If you've ever attended the World Conference of the Professional Speechwriters Association, I don't have to tell you any of this. But if you haven't, here's why you should:
All year long I plan the speaking lineup for this conference. For instance, my idea file for the 2019 conference—which will take place a year and a half from now—already has 3,000 words about potential speakers who have approached me or occurred to me to approach. I agonize over the agenda because the agenda is the part I can control—and it's the way I convince people they should come to the conference.
But the agenda isn't what actually makes the typical PSA World Conference such a unique experience—as one participant pointed out in a LinkedIn conversation last week. "I plan to attend as a repeat customer," wrote Chris Moran, a special assistant for communications at the University of Florida. "Not only is the caliber of the speakers high, but so is that of the attendees."
Actually, we call them participants. Because our people do participate, and not just in Q&As after the lectures. We have organized roundtable conversations throughout the conference and we have a formal crowdsourcing session where speechwriters share their hard-earned ideas with one another. We know that everybody who has practiced this strange, demanding, improvisational craft for any length of time has something to teach every speechwriter.
And this big, sunny room roars with war stories, friendly suggestions, knowing laughter—because they've dedicated themselves to leadership communication. They have a lot in common and a lot to share.
(They're dedicated to serving the world's top political, nonprofit and corporate leaders, but not limited. At the very least, last year's World Conference crowd contained among a dozen published book authors, an award-wining playwright, an accomplished art photographer, a church soloist and a cabaret singer, two middle-aged ice-hockey players, and two champion ping-pong players.)
Speechwriters, perhaps because their work is tenuous and worrisome and lonely and only occasionally triumphant—are just about the most welcoming group of people you ever met in your whole life, especially to other speechwriters.
The early bird deadline is June 15. Register now to get the best price and come to to share everything that's on your mind and up your sleeve, with the only other people in the world who understand.