The Professional Speechwriters Association’s

Strategic Speechwriting: The Method and the Art

A virtual seminar in four sessions

JAN 30 - FEB 2


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 that 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, Jan. 30, Noon-2:00 p.m. Eastern 

You wouldn’t set sail without a navigation chart for getting to the island. 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, Jan. 31, 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, Feb. 1, Noon-2:00 p.m. Eastern

Every speech is a persuasive speech. To open minds to your ideas, use these ideas from psychology, classical rhetoric, marketing and literature.

  • “Nobody won an argument by starting with Hey, stupid!” 
  • First Ask Little, Second Ask Big and other lessons from the marketing laboratory
  • Numbers: How to use them effectively even if you’re no good at math
  • How to create a story that leverages a basic human instinct, and the questions you should ask to get those stories from your principal
  • From Casey at the Bat to Stayin’ Alive: Using rhythm and the sound of words to enhance the listeners’ experience

DAY 4—Office Hours, with Mike Long and PSA Executive Director David Murray

Friday, Feb. 2, Noon-2:00 p.m. Eastern

Bring questions you didn’t get to ask during the sessions. Bring a draft speech excerpt to workshop. Bring ideas and observations from your own writing career. Bring a cup of coffee (or even a beer)! Let’s enjoy some freewheeling, candid (and inevitably funny) shoptalk, with two of the most experienced and entertaining teachers in the speechwriting business.


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 instructor, 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 the Zoom 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 Jan 30 - Feb 2, 2024.

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

Phone registrations please call 312-585-6383