I prepared myself physically and spiritually to direct the 2016 World Conference of the Professional Speechwriters Association last week with a run along the Potomac, from Georgetown to the Jefferson Memorial, on what simply must have been the most beautiful Washington morning of the year.
After the PSA's Speechwriting School, a presidential debate party at an undisclosed location. (In other words, at the home of a prominent Washington speechwriter.)
Day One of the PSA World Conference at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. Just as last year, the house was brought down unexpectedly in a bust-out breakout session. In this case, freelance speechwriter and professional cabaret singer Karen Gross showed speechwriters how to make speeches sing.
Terry Edmonds was the first African-American White House speechwriter, rising to Director of White House Speechwriting late in the Clinton administration. As he gently noted in a conversation with Society for Human Resource Management's director of organizational communication Larae Booker and me, twenty years later he believes he is still the only black White House speechwriter. As a profession, speechwriters are even less diverse than their powerful clients, and we're going to work on that.
It was sad to leave, for me and PSA COO Benjamine Knight …
… and all the speechwriters, including one of the best-known in attendance, who was heard to tell an participant that when she goes home, she's just another person. "But when I'm here, I'm a star!"
No wonder we're already looking forward to next year.