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The Speeches You’ve Never Heard That Would’ve Changed The World

How many times have people planned a certain outcome that never took place? They thought something was going to come to pass, and then it didn't. Or, what about leaders who had two different speeches written and gave one, not the other. Jeffrey Nussbaum, author and former presidential speechwriter, does an analysis of this history in his new book, Undelivered. He joins Dr. Phil to discuss never heard speeches from history. Plus, hear what he says are five elements that are found in every persuasive speech, how to get people’s attention up front, and more. New episodes drop Tuesdays. Listen and subscribe now!


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  • "I think there is huge power in language." Dr. Phil

  • "I try to help the folks I work with be their best selves. To be the most persuasive, as opposed to be some external ideal of what a good speech is." Jeff Nussbaum

  • "Five elements that are found in every persuasive speech, this is my writer's block cure: attention, problem, solution, visualization, call to action attention." Jeff Nussbaum

  • “I remind speakers when I talk to them that it's the hundredth time you say the exact same thing that people finally listen.” Jeff Nussbaum

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More About Jeffrey Nussbaum Source:

  • Was a partner at West Wing Writers, the premier strategy and speechwriting shop in Washington, D.C.

  • The first speech he wrote was to defend himself against suspension from high school. It was unsuccessful.

  • Found greater success helping clients pen and promote bestselling books, prepare commencement speeches and viral TED talks, and deliver winning comedy routines at venues ranging from the Alfalfa Club to the Al Smith Dinner.

  • As a founder of The Humor Cabinet, he has worked on humor speeches for dozens of elected officials and corporate executives.

  • He has also served as a creative consultant for the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

  • Played an integral role in the past six Democratic National Conventions.

  • He helped direct the speechwriting and messaging operations for the 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020 conventions, and served as on-site writer, editor, and presentation coach in 2000 and 2004.

  • 2008 Served as Vice President Joe Biden’s speechwriter on the first Obama-Biden campaign.

  • 2001 to 2004, served as Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle’s deputy communications director and speechwriter.

  • Prior to that, he served as a speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore in the White House, and later as a senior speechwriter for Gore-Lieberman 2000.

  • Co-author and collaborator with James Carville on the 2003 bestseller Had Enough?

  • Collaborated with Senator Bob Graham on his book Intelligence Matters, which was published to critical acclaim in September 2004 and updated and re-released in 2008.

  • Jeff has been named “one to watch” by Details magazine, been profiled in Rolling Stone, and been named a “golden pen” by Washington Life magazine.

  • Jeff is a graduate of Brown University. He lives outside of Washington, DC, with his two daughters.

Undelivered: The Never-Heard Speeches That Would Have Rewritten History Author: Jeff Nussbaum

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Date Published: May 10, 2022


  • Pg 15: Part 1: Words that are Too Hot

    • Pg 17: John Lewis on the March on Washington, August 1963: Ensuring That Multiple Speeches Fit the Moment

    • Pg 39: Wamsutta Frank James on the 350th Anniversary of the Pilgrims Landing at Plymouth Rock, September 1970: The Five Elements Found in Every Persuasive Speech

  • Pg. 51: Part 2 A Change of Mind, a Change of Heart

    • Pg 53: Emma Goldman at Her Sentencing, October 1893, and Helen Keller at the Suffrage Parade, March 1913: The Power of Speech to Move People to Action

    • Pg 71: President Richard Nixon's Refusal to Resign, August 1974: The Precarious Position of the Speechwriter

    • Pg 87: Mayor Kevin White on School Busing, December 1974: The Rhetorical Technique of Litany

  • Pg 105: Part 3 Crisis / Crisis Averted 105

    • Pg 107: Edward VIII's Refusal to Abdicate the Throne, December 1936: Writing for Public Figures About Their Private Lives

    • Pg 127: New York City Mayor Abe Beame Declares Bankruptcy, October 1975: The Risks and Rewards of Sherman Statements

  • Pg 141: Part 4 The Fog of War, the Path to Peace

    • Pg 143: Dwight Eisenhower's Apology for the Failure of the D-Day Invasion, June 1944: The Language of Leadership

    • Pg 153: Emperor Hirohito Apologizes for World War II, 1948: Dog Whistles, Chameleons, and Apologies *

    • Pg 173: President Kennedy on the Military Operation That Destroyed the Nuclear Weapons Buildup in Cuba, October 1962: The Mysteries of Speech Authorship

  • Pg 189: Part 5 The People Choose

    • Pg 193: Chapter 11 Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld's Farewell Address Following His Defeat in the 1896 Election, January 1897: The Value of a Soundbite

    • Page 205: Chapter 12 Hillary Clinton's 2016 Victory Speech, Why We Venerate the Ritual of Concession

  • Pg 227: Part 6 Events Intervene

    • Pg 231: The Remarks Condoleezza Rice Had Intended to Give on the Bush Administration's Foreign Policy September 11, 2001: The Process of Constructing a Speech

    • Pg 243: Barry Jenkins's Best Picture Remarks for Moonlight, February 2017: The Power of Story

  • Pg 255: Last Words: Pope Pius XI, JFK, FDR, Einstein, and Their Unfinished Prophecies of Peace, Various Years


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