Every Speech is an Opportunity for Greatness. Seize It.

Giving a speech is one of the most effective – and possibly most underappreciated – communications and leadership tools today. That assumes it’s not just a good speech, but a great one, and as an established or emerging leader, that’s where you should always aspire.


The President of a top medical association was called upon to give the yearly plenary address at the association’s annual meeting. More than ten thousand people were expected to attend in-person and online. The President chose a tough subject. She wanted to persuade audience members to change their medical practices in some very fundamental ways. Not only was this an unpopular topic with many physicians, the President also had a high bar to reach: the previous Presidents’ addresses were usually exciting and inspiring.


3D took a highly collaborative, inquisitive and analytical approach to this challenge. As former journalists, we interviewed the speaker to uncover, not only the messages she wanted to deliver, but the facts and stories that would strike an emotional chord with her audience to persuade and inspire them.

We continually iterated the speech content with the President to ensure it was written in her voice, challenged her to take risks with the content, role-played the talk with her on-camera, provided practical advice to improve her speaking style, and coached her to be comfortable and confident in what she said and how she said it.

Result and Impact

The speech the President feared would be “boring” turned out to be fascinating, inspiring, motivating and indeed, “great.” She received many kudos from peers and audience members, including the following:

“I want to congratulate you on giving the best President’s speech that I have heard in 35 years. It was a tour de force with an amazing delivery.” By elevating the topic to the level of a Presidential plenary, and knocking it out of the park, the President cemented her leadership in an arena of medicine that is slowly changing and assured her legacy will be felt for years to come.

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