"Has anyone attended this conference before?" he asked on LinkedIn group promotion for the 2018 PSA World Conference. "Would love to hear some perspectives."
When you pump all your heart's blood into a thing—when you make that thing the very best you know how to make it—it's almost painful to have someone—even innocently and intelligently—ask for "some perspectives" on that thing. When others demurred, I figured I ought to at least offer my own.
I've attended every PSA World Conference—as its founder and emcee. My noisome presence aside, this is the best conference on the planet for people who are serious about speechwriting. Other events introduce you to star speechwriters and teach some new techniques and case studies. But they're largely attended by corporate communication generalists dipping their toes into leadership comms.
Only the PSA World Conference puts you exclusively with other people who have largely devoted their careers to this discipline, and only the PSA World Conference gives you a chance to make and renew ongoing relationships with those folks … provides a forum for speechwriters and exec comms pros to talk directly about developments in the discipline itself … and provides an opportunity for experienced pros to teach one another what they have learned the hard way.
I've put together many of the former type of speechwriting conferences in the past, and when we formed the PSA five years ago, I honestly did not know how much of a difference it would make to convene a conference of committed speechwriters. The first day of the first conference, I knew.
Here's a video from a conference a few years back. Conference videos are all pretty formulaic, but I think this one does give you a sense of the warmth of this event, which has also attracted coverage by the BBC and the Washington Post, and had sessions aired on C-SPAN.
The PSA World Conference is the speechwriting conference to attend—this year, next year, and the year after that.
I'm glad the PSA's World Conference isn't the only speechwriting conference in the world—or even the only fine speechwriting conference in the world.
I want speechwriters to have more than one place to go for professional development and fellowship.
I'm satisfied that, for serious speechwriters, the PSA World Conference is the place they come back to.
Because after five years, they know: The PSA World Conference is their home. —DM