For our 17th conference, we had the privilege of welcoming a former Prime Minister to speak about the challenges he faces when he gives speeches.
Not only was Alexander Stubb the former leader of a European country, during our conference, he was preparing his campaign to be the Spitzencandidat for the election to become President of the European Commission. We were able to talk to him in a short interview.
Earlier this month we had our first conference in Helsinki, Finland.
This prompted a flurry of interest from the national broadcasting organisation Fle. They featured some of our members, who were speaking at the conference, in a political magazine programme.
These are the bits they posted to their website in English.
The European Speechwriter Network has filmed a video to promote ‘oracy’ and encourage young people to take an interest in speechwriting.
The 13-minute video was filmed in King’s College, Cambridge during the European Speechwriter Network spring conference.
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Companies try to sell you tat to put in goody bags or branded items to give authority to your event.
I had a very persistent salesman recently trying to sell me biros.
I finally managed to shake him off when I told him that our crowd liked crafted items – the sort of thing you find on Etsy.
Then I found on Etsy a man who made gavels. I couldn’t be certain the quality and style would be just right, but I decided to take the risk.
I’ve ended up with a beautifully designed and branded gavel, which will be a quirky feature of our conferences in the future.
The item cost £55, plus £3.99 postage.
We’ve created the must-have accessory for a professional speechwriter – a European Speechwriter Network mug.
It can be used for your coffee, or alternatively it makes a very fine pot to store your pencils.
It also makes the perfect present for the speechwriter who has everything.
A Twitter account may win you the Presidency of the United States, but in European democracies traditional speechmaking is still a vital skill.
Amidst the social and political upheaval, speechwriters from around the world will gather this autumn near Brussels in Belgium to share their expertise and calm their fractious nerves.
Language most shows a man. Speak that I may see thee.
This quotation from the playwright, Ben Johnson, is the raison d’être for speechwriters. Public speaking gives us an intimate view of the speaker. The speaker can choose to write something for herself or himself, but it’s very easy to ‘leak the truth from every pore’, that is to say: reveal things about yourself that are irrelevant or inappropriate that damage the case or alienate the audience.
We have developed a tradition at our conferences – at least it has run for the last two. It’s an after-dinner speaking contest.
The idea came from the Dutch, who are great supporters of the event.
Renée Broekmeulen, who chaired the LMH conference in 2016, asked the audience to call out some words summarising each presentation. She selected three from each.
Then, at the end of the first day, she wrote them all down on a flipchart and invited delegates to write a speech incorporating each of the words.
1) Make Speeches Great Again
That’s what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again. Quote from Walt Disney, Saving Mr Banks
2) Meet Other Speechwriters
This is our 14th international event.
The best speechwriters aren’t usually corporate animals or political animals: they tend to be the creative types within their organisations.
An ESN conference has been described as a ‘gathering of gregarious loners’. Half the conference is about learning new skills, the other half is about learning from the other practitioners of our craft. Read more