Three European Prime Ministers and a US President will not be speaking – but their speechwriters will

8 January 2018

The 16th conference of the European Speechwriter Network (including the UK Speechwriters’ Guild) will take place at King’s College, Cambridge from 11-13 April 2018.

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Phil Collins addresses the UK Speechwriters’ Guild Christmas Party

30 November 2017

The UK Speechwriters’ Guild invited Tony Blair’s former speechwriter, Phil Collins, to address our Christmas gathering on 23 November 2017 at the St Matthew’s Conference centre in Westminster.

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Chiasmus Competition

29 September 2017

We had a competition through our email newsletter to write a ‘chiastic’ phrase about speechwriting. The prize was a copy of the new edition of Jay Heinrich’s book Thank You For Arguing. We asked Jay to judge the competition. His comments and the name of the winner are published below the entries.

Righting wrongs cannot be achieved by writing wrongs.

Steve Bee

Do you need a speechwriter to acquire power, or do you need power to acquire a speechwriter? Read more

You can bellydance. EIGHT Things That Make a European Speechwriter Network Conference Special

31 July 2017

1) We don’t let speakers sit down

If a speaker is telling us something important, we prefer them to stand up. We don’t do sofa interviews and we don’t do panels – because you can appear on those without proper preparation.

2) We don’t need ‘stars’

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Dr Max Atkinson’s Contribution to the World of Speechwriting

18 July 2017

Dr Max Atkinson is a former academic who was in the right place at the right time.

He had an interest in political oratory. His research began in the mid-1970s when there were two technological developments which enabled him to make pioneering insights.

Firstly video recording machines became widely available which enabled him to study politicians in slow motion. Secondly, audio recordings of the House of Commons were first broadcast.

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A Tribute to Fred Metcalf

10 April 2017

We heard over the weekend that Fred Metcalf died last month. You can read an obituary of him here.

I first came across Fred through his book of humorous quotations and jokes, which were published by Penguin. They were very useful for writing birthday and wedding speeches. I knew he worked as a speechwriter because he’s mentioned for writing great lines for David Frost in Bob Monkhouse’s book Complete Speaker’s Handbook.

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Speechwriters to come together to scratch their heads

16 January 2017

European speechwriters will gather for their 14th conference at Magdalen College, Oxford from 29-31 March to ponder the ‘trashing’ of their art by the new President of the United States.

They will also be reflecting on the challenges made by the Brexit campaign. And the rise of populists across Europe.

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Speechwriters versus Copywriters: Copy Cabana 2016

29 September 2016

On the morning of Copy Cabana 2016, a colleague of mine said there were three things you could expect at a writers’ conference.

You’ll hear a speaker tell you things you already know in a boring way and it irritates you a lot.

You’ll hear a speaker tell you things you already know, but in such a way as you love hearing it again.

You’ll hear a speaker tell you one or two things you didn’t know, in such a way that you remember them, and they change the way you do your work.

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Britain in the Brexit: Join us for the Edinburgh conference

20 July 2016

You are invited to the 13th conference of the UK Speechwriters’ Guild at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh on 20 & 21 October 2016. 

By accident, rather than design, this conference will be at the epicentre of major recent political upheavals.

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American speechwriting guru, Mike Long, flies into London

22 June 2016

mikelong2One of the things the UK Speechwriters’ Guild likes to do is fly in trainers from America to share their expertise. Their approach is different, but useful. Because we’re not so familiar with American culture, the examples are fresh.

On 21 June 2016, Mike delivered a speechwriting workshop at St Matthew’s conference centre in Westminster. His background is as a physicist and a computer programmer.

It’s hard to summarise a day workshop in a few paragraphs. So here’s some of the asides he gave us.

One tip was when you’ve finished the speech, change the font and point size of the text and then read it out again. It’ll make you see the speech in a different way.

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