The UK Speechwriters’ Guild annual conference is extending over two days.
There will be an intensive speechwriting training session on the afternoon of Thursday 20 September at the St Swithun’s Centre in Bournemouth led by Martin Shovel and Martha Leyton from Creativity Works.
This will be followed by a ‘Ask Not’ Rhetorical Quiz in the evening, which will allow delegates to network on the eve of the event.
The main conference will be hosted, as usual, by Bournemouth University Media School on Friday 21 September 2012.
The conference has evolved and doubled in size over the past three years.
It began with a quixotic group of delegates, which included some of those involved in the new MA course in rhetoric at the University of Central Lancashire, a handful of civil servants and a few graduates of Toastmasters International programme. One lady travelled from Singapore to be there.
The project was seen as Europe’s answer to the prestigious annual Ragan Communications Speechwriting Conference in Washington DC, which regularly features White House speechwriters.
From the outset the occasion has attracted a stellar list of speakers: Phil Collins, Dr Max Atkinson, Dr Susan Jones, Martin Shovel, Johann Siebers, Phillip Khan-Panni, Martha Leyton and Tobias Ellwood MP.
Half the delegates now come from abroad, including visitors from the German and Dutch Speechwriters’ Guilds
Organisations represented include the European Commission, the CBI, Orange, Deloitte, the United Nations, the European Investment Bank, Coca Cola as well as the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties.
Since the first conference, a dazzling array of experts have followed in the footsteps of the pioneering speakers at the Guild: White House speechwriter, Dr John Shosky, David Murray, Editor of Vital Speeches of the Day, Edward Mortimer (former speechwriter to Kofi Annan), former British ambassador Charles Crawford, Conor Burns MP, Martin Broughton (Chairman of British Airways), Alexei Kapterev from Russia, Renée Broekmeulen from Holland and Phil Collins, former speechwriter to Tony Blair, has spoken three times.
“Speechwriting can be an anonymous job in a big company, so it’s very important for those doing it to raise their profile inside and outside the organisation.” says conference organiser Brian Jenner. “Our selection of performers means you get to hear several methodologies, so you’re sure to go home with some valuable new insights.”
Full conference on the Friday will ask the question, ‘Do Speeches Still Matter?‘.
The opening keynote will come from Chris Witt, who is travelling over from California. He’s the author of the provocative book Real Leaders Don’t Do PowerPoint. Following him will be Dr Max Atkinson, who has also been issuing Cassandra-like warnings about the ubiquitous Microsoft software for many years now.
The non-native English speaking element will be led by Jan Sliva, speechwriter to the President of the European Investment Bank. As Europe sees the revival of some extremist parties, Danish rhetoric expert, Christian Nicholas Eversbusch, will be giving a demonstration of how demagogues manipulate audiences.
Voice-coach, Caroline Goyder, will do the after-lunch slot.
Mid-afternoon there will be break out sessions on how to prepare a eulogy from Charles Cowling, editor of the Good Funeral Guide, how to put your speech on YouTube by former BAFTA nominee film director, Tim Clague, and a session on how to manage speechwriting problems from Alan Barker, author of How to Solve Almost Any Problem. Bournemouth University will also run a panel session revealing the latest research into political communication.
Invitations for the final keynote are still outstanding so please check back for details of new additions to the programme.
To benefit from the Early Bird Offer for intensive training and the conference, you should buy a ticket before 16 July. For just the Friday conference a ticket costs £169, if you purchase before that date.
Buy your ticket here now.