The ability to express yourself in words has become both a rite of passage and an essential skill for anyone who wants to make a difference within their family, community, workplace, or beyond. And yet, strategies for engaging a new generation of media and tech-savvy audiences have failed to keep up with the times, leaving speakers wondering how to articulate a resonant message that bristles with detail, authenticity, and emotional truth. While we cant all expect to captivate and inspire millions as Barack Obama and Greta Thunberg have, every speakerregardless of their experiencecan follow a road map to elevate a narrative from serviceable to unforgettable. This is true whether youre roasting a colleague at an office party, delivering a keynote industry address, accepting an award, or eulogizing a loved one.

In Before You Say Anything, Victoria Wellmanthe founder and president of Manhattan-based speechwriting company The Oratory Laboratoryshares her unique methodology for researching, reimagining, crafting, and delivering an outstanding speech by focusing on three core objectives: respect for the audience, the restless pursuit of originality, and intentionality behind every word. Full of hilarious anecdotes and examples from Wellmans extensive experience as the go-to speechwriter for power players and everyday people from around the world, Before You Say Anything is an irresistible antidote to the age-old doctrine of what a speech must include. Instead, it will leave readers with an enlightened and refreshing way of thinking about their sources, ideas, and material, and give them a strategy for putting it all to use.


VICTORIA WELLMAN is the co-founder and president of The Oratory Laboratory, a boutique creative agency for public speakers based in Manhattan and servicing the world. She has crafted speeches for influencers, politicians, entrepreneurs, Olympians, NFL stars, astronauts, rap stars, artists, and activists, and has garnered media attention that includes appearances on the Today show, Martha Stewart, CNN, NPR, NBC, ABC, and CBS News. A professionally trained actress, Wellman lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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