The Essentials of Speechwriting (Online Workshop)

21 October 2021
  • Start: 0900
  • End: 1700
  • Venue: Online
  • Address:
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How does speechwriting differ from other kinds of writing?

The Essentials of Speechwriting is an enjoyable, hands-on workshop covering the core skills of the craft.

During the day, you’ll work on a short speech, from planning to editing. With a small group of colleagues, we establish an atmosphere that’s collegiate and collaborative. Together, we look at how to:

• formulate striking messages
• structure a speech as an engaging performance
• make our ideas more memorable
• use rhetorical devices to give our language flair
• adapt the text to the speaker’s voice and persona
• help our speeches survive poor delivery

We also explore how to manage speakers in the context of political, corporate and academic realities, and how to survive with our professionalism and self-esteem intact. (In other words, we understand how hard it can be!)

The group for the workshop is limited to eight delegates.

Is this workshop right for you?

The Essentials of Speechwriting is aimed at anyone writing speeches for leaders within organisations. You’re likely to meet new colleagues from the political, corporate and not-for-profit sectors – and often freelancers too.

The Programme

• The challenges of speechwriting (and how to meet them)
• Taking a methodical approach
• Sources of inspiration
• Understanding the kairos

• Three modes of appeal: logic, feeling, credibility
• Pulling focus: subject, audience, objective, topic, message
• Creating a structure and a performance

• Writing for speaking (and why it’s not like writing for reading)
• Making your sentences sing
• Words, words, words: secrets of vocabulary management
• Tropes and schemes (and understanding the difference)
• Weaving the magic of memory
• Stimulating the senses
• The uses and abuses of narrative
• Using technology

Throughout the day, you’ll be planning, drafting, editing – and delivering – short speeches and parts of speeches with your colleagues. At the end of the workshop, one of your pieces will be delivered by an invited guest, who’ll help us evaluate its success.

What you’ll learn and leave with:

• Knowledge of speechwriting best practice
• How to engage and inspire an audience
• Quick-win methods of improving a speech text
• Insights into how speeches stimulate emotion and imagination
• Strategies to find persuasive stories
• Tips for managing your speaker
• New contacts, resources, ideas and perspectives

Participating in The Essentials of Speechwriting also plugs you into the UK Speechwriters’ Guild and its sister organisation, the European Speechwriter Network, a community of speechwriting professionals that offers ongoing support and advice.


If you need to print off a description of the workshop to show to your HR department you can download it here.



£649 + VAT per delegate. You can purchase a ticket by pressing on the ‘Buy Tickets’ button or by emailing us to request an invoice.


The Trainer

Alan Barker spent fifteen years as a professional actor and broadcaster before becoming a training consultant and coach in 1990.

He regularly delivers workshops and coaching on speechwriting to a wide range of organisations, including the European Commission, the London Assembly, the International Criminal Court and the British Science Association.

He also runs a module on the annual development programme for candidate diplomats at the Korean National Diplomatic Academy.

Alan is the author of over 25 books and ebooks.

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