Since it started in 2009, the UK Speechwriters’ Guild has attracted a committed group of individuals who enjoy meeting up at conferences to listen to top speechwriters talk about their work.
The initial impetus came from British speechwriter, Brian Jenner, who was invited to speak at the Ragan Communications Speechwriters Conference in Washington in 2008.
Every spring, over 200 US speechwriters meet at the Mayflower Hotel to listen to each other describe their strategies for communicating with voters, clients and customers.
The questions came from the American delegates to their British visitor: how does speechwriting work in the UK? How can our speakers appear at your events? How could we promote our magazine that publishes speechwriting tips in Europe?
He couldn’t answer their questions. In December 2008, he tried to find out by sending out invitations to a drinks party in the Theatre Bar of the Victoria in London W2. Thirty people involved in the public speaking, training and speechwriting business showed up.
This inspired the first conference of the UK Speechwriters’ Guild held on Friday 16 September 2009 at the Arts University College in Bournemouth.
It became apparent that there was a community of public speaking experts and accomplished speechwriters in the UK and they enjoyed each other’s company.
It also became apparent that there was little understanding of what a speechwriter does within organisations, and even less appreciation for the idea of it being a specialist skill.
Since that time we have hosted regular conferences and events. We’ve built up a conference which rivals the annual Ragan Communications Washington event, firmly establishing speechwriting as multilingual talent that offers employment opportunities across the globe, pays well and involves stimulating work within big organisations.
In 2012, because we were attracting so many visiting delegates from Europe, we started the European Speechwriter Network.
We now host two conferences each year. One in Oxford or Cambridge in the spring, one in mainland Europe in the autumn. We have already hosted conferences in Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Leuven and Helsinki.
Last year Margaret Webster joined the UK Speechwriters’ Guild. I had known Margaret 25 years earlier because we were More
Seven reasons to join us for the 20th Speechwriters' & Business Communicators' conference 1) Meet your peers More
1) What exactly does a speechwriter do? The basic principles of speechwriting are simple and obvious. There’s a st More
French political rhetoric is supposedly intellectual, grandiose and 'revolutionary', while British political rhetoric is More
Speechwriters write speech. Yet few of us, I’d guess, give much thought to the instrument that brings our words alive: More
Speechwriting, the 'Obama', way will be the theme of the 18th Speechwriters' & Business Communicators' conference ta More
Could it become the most successful Anglo-French collaboration since Concorde? Brian Jenner discusses the launch of a More
2019 will be the 10th anniversary of the UK Speechwriters' Guild, which was founded in 2009. Our spring conference will More
This policy explains what you can expect from us and what we need from you in relation to your personal data. Please rea More
On 6 March 2018, a UK Speechwriters' Guild delegation arrived in Helsinki in Finland to investigate the possibilities of More
The 16th conference of the European Speechwriter Network (including the UK Speechwriters’ Guild) will take place at Ki More
The UK Speechwriters' Guild invited Tony Blair's former speechwriter, Phil Collins, to address our Christmas gathering More