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Full show notes at www.LearningLeader.com

Twitter/IG: @RyanHawk12    https://twitter.com/RyanHawk12

Cody Keenan has written with President Barack Obama since 2007, working his way up to chief speechwriter. He’s been named the “Springsteen” of the Obama White House, even though he can’t play an instrument, and Obama calls him “Hemingway.” His first book, Grace, became an instant New York Times Bestseller.


  • The use of productive paranoia. Cody said, “I was so afraid to fail that I would do anything to succeed.” – We can use fear as fuel…
  • Storytelling – As a speaker, it is our job to help the people in the audience see themselves in the place of the hero in the story. When you’re preparing for your next team meeting or town hall address, think about that and how you tell the stories that you do.
  • Singing at the Eulogy in Charleston – If you want an A+ performance, you have to choose to go for it. You can get a B by playing it safe, but you won’t perform with excellence unless you have the courage to go for it.
  • In less than 10 years, Cody went from mailroom intern in Congress to chief speechwriter in the White House.
  • My goal is to “write a speech that sings.”
  •  ‘In less than 10 years, I went from mailroom intern in Congress to chief speechwriter in the White House,’
  • President Obama said he relied “on Cody not just to share my vision, but to help tell America’s story.” “He’s a brilliant writer. He’s relentless.”
  • The first speech Cody wrote was for Senator Ted Kennedy. Right after President Obama’s 2004 Democratic convention speech that put him on the map. You write: “To see someone else speak words I’d written sent electricity right up my spine and out my hair.”

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