Speechwriters in the Sunshine

Two dozen speechwriting superstars. More than 100 speechwriters from four continents. Two days. And one emcee in a hell of a hurry.

I'm working on my emcee remarks for the 2017 World Conference of the Professional Speechwriters Association, and my palms are sweating as I type, even though the conference isn't until next month and even though I've done this many times before.

It's just two days seem like they'll strain to contain this World Conference.

On October 17 and 18 at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, we're going to:

• Talk to Tony Schwartz, who wrote Art of the Deal, the book that made President Trump plausible.

• Hang with Sarah Hurwitz, who wrote speeches for First Lady Michelle Obama for nine transformative years.

• Have conversation and then cocktails with speechwriters to every U.S. president going back to Nixon.

• Receive the results of first statistically valid salary/freelance rate survey ever conducted of speechwriters.

• Hear executive communication best practices from star practitioners at PepsiCo, Verizon, Pfizer, USAA, UPS, Edelman and West Wing Writers.

• Meet Shel Holtz, the leading communication technology guru of the last 25 years, and (finally) apply his ideas to executive communication.

• Share the vision of British speechwriting guru Simon Lancaster, who sees a way for speechwriters to change the world.

• Form strategic connections with speechwriters from our own industry, share our best practices with one another, share career advice with aspiring speechwriters from the Georgetown Speechwriting Advisory Group, and share meals and drinks with the most serious speechwriters from the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Jordan, Norway, Denmark and New Zealand, just to name a few.

"Good morning, everyone. I'll keep my remarks short …" —DM

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