I've been program chairman for the Cicero Speechwriting Awards for seven years. Some years the speeches we get are better than others. This year, the crop was the best I've ever seen.
Fewer speeches that didn't measure up, more categories that were agonizing to judge. The median response from the judges, as they returned their results: "This was terribly difficult, David."
The happy product of this hard work is the 2016 edition of "These Vital Speeches," a free downloadable book the reading of which, from the Grand Award winner through all the category winners, amounts to a tuition-free master class in professional speechwriting.
Congratulations to the Cicero winners—and thank you, for providing your speechwriting colleagues with such worthy work to learn from and to aspire to. —DM