How to write a speech with Obama's Speechwriter, Cody Keenan

31st Aug 2020
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The Communications Clinic launches its new podcast today, How to…with The Communications Clinic, featuring Barack Obama’s acclaimed speechwriter Cody Keenan, days after Obama’s ground-shifting speech at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Christened “Hemingway” by his boss, Keenan was Obama’s director of speechwriting and still in his 20’s when he joined the White House team in 2009.

Keenan said:

“Every speech is an opportunity, every audience is an opportunity – nothing makes me sadder than when I see somebody blow that opportunity. By not asking their audience for anything. If you can inspire them right before the end and ask something of them, then the speech has gone pretty well. Grab them from the start and never let go.”

On the question of President Donald Trump’s effectiveness as a communicator, Keenan said:

“He can stand up and spew resentment for two hours and grievance but none of those are going to live anywhere, none of them will be studied or carved into a wall or inspire people to action either. It’s just an incredible and damaging four years of missed opportunities for America.”

Hosted by communications consultant Louise Duffy, formerly of Today FM, How To…with The Communications Clinic, will explore different aspects of effective communication with industry leaders.

Combined with practical advice and guidance from The Communications Clinic’s experts, _How To…with The Communications Clinic_will be the go-to for anyone seeking to hone their communications skills from punchy writing to memorable presentations.