Vinca LaFleur

As foreign policy speechwriter and special assistant to President Bill Clinton, Vinca LaFleur accompanied the President to Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, writing for audiences from heads of state to business leaders to young people at home and abroad.  Today, she is a partner at West Wing Writers, a Washington DC-based speechwriting and communications strategy firm that serves CEOs, political officials, philanthropists, civic leaders, entertainers, and athletes.

Vinca's work has been delivered from some of the world's best-known stages and appeared in publications from the Washington Post to the Financial Times.  An engaging and insightful public speaker, Vinca combines real-life stories from the speechwriting trenches with practical strategies, tips, and techniques to polish any speaker's prose.

SPEAKER TOPICS
ABOUT Vinca LaFleur   (+/-)

Trusted Wordsmith for World Leaders

When President Bill Clinton visited Northern Ireland in November 1995, Vinca LaFleur helped him find the words to inspire new hope for peace. He was so successful in that endeavor that the Guardian newspaper advised the British prime minister to "hire that man's speechwriter."  Working at the White House combined two of Vinca's passions: writing and international relations.  While there, she served as a foreign policy speechwriter and special assistant for national security affairs as well as wrote speeches for Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

Effective Communicator and Educator

Since leaving the White House, Vinca has written and edited speeches, articles, books, and reports for corporate executives, former senior government officials, royalty, prominent think tanks, and public figures. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, she also has published under her own name on issues from poverty to communications, and served as a visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  Additionally, Vinca is a sought-after educator on the art and craft of speechwriting, and has conducted workshops for business, government, and university audiences in the United States and abroad.

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SPEAKER TOPIC DESCRIPTIONS    (+/-)

Speechwriting Secrets from the White House

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to write speeches for the President of the United States?  Or wished you knew how to lift your own speeches from ordinary to extraordinary?  In this engaging and informative presentation, Vinca LaFleur - former White House speechwriter and special assistant to President Bill Clinton - shares stories, strategies, tips and techniques for making your speeches soar.  (Plus, she'll answer the question on everyone's mind: "Is working at the White House really like the TV show West Wing?")

Down from the Pedestal, Up to the Podium:  Women Take the Stage

In 1936, the president of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs urged more women to develop their public speaking skills, arguing that "both without and within an organization, the speakers are the women who get results."

More than 70 years later, women in every sphere are taking to the podium, from Hillary Clinton to Sarah Palin, Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi to University of Pennsylvania president Judith Rodin, Oprah Winfrey to Katie Couric, and many more.  Yet, as management consultant Lois Phillips has written, "The voice of authority has historically been and remains a male voice...Men start with credibility as leaders; women have to earn it."

Drawing on research and real-life examples, former White House speechwriter Vinca LaFleur explores the special challenges and opportunities women face as public speakers.  She'll tell you how women can make the most of their voices to inspire, inform, and lead.

Speechwriting with Style (Half-Day Workshop)

Every day, someone invents a tool to help us communicate faster.  Has anyone invented a tool to help us communicate better?  For all the recent advances in technology, nothing rivals the power of a speech: To transform an idea into action. Chart a new and clear course. Energize employees. Excite shareholders. Contain a crisis. Define a debate. Win a campaign.  But if a speech is going to accomplish any of those goals, it's got to be well conceived and well crafted.  In this half-day workshop, you'll learn the secrets of speechwriting with style, including:

  • Asking the right questions about the occasion and the audience;
  • Focusing the message;
  • Finding inspiration;
  • Conducting efficient research;
  • Capturing the speaker's voice;
  • Creating memorable beginnings and meaningful conclusions;
  • Crafting persuasive arguments;
  • Incorporating storytelling and humor;
  • Harnessing the power of rhetorical devices;
  • Polishing the draft;
  • Formatting the text for successful delivery; and
  • Extending the "afterlife" of the speech.
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