E-Newsletter 2/3/2021

Posted on 2 March 2021  |   Leave a comment

A Modest Email About How to Write An Adequate Speech

We often forgive those who bore us, but we cannot forgive those who find us boring. La Rochefoucauld

BEIS speechwriter

The UK Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is advertising for a speechwriter. See here. 


An Audience with Max Atkinson

Max’s event is tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11am (UK time). We have a US senator, two British lords, two American professors and one former White House speechwriter on the programme…

Sign up here

Mixing the personal with the public

John-Paul Flintoff’s new book A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speechcame out last month. I finished it in a weekend.

I really like the way he’s updated the genre of the ‘rhetoric handbook’. Flintoff combines his own ups and downs as a speaker and a journalist with insights into rhetoric and public speaking. He’s taken wisdom from impro, TED talks and ancient rhetoric, and synthesised it all in a memoir which works as a manual.

He even attended one of our conferences and writes about his impressions.

I recommend you buy a copy, and then tune in to our online Zoom event with John-Paul on Wednesday 14 April at 10.45am.

Get your ticket here.

Lend us your ears

Sign up for the 3pm Friday online event with Professor Scott Newstok about his book, How to think like Shakespeare.

Tickets are available here: How to write a speeches like Shakespeare.

Our Friday speechwriter Zoom conversations will resume on 12 March at 3.30pm.

Could we train better politicians for the future?

As we begin to imagine the return of normal life, I’m keen to promote a new ‘Public speaking for public life’ weekend in Bournemouth.

My observation (from my life so far) is that the students who were good at public speaking at university went on to to get prominent jobs in later life.

They did have natural talent and confidence, but they also had regular opportunities to practise.

My other observation is that, in this new media environment, any non-native speaker of English, who wants to get to the top of an international institution, will have to be a very competent presenter in English ( as Ursula von der Leyen and Christine Lagarde are).

How do you acquire these skills?

Why not create a mini-academy where ambitious Europeans (that includes British) aged 20-30 can learn these skills on short courses?

The first step is to organise a weekend is aimed at giving them an intensive introduction to public speaking in front of their peers. It will involve them learning a famous speech to recite, being videoed and getting impressions from everybody in the room.

If you know any 20-30 year olds, keen to stretch themselves, please direct them to this page.

Essentials of Speechwriting

Alan Barker will be running an online Essentials of Speechwriting workshop on Thursday 10 June.

The details are here.

Welcome to New MembersPhillipa Bird has joined the UK Speechwriters’ Guild.

Claudio Longhitano from Turin has joined the European Speechwriter Network.

Silvia Bellecchio from Parma has also joined the European Speechwriter Network

(You wait ten years for the first ever Italian member, and then you get two in one week!).

Henrique Kanitz is a journalist studying to be a speechwriter in Brazil. He’s joined the European Speechwriter Network.

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’ Guild

European Speechwriter Network

Brian Jenner

Winner of the Vital Speeches of the Day Cicero Speechwriting Award 2010



+44 (0)1202 302574

+44 (0)7545 232980



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