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La Central bookstore in Madrid

Next to Don Quixote

I was delighted to learn the new Spanish edition of How To Write & Give A Speech is prominently displayed in one of Spain’s coolest bookstores. Alba Editorial of Barcelona published Cómo escribir y pronunciar un discurso (translated by Elena Bernardo) a few weeks ago.

La Central is definitely high up on my list of “places to visit” on a trip to Madrid. Everything I’ve read about this bookstore sounds wonderful.

Having put myself through college by working at a fine bookstore in Lancaster PA, I like to visit bookstores on all my travels – especially when those bookstores have lovely coffee/tea cafes!

Webinar: Salary & Trends Report for government communicators

NAGC Webinar: March 24, 2015 3-4 pm EST Salary and Trends Report: Government Communicators presented by Gene Rose

The first national analysis of salaries and trends of government communicators in seven years was released just a few months ago. The report, commissioned by NAGC, reveals telling information about salaries, trends, work habits and social media engagement for communicators at the federal, state and local levels.

Former NAGC President Gene Rose, now president of At Last Communications, conducted the survey. He’ll share his insights on the industry and share survey results, including: * The biggest work benefit desired by government communicators * Why technology is the largest concern for federal communicators * The shift in degrees being sought by government communicators * What job positions are attracting the best salaries * Shifts in social media engagement * What government communicators like most and least about their jobs

Registration is free for NAGC Members Log in to the members section of the NAGC website to view instructions for registering,   $49 for non-members. Registration includes a .pdf of the report, a $25 value. Register by March 23, 2015. Once registration is received, you will be sent instructions for joining the webinar on March 24, 2015. Not a Member? For more information please go to

What about New York City and books?

What do authors talk about among themselves? Well, bookstores, for one thing.

Take New York City, long regarded as Publishing Central. In NYC, it’s possible to read a book … to write a book … to publish a book … and to promote a book. But over the past couple of years, it’s become increasingly difficult to buy a book at a bricks-and-mortar bookstore. Many of NYC bookstores have closed - this, in the nation’s publishing capital.

When How To Write & Give A Speech was first published by St. Martin’s Press in 1984, it was widely available in every bookstore, and back in 1984 the NYC area had lots of terrific bookstores. (On recent visits to cities across Germany and Austria, I was delightfully surprised to see the number of thriving bookstores. It felt much like the vibrant book world of NYC in the 80s.)

A few weeks ago, when How To Write & Give A Speech was published in Spanish by Alba Editorial (with translation by Elena Bernardo), my big questions were: 1) Is there a solid bookstore market in Spain? 2) How soon will Cómo escribir y pronunciar un discurso be available in Spain’s bookstores? I was pleased to learn the answers: yes, and “books are already in stores.” Thank you, Alba Editorial!

Alba headquarters

Checklist for public speaking success

The next time you give a presentation, take some time afterward to evaluate your success.

Here’s a 7-point checklist to get you started:

1. Was my voice clear, pleasing and loud enough for everyone to hear?

2. Did I make eye contact with listeners throughout the room? (Don’t ignore the sides or the back of the room.)

3. Did I pause at appropriate times?

4. Did I engage the audience?

5. Were my notes effective? (Hint: If you forgot to make an important point, your notes were not good enough!)

6. Was my ending strong – and it did connect with my beginning in some way?

7. Did the audience look interested? Litmus test: Did they invite me to return to speak again?

How To Write & Give A Speech (St. Martin’s Press, 2014) … “A how-to classic” (The Washington Post)

Cómo escribir y pronunciar un discurso (Alba Editorial, Barcelona, 2015)

Environmental journalism: Do you write speeches about the environment? Consider your freelance writing options – and the awards they might bring

Society of Environmental Journalists


DEADLINE TO ENTER: APRIL 1, 2015 $500 prize offered for first place in seven categories. Details here:

HOW TO ENTER (access entry forms on this page)


2015 RULES

Enter your best environmental stories from March 1, 2014 – Feb. 28, 2015.

Spread the word – and Good Luck!

From Spain’s oldest newspaper in circulation

I was delighted to learn that Faro de Vigo has published an article about the new Spanish edition of How To Write & Give A Speech (Cómo escribir y pronunciar un discurso, published by Alba Editorial of Barcelona, translated by Elena Bernardo of Madrid).

Faro de Vigo is the leading newspaper in Southern Galicia and ranks among Spain’s most important newspapers. The paper prints six editions each day with a staff of about 150.

It’s useful for Spanish-speaking executives to [finally, after 30 years] have access to Cómo escribir y pronunciar un discurso.  While I give copies of How To Write & Give A Speech (St. Martin’s Press, 2014) to all my clients, when English is their second language, it takes them more time and more work to read the book. I relate: While I can read German fairly well,  working through a full book in German is a daunting task for me. I respect the hard work my my Spanish-speaking clients put into their global presentations – and I’m thrilled Cómo escribir y pronunciar un discurso is now available to help any Spanish speakers improve their presentation skills.

I received such a nice note from Raquel Arreola Ruiz, who I’ve coached via Skype from her office in Mexico:

“I am Mexican and English is not my native language. I thought that I would never make it through my speeches as President of Soroptimist International of the Americas.


I am so grateful because of your support. Getting on the podium with 1,200 women as my audience was a challenge. And with all your recommendations, IT WORKED!”


Writing speeches about Latin America? Consider Portico Bookstore as a resource

Portico Bookstore

If  you write speeches about Latin America or the Caribbean, check the catalog for Fondo de Cultura Economica (PCE), which publishes a diverse range of scholars and respected authors.

PCE has a back catalog of 10,000 titles – including history, economics, sociology, the arts, and popular science. If  your client wants to speak authoritatively about Latin America, here’s a wise resource you can count on.

PCE has 32 bookstores in Mexico, Latin America, Madrid – and one in Washington DC, the Portico Bookstore at 1350 New York Avenue NW.

Polish, Japanese, Dutch … and now Spanish

stack of books

Last week, Alba Editorial of Barcelona published How To Write & Give A Speech in Spanish (with translation by Elena Bernardo of Madrid). I’m told the book is now in bookstores throughout Spain and I should be receiving my “author’s copy” soon. The moment it arrives, I’ll add it to my collection of the various editions of my books.

The need for public speaking skills crosses borders. It’s an honor to have the very distinguished publisher Alba Editorial bring my public speaking advice to the world of Spanish speakers. Thank you!

Cómo escribir y pronunciar un discurso, de Joan Detz

Una guía esencial para hablar con éxito en público, un clásico que celebra 30 años de publicación ininterrumpida en los Estados Unidos con una edición ampliada, por fin en español.

Available Amazon Spain

“In a nutshell”? Uh, maybe not. Make it easy for the interpreters.

A few days ago, I watched a client handle a demanding question-and-answer session. My client is a native English speaker from the USA. The audience was international – with interpreters doing simultaneous interpretations in Spanish, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese.

After my client had almost finished answering a complex question, she started to wrap up by saying, “In a nutshell…” Fortunately, she caught herself and did not use the idiom. Instead, she wrapped up her point with a clear, simple English phrase: “To summarize … ”

I give my international speakers a basic guideline: Make it easier for the interpreters, and you’ll also make it better for the audience. Avoid potentially confusing idioms. Use clear, direct English. You’ll be glad you did.

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