E-Newsletter 18/2/2021

18 February 2021

Can’t Get You Out of My Head

Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear – Albert Camus

Opportunity in Banking

NatWest Bank is looking for a speechwriter.

Apply here

Opportunity in the Middle East

A recruitment agency is looking for someone to fill an undisclosed post in Dubai.

Apply here

Communicating to Understand

David Murray, the editor of Vital Speeches of the Day, and organiser of the Professional Speechwriters Association conferences in America, has sent me his new book. It’s called An Effort to Understand.

It’s made up of 70 pithy essays on leadership, life and communication. It feels like a New York Times bestseller to me!

We’re all invited to a special online conference/book launch on Friday 26 March to discuss how we can recreate civil discourse in our societies.

The details are here.

Can’t Get You Out of My Head

Adam Curtis makes documentaries for the BBC about how people get power and keep power in the modern world.

His latest work is a six-part marathon explaining how we got to where we are today.

International viewers can watch it on YouTube here, otherwise it’s available on iPlayer.

It’s complex, but not incoherent as some critics have said.

It’s an  important series for speechwriters because Curtis shows how stories can bind us together and motivate us to create a better collective future.

Using vignettes about characters who have strived to change the world, ranging from mathematician, George Boole, to musician, Tupac Shakur, he shows how their ideas played out and how difficult it is to challenge established networks of power.

Farnam Street

The Farnam Street blog is always worth a browse.

Last week there was a post about a former mathematics professor from MIT called Gian-Carlo Rota who wrote an article titled: Ten Lessons I Wish I Had Been Taught. It  contains valuable advice for making people pay attention to your ideas.

Click here to read the article

An Audience with Dr Max Atkinson

We’ve got a stellar line-up of speakers for ‘An Audience with Dr Max Atkinson’ on Wednesday 3 March at 11am. U.S. Senator John Barrasso from Wyoming has recorded a video in praise of Max, which we’ll be showing during the Zoom session.

Trevor Pinch, a professor at Cornell University, and the author of The Hard Sell has also agreed to speak.

Sign up here

Write Speeches Like Shakespeare

On Friday 5 March at 3pm, I’ll be interviewing Professor Scott Netwstok about his new book (which was a Times Literary Supplement book of the year last year) called How to Think Like Shakespeare.

Sign up here

Friday Afternoon Zoom

I have formalised the 3.30pm Friday afternoon speechwriter hang out on the website (see the copy here). We’ve had a couple of excellent presentations from new members recently. Everyone welcome!

Click here to join the session.

Welcome to New Members
Stuart Pink, from Bellingham in the US, has joined the UK Speechwriters’ Guild. Stuart is a Toastmaster. You can see him action in one of their international speech contests here.Please tell your colleagues about the European Speechwriter Network/UK Speechwriters’ Guild. And if your subscription is not up-to-date please consider renewing it.UK Speechwriters’ GuildEuropean Speechwriter Network


An Inauguration Event: What do speechwriters do all day?

8 February 2021

On Wednesday 20 January 2021, in conjunction with the European School of Rhetoric, we hosted an event to coincide with Joe Biden’s Inauguration, What do speechwriters do all day?.

Read more

A speech that’s lasted over 20 years

11 May 2020

Last year Margaret Webster joined the UK Speechwriters’ Guild. I had known Margaret 25 years earlier because we were both members of the Grosvenor Square Speakers in London – part of Toastmasters International – a group that trains people in public speaking.

I was chatting to Margaret during the lockdown and I happened to mention that I always remembered her speech about the zombies, which she made at one of the club meetings. It made a deep impression on me at the time. Read more

Oh Come O Come To Emmanuel!

4 December 2019

Seven reasons to join us for the 20th Speechwriters’ & Business Communicators’ conference

1) Meet your peers

On February 13, 2008, I arrived at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC for my first speechwriters’ conference.

Read more

Five hard lessons I’ve learnt from running my own speechwriting business

28 August 2019

1) What exactly does a speechwriter do? 

The basic principles of speechwriting are simple and obvious.

There’s a story about famous basketball coach John Wooden – a figure who is lauded by managers like Alex Ferguson.

Read more

The Paris Speechwriting Conference 2019

12 July 2019

French political rhetoric is supposedly intellectual, grandiose and ‘revolutionary’, while British political rhetoric is pragmatic, prosaic and dry.

Read more

Now You’re Talking by Trevor Cox

8 February 2019

Speechwriters write speech. Yet few of us, I’d guess, give much thought to the instrument that brings our words alive: the speaker’s voice.

Read more

Speechwriting, the ‘Obama’ way, at Queen’s College, Oxford

13 December 2018

Speechwriting, the ‘Obama’, way will be the theme of the 18th Speechwriters’ & Business Communicators’ conference taking place at Queen’s College, Oxford from 3-5 April, 2019.

Read more

A Conférence des Plumes: the most successful Anglo-French collaboration since Concorde?

20 November 2018

Could it become the most successful Anglo-French collaboration since Concorde? Brian Jenner discusses the launch of a network of French speechwriters.

Read more

Queen’s College Conference 2019

24 May 2018

2019 will be the 10th anniversary of the UK Speechwriters’ Guild, which was founded in 2009.

Our spring conference will take place from 3-5 April 2018. Pre-conference training will take place on 3 April.

Read more

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