When you write speeches for university leaders, you’d better sound brainy. Danny Woodward, special assistant for executive communications at Virginia Commonwealth University, has a goal for every address: Make sure his speaker looks like the smartest person in the room, no matter whom he’s sharing the stage with. A speech-writing team of one, he writes everything from commencement speeches to congressional testimony. Woodward’s words have been spoken before audiences in India, China, Colombia, Qatar, Italy, and at least a dozen U.S. states. His speakers share the stage with politicians, chief executives, actors, athletes, scientists, writers, and military commanders.