class I had never written a speech, but now it is something that I am interested in doing professionally.”

“Mike has had a deep and lasting, positive, professional impact on my writing. I now think much more critically and analytically when it comes to my writing. Mike is influential.”

“Thank you for sharing your wicked sense of humor and your love of a great script!”

“He allowed me to ask questions, find humor in mistakes, and he armed me well professionally.”

“The opportunity to take his course is like striking gold.”

“The confidence I gained has been drawn on time and time again.”

“Seriously, a genius. Friggin’ amazing.”


Strategic Speechwriting: The Method and the Art is conducted via webinar platform.

Before each session, we’ll email simple directions to join the webinar. And after each session, we’ll email a link to the webinar recording.

Please email Benjamine Knight, PSA operations director, with any questions.
Or call 312-585-6383.


Cancellations Policy

No refunds on cancellations less than 30 days before the start of event. Within 30 days, your payment will be credited toward a future Vital Speeches or Professional Speechwriters Association event. 

$995 to attend Strategic Speechwriting: The Method and the Art, A Virtual Seminar in Four Sessions on Sept. 14 - 17, 2021.

$746.25 for members of the Professional Speechwriters Association (discount will show in checkout when logged in).

Phone registrations please call 312-585-6383