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Ask speakers if you’ve captured their style, tone and phrasing.

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Ask speakers if you’ve captured their style, tone and phrasing

When an executive is confident enough in his or her public speaking to take the speechwriter’s work, imbue it with passion, and add in personal stories that illuminate the main messages—well, it’s just magic. That was the way that Richard D’Ambrosio felt when his speaker, then-Virgin Atlantic executive vice president David Tait, delivered a brilliant speech to an aviation conference about competitive challenges facing smaller air carriers.

“I wrote the formal part of the speech, because I knew the technical stuff, but it was professorial and dry,” says D’Ambrosio, now senior manager of communications for American Express. “After going through all of my material on the issues facing smaller carriers, he wound up the speech with an incredible riff on two then-popular British movies that were out at the time, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Sense and Sensibility.’ He left them laughing, and you could see from the way David walked off the dais that he really felt good about how he nailed it.”

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