Before You Say Anything
The Untold Stories and Failproof Strategies of a Very Discreet Speechwriter
Author: Victoria Wellman
The convention-breaking creative process of New York's busiest speechwriter, offering a holistic approach to crafting every kind of speech.
The ability to express yourself in words has become both a rite of passage and an essential skill for anyone who wants to make a difference within their family, community, workplace, or beyond. And yet, strategies for engaging a new generation of media and tech-savvy audiences have failed to keep up with the times, leaving speakers wondering how to articulate a resonant message that bristles with detail, authenticity, and emotional truth. While we can’t all expect to captivate and inspire millions as Barack Obama and Greta Thunberg have, every speaker—regardless of their experience—can follow a road map to elevate a narrative from serviceable to unforgettable. This is true whether you’re roasting a colleague at an office party, delivering a keynote industry address, accepting an award, or eulogizing a loved one.
In Before You Say Anything, Victoria Wellman—the founder and president of Manhattan-based speechwriting company The Oratory Laboratory—shares her unique methodology for researching, reimagining, crafting, and delivering an outstanding speech by focusing on three core objectives: respect for the audience, the restless pursuit of originality, and intentionality behind every word. Full of hilarious anecdotes and examples from Wellman’s extensive experience as the go-to speechwriter for power players and everyday people from around the world, Before You Say Anything is an irresistible antidote to the age-old doctrine of what a speech must include. Instead, it will leave readers with an enlightened and refreshing way of thinking about their sources, ideas, and material, and give them a strategy for putting it all to use.
St. Martin's Press