Three Things from Robbie

Issue 27

Hey friends,

Welcome to 337 of you. That’s up 11 from last week! Thanks for joining.

New here? Let’s make it easy.


It’s so good to write to you today. I just watched one of the finest performances I’ve ever seen. We will be getting to that shortly.


A quick update.

I’m working through what I want this newsletter to be. For a while, it was more of a creative outlet for me but if you follow me, you know I’ve been writing daily on my website. Since I’ve been doing that it doesn’t seem as relevant to put those in here.

If you have any suggestions or want to see something reply back and let me know. I’m open to all feedback.

I have some ideas that I will be testing out over these coming weeks so let me know your thoughts at any time.


If you follow me, you know that my favorite show of all time is The West Wing. It’s a political show set back in the early 2000s. It feels so long ago and while a lot of the show feels outdated, there’s still so much that holds up.

But I want to talk about two of the characters. Sam Seaborn and Toby Ziegler were speechwriters and advisors to the President in the show. As I grew up watching the show, I wanted to be like them. Crafting the words that the most powerful and influential people delivered. There’s something incredible about framing a narrative like that and letting a gifted performer deliver them to create magic.

Now as things happened, I ended up delivering thousands of speeches myself and am 100% comfortable both writing and performing. But I also won’t ever be President. I can acknowledge that fact.

I might get to write for and advise these types of leaders though. It’s why I’m so excited about working with On Deck after they acquired Performative Speaking.

It’s why I’m so excited with the people I get to work with as a consultant helping founders, executives, and leaders craft and convey their messaging.

Framing narratives and telling a story are things I love.

This brings me to why I’m so excited today.

I watched 23-year-old Amanda Gorman deliver an absolute masterpiece. Just absolutely spellbinding in her writing and performance. It was as good as I’ve ever seen.

I had chills the entire time. That doesn’t happen very often to me. I’m lucky that I’ve seen incredible speakers throughout my life but this was another level. It immediately went into my saved speeches and will be a source of inspiration for the rest of my life.

Amanda showed why words matter. She showed why public speaking matters.

In 30 minutes after her speech, her Twitter has added something like 300,000 followers.

1 performance.

Life-changing for her.

World-changing.


Now for Three Things

  1. I started announcing founding fellows for On Deck Performative Speaking

The first 3 announced are Jack Butcher, Soona Ahmaz, and Justin Mikolay.

Justin is especially timely today because he’s the speechwriter for General Petraeus, General Mattis, and Secretary Panetta.

What is a founding fellow?

This is an early believer in the program I’m creating with On Deck. A person that demonstrates the types of people we are looking for in the program. It’s a way to help potential fellows understand if the program makes sense for them.

Jack is a founder, designer, and online entrepreneur.

Soona is a founder, GP at a VC firm, and creator of an online community around crypto.

Justin is a speechwriter, creator with his Gumroad podcast, and businessman.

On Deck Performative Speaking applications will be opening on January 26th.

If you want to join the waitlist first just reply back to this email and let me know.

More founding fellows to be announced throughout the week.

  1. The inaugural poem by Amanda Gorman

This is an absolute must-watch. It’s 6 minutes. I could watch 6 hours of Amanda perform.

  1. The question that keeps me up at night

I wrote this article about the question that keeps me up at night. As I said, I’m writing and publishing an article every day this month. This is just one of them so feel free to read more on my website.

I explore a recent interview question I got from one of the people at On Deck and explain the journey to get to my one big question.

Find it right here.

And last one final quote from that performance by Amanda Gorman.

“For while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.”

See you next week and please reach out with any feedback.

Robbie