Speaker’s Night Report: How to Edit a Speech

By Jennifer Czerneda

Wendy Cherwinski’s presentation on “How to Edit a Speech” on October 17th at the NCR Branch Speaker Night was excellently delivered and full of great advice for editing speeches.

The presentation covered five topics:

1. AUDIENCE: key tips on how to keep an audience engaged

2. STRUCTURE: how to develop a flow that will keep the speaker and audience on track

3. LANGUAGE: some “do’s and don’ts” for speech editing

4. SET-UP: key ways a speech writer or editor can set a speaker up for success

5. TOOLS: if you’re looking for additional information, Wendy has an e-newsletter (“Pen and Podium”) and a video tutorial (“Write the Way People Talk”). Please visit www.echeloncomm.ca/ for details.

During her final comments, Wendy reminded us that there is no such thing as a speech that isn’t long enough. And while I know that is sound advice, I couldn’t help wishing that she would keep going!

October 17 Speaker’s Night – How to Edit a Speech

Go From Ho Hum to Humdinger: How to Edit a Speech

In a media saturated world nothing is deadlier than a dull speech; but, what can an editor do to rescue a poorly written script or add polish to a semi-final draft? Turns out the answer is plenty. Long-time speechwriter and workshop leader Wendy Cherwinski will share tips and techniques you can use to fine tune speeches and presentation scripts. In particular, she’ll cover how to write ‘out loud’, address structural deficiencies, and edit and lay out text so the speaker can read it at a glance and the audience can keep pace with delivery.

Wendy Cherwinski helps people excel through the spoken word. Her company, Echelon Communications Inc., offers speechwriting and presentation design services as well as workshops, seminars, webinars, video tutorials and coaching. She also publishes a monthly e-newsletter and blog, both called Pen & Podium. For more details go to www.echeloncomm.ca

This speaker’s night will be held at the Capital Hill Hotel & Suites, 88 Albert St., at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free for EAC members and $10 for non-members.

The Bulletin blog is looking for a roving reporter to take notes on this session and write up a post about it! If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact ncrbulletin@editors.ca.

NCR October Seminars

Graham Young is teaching the popular Electronic Editing seminar on October 17. This seminar teaches you how to take advantage of all the editing horsepower Microsoft Word offers.


Frances Peck returns to Ottawa to offer a new seminar for local editors and writers. Grammar Fundamentals will cover all the grammatical terms and structures you need to know on October 25.


Are you considering becoming an editing entrepreneur, even on a part-time basis to augment your income? Then the two seminars on October 27 will provide you with key information on how to jump-start your freelance career and how to write a contract estimate so you can earn a living.

Christine LeBlanc outlines the basic steps to achieving your dream job with Starting a Freelance Career from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Jennifer Latham’s Estimating seminar for in-house and freelance editors focuses on costing a job, developing a realistic workplan, and preparing a fair and accurate estimate from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.


Register soon for these seminars. You can pay by credit card through the secure online registration process, or download the registration form and pay by cheque through the mail. Links are in each seminar description.

Seminar registration closes one week before the seminar.

There are 19 seminars in the 2012-13 series; check this link for details.

If you need more information, contact the branch at ncr@editors.ca or rcn@reviseurs.ca.

The Bulletin blog

Welcome to the brand new Bulletin! After listening to feedback from our members at last year’s brainstorming session about wanting a better way to receive EAC-NCR news, we’ve turned our newsletter into a blog! This will let us post news as it happens and interact more with our members. It will also let members easily check out the upcoming seminars and speakers’ nights.

To receive updates by email when new posts are published, please follow this blog.

If you have any content you’d like to suggest for the blog, please let us know! We’d be interested in almost anything related to editing or writing – news articles, jokes, helpful tips. If you want to write a blog entry for us, we’ll make sure to put your name in the by-line. This is a great way to increase your Internet presence!

One of the features we’re considering is having profiles of local editors. If there’s someone you’d like to nominate to be featured in a profile, please let us know!