In the marketing copy I write to describe Professional Speechwriters Association events, I hyperbolize as much as the next guy. That's because I learned how to write marketing copy from the next guy, and developed a belief that customers actually appreciate "a hint of the hustle."
The only problem comes when you put together an overwhelmingly superior event—as we have, with the 2017 World Conference of the Professional Speechwriters Association.
What do you say then?
It is with neither a smile nor a shoeshine that I tell you that this is the greatest lineup of speakers that has every been assembled for one speechwriting event—or when I add that it's not even close.
Art of the Deal author Tony Schwartz will tell speechwriters why he worked with Donald Trump, and explain how the experience has informed his work with leaders ever since.
Michelle Obama's speechwriter Sarah Hurwitz will share what she learned during her nine-year relationship with the First Lady, about connecting with a client to make authentic communication.
Britain's best-known speechwriter Simon Lancaster will give an insider's version of his popular TEDx Talk, which describes an altruistic role for professional speechwriters in creating a more rhetoric-literate, and thus more democratic, society.
After 25 years as the leading technology authority in every other area of corporate communications, Shel Holtz will finally introduce his high-tech insights to practitioners of the oldest communication specialty in the world. (That should be interesting.)
Speechwriters to Presidents Obama, Bush 43, Clinton, Bush 41, Reagan, Carter and Nixon will discuss this unprecedented moment in White House rhetoric, and help working leadership communicators contend with the consequences.
Superstar speechwriters like West Wing Writers' Clare Doody, PepsiCo's Rod Thorn, Pfizer's John Santoro and Verizon's Lauren Tilstra will share practical insights.
Speechwriters from as far as New Zealand will tell us what's happening around the world in speechwriting.
We'll share the results of a landmark survey on the economics of speechwriting.
And every participant will have a chance to share what something he or she has learned in the course of a hard career, that all their colleagues ought to know.
Normally, this would be the moment when the music swells and I wind up with a line like, "There has never been a moment like this. There has never been a speechwriting conference like this."
(Actually, I say that on the conference website—where you should register for the 2017 World Conference, before June 2, to get the $200 early-bird discount to the event you know you must attend, even if you never attend any event of any kind for the rest of your life.)