Hail the Speechual! A new chapter in the history of speechmaking

10 March 2022

Former BBC correspondent turned speechwriter, Nick Hawton, gives his views on the changing nature of leadership communication.

In the deepest, darkest days of Covid, a new creature emerged into the light. Shrouded in pixels, gorging on the insecurity of the moment, the creature infected monitors the world over.

Promising connection and efficiency, it displaced the ‘here and now’ and drained empathy and spontaneity from the speechmaking ritual.

Lo, behold, the creature cometh, the mutant child of Father Speech and Mother Virtual….all hail the Speechual.

Speechwriters mourned the passing of the in-person delivery. Existential questions abounded.

But the predicted end of days has not transpired. The Speechual was (and is) not an enemy. It is our friend. It just needs to be understood.

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Rhetoric versus Science in France

11 January 2022

Leaders are supposed to be public mediators. Healing division and building coalitions. It’s not their job to be right about things.

It’s their job to get the least worst outcome for everyone, based on the limits of politics (like the rule of law) and the reality that all societies are made up of irreconcilable factions.

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Edward Mortimer 1943-2021

30 June 2021

We were sad to hear of the death of Edward Mortimer on 18 June 2021.

Edward was a distinguished speechwriter and journalist and a keen supporter of the Network.

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France versus Great Britain – how speechwriting works

8 February 2021

On Thursday 21 January 2021, Brian Jenner from the European Speechwriter Network talked to Amélie Blanckaert from the French speechwriting agency Coup de Plume about the differences in the public speaking cultures in France and Great Britain.

The French speechwriting salon on Zoom

8 May 2020

Because of lockdown, we have to do things differently.

Before lockdown, if I wanted to bring speechwriters together that always involved booking a room in London, creating an incentive for people to show up and covering the costs through ticket sales.

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Lessons from the European ‘Speechwriter of the Year 2020’ competition

3 January 2020

Write a speech for the African dictator, President Obonjo. It will be delivered at Westminster Hall in front of the Queen, Prince Philip and the Foreign Secretary.

We invited members of the European Speechwriter Network to send in their entries.

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Join us for the Cambridge 2020 Conference

12 December 2019

If your job involves writing speeches for top people, don’t miss the opportunity to meet speechwriters from around the world at our 20th Speechwriters’ & Business Communicators’ conference at Emmanuel College, Cambridge from 1-3 April.

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Our Christmas Store

7 November 2019

We have a number of gifts available which you can buy for another speechwriter, for a friend interested in literature or politics, or for yourself!

Payment can be made by BACS in pounds or in euros. Just download the Excel order form at the bottom of the page.

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The French Speechwriters’ Conference in Nantes 2019

18 June 2019

Piped music, muted conversation, a late start, it was all a bit disorganised, until Mallika Lecoeur burst into song.

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The first Australian Speechwriters’ Conference by Jason Deutsch

25 March 2019

Despite living in an era of social media and 24-hour news, we still gather to listen to speeches—by political leaders, by experts, and by family and friends.

This isn’t only because we want to be informed, persuaded, or even inspired—ultimately, it’s because we want to connect deeply with the speaker and with our fellow audience members.

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