Toyota speechwriters created a system to filter speech requests that increased the strategic value of everything they wrote—in one work day.
Several years ago, I attended a Speechwriters Conference session where Steve Soltis described the incredibly thorough executive communications program at UPS.
I took notes like crazy, vowing to implement some of the ideas when I got back to the office. Well, you know how it is. Good intentions were soon buried under an avalanche of assignments.
Do this during the “summer lull”
But I didn’t give up. During a summer semi-lull, I worked with my colleague Charley Roberts to develop a rather simple, but fairly effective speech request screening process.
Once we were happy with it, we put together a one-page strategy sheet to sell the concept to our executives. It started out like this:
We recommended saying yes only to those speaking engagements that made strategic sense for us as well as the audience. And, we went a step further by promising executives that if they would let us screen requests we would act as the “bad cop” on those that had to be turned down.