9 Annual-Meeting Speeches

The college bookstore business model was profoundly disrupted by the advent of online textbooks. Nebraska Book Company (NBC) president and CEO, Steve Clemente, and the home office staff had a challenging task before them at one of the company’s annual meetings: set the groundwork for a pivot from a product company to a technology-backed managed services company, balancing confidence and hope among company leaders with a dose of reality – including a stern appeal to face the reality of the marketplace and do what was asked by leadership. Further, these annual meetings had always been designed to teach managers how to carry out the ideas they learned, so the speeches would be mini-classes in the principles company leaders identified as critical to the future of the company.

The speeches included an opening and closing by Clemente, a two-hour inspiring conversational overview with two top leaders, and seven speeches on company values by leaders of different departments.

Achieving Authenticity and Matching Personal Style

Through phone calls, teleconferences, in-person meetings and emails, I gathered information for the speeches and recorded exact words the speakers used to communicate about their areas of responsibility. I researched the college textbook industry to acquire a deeper understanding of the issues – this would add a feeling of authenticity to the ghost writing I’d do for the team.

When I could, I listened to existing recordings of the people I’d be writing speeches for to learn their personal speaking styles. Periodically, I checked in with my official speechwriting contact, Cassie Grenemeier, to test and calibrate my progress.

We started with speech outlines to make sure I was on the right track before putting too much time into any of the speeches. This helped coordinate the messages for greater impact, and also helped us plan out who would speak about what so speakers wouldn’t duplicate messages unnecessarily.

The final pieces were carefully designed to fit the personality and objective of each speaker, while reinforcing the corporate message and presenting a united front to instill confidence and inspire managers to get determined and pitch in to help the company overcome the challenges of the industry.

Links to samples:

0681 Leadership Steve Meeting 1kfo 042114
0664 Reinvention Engine Presentation 1kfo 041714
0665 Values 2 2014 1kfo 041514

Other Speechwriting Reviews

Concise, Effective, Bright, Witty

“Kindra worked to get my message across in a most concise and effective way. She was resourceful, doing as much research as needed, yet never getting caught up in endless lists of details. She is bright and witty, and these traits came out in her writing. I would not hesitate to recommend her.”

–E. Benjamin Nelson, Governor of Nebraska

Crystal Clear, Integrity, Confidentiality

“[Kindra] drafted many projects for me personally as CEO, including challenging executive letters and speeches. She handled these projects with skill, adding a flair of language that accomplished each objective with a crystal-clear message. She is versatile in her ability, able to change focus to address a number of different industries and objectives at once. In addition, Kindra handles every project with the utmost integrity and confidentiality—especially important for executive projects.”

–Steve Nabity, CEO, TEK Industries