The Hague Speechwriters’ & Business Communicators’ Conference

Thu 19 & Fri 20 October 2023
The Hague
  • Start: 10am 19 October 2020
  • End: 4.30pm 20 October
  • Venue: The Social Hub The Hague
  • Address: Hoefkade 9, 2526 BN Den Haag, Netherlands
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Rhetoric is the art of influence, friendship and eloquence – Jay Heinrichs

The 22nd UK Speechwriters’ Guild/European Speechwriter Network Leadership & Communication conference will be held at The Social Hub in The Hague.

Our conferences are open to people who write speeches in their organisations.

We welcome advanced speechwriters, beginners and those interested in developing skills for the future.

You’ll meet colleagues who face the same challenges.

The European Speechwriter Network, working with the UK Speechwriters’ Guild, has pioneered a format where we listen to top speechwriters, leaders and interpreters talk about their work.

We learn what techniques they use, how they craft stories and how they build relationships. We host our conferences in a university environment, enabling speechwriters to exchange ideas, make contacts and build a reputation.

We’ll be in a beautiful modern facility with a campus feel. Accommodation is available on site, if you want to book directly with the venue.

Who should attend?

Previous conferences in , Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Berlin have attracted speechwriters from four Prime Ministers’ offices, the European Commission, NATO, Airbus, BMW, IBM, the CBI, Orange, Deloitte, the United Nations, the European Investment Bank, Coca Cola as well as the Dutch, Danish and British civil service.

This conference is for anyone wanting to improve their ability to write and deliver speeches.

While the conference is predominantly in English, the techniques will be transferable to other languages.

It’s also for people wishing to improve their company’s ability to communicate ideas.

The benefits

  • Acquire techniques used in the White House, European institutions and and in numerous government and multinational offices around Europe
  • Get insights into rhetoric from top writers
  • Listen to outstanding public speakers
  • Have your own work analysed in interactive sessions with top trainers
  • Meet fellow professionals from the Europe and the rest of the world



Click here to download a provisional programme for the conference.

Wednesday 18 October

6.30 for 7.00pm – For early arrivals, we’ll go for a meal. Please send us an email if you’d like to book in with us.

– Pre-conference Training

Thursday 19 October – Delegates can choose from three pre-conference training workshops

10.00am-4.30pm – Jim Holtje: The Art and Science of 21st Century Speechwriting
Click here for a more detailed summary of the workshop

10.00am-4.30pm – James McCabe, Find Your Narrative Strategy, How to use empathy, suspense and surprise to invigorate your communications
Click here for a more detailed summary of the workshop

10.00am-4.30pm – John Paul Flintoff, Be The Speaker, What Can Speechwriters Learn By Speaking Ourselves?
Click here for a more detailed summary of the workshop

4.45pm – Tour tba

7.00pm – Informal dinner with speaker on Dutch politics


Friday 20 September – Full Conference

10am – 4.30pm

Speakers: Juliana Dahl, Kevin Toolis, Rodger Evans, Yvonne Doorduyn, Abele Kamminga, Haneke Kulik, Jim Holtje, Antti Mustakallio

5.00pm Informal drinks and a meal

What you will learn and leave with

  • A better understanding of what makes an effective speech
  • Insights on how to work with multilingual audiences
  • Tips for managing your speakers
  • Strategies for dealing with interpreters
  • New contacts, ideas and perspectives on the trade



Jim Holtje

Jim is a CEO speechwriter, published author, and adjunct professor with extensive professional experience at multinationals and tech companies, including IBM, Siemens, MasterCard, and McGraw-Hill in the U.S. and overseas.





Dr James McCabe

James is a pioneer of classical story design, which he promotes through his company The Story Doctor.  He’s worked closely with scores of well-known names such as Siemens, Allianz, Sony and others.

He’s also worked as a script doctor for the film industry and collaborated with Hollywood star coach Robert McKee. He followed his Oxford literary doctorate with several decades of international engagement across borders, industries and functional silos from leadership and reputation to strategy, brand and culture.

James’ training session will be on on ‘Finding Your Narrative Strategy’.

John-Paul Flintoff

John-Paul Flintoff, author of seven books in 16 languages, including How To Change The World and A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech. A writer for two decades on the FT and the Sunday Times, John-Paul has spoken on four continents, to as many as 5,000 people at once; and trained in theatrical improvisation with the late Keith Johnstone.






Juliana Dahl

Juliana is Principal Speechwriter/Spokeswoman at the euro rescue fund ESM. Her mission? To support the rescue fund delivering on its purpose: prevent, mitigate and manage macro-financial crises in the euro area.

Prior to the ESM, she worked in the so-called “political bubble” in Brussels and in the financial sector in Frankfurt am Main.

Most of her speeches are about economic policy – with one exception: in the midst of the pandemic Juliana joined the speechwriting team at the Office of the Federal President of Germany for six months. An exciting change of perspective: from English-language speeches for an expert audience to German-language speeches for the general public, from speeches about value to speeches about values.

In her talk, Juliana will tell us how she experienced this change of perspective and will offer insights into speechwriting for two institutions and speakers that could not be more different.

Kevin Toolis

Kevin worked as a journalist  in the House of Commons as a press gallery reporter and then reported on political conflicts and terrorism for publications including The New York Times, The Guardian and The Daily Mirror.

As a documentary director has made a series of acclaimed films on terrorism and was nominated for an International Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for the programme ‘Cult of Death: Suicide Bombers’ for the Discovery Channel.

He has also worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood. He will talk about ‘The Genius of Donald Trump’.


Abele Kamminga

Abele is the speechwriter for the Mayor of Groningen. In the last decade, he has worked as a speech writer for both members of Parliament and city council, as well as the director of a university. He will be speaking about writing for City Hall.




Yvonne Doorduyn

Yvonne is a speechwriter at the Dutch Ministry of Defence and author of two political thrillers. Previously she worked as a speechwriter and spokesperson at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and as a press officer in the European Parliament in Brussels. For ten years she was a political journalist at the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant.

Her first thriller which was about a speechwriter was nominated for several Dutch literature awards. Her second will be published in October 2023.



Antti Mustakallio
Antti is a Finnish speechwriter and public speaking coach. For over ten years, he has organized a major event for professionals in the field of persuasive communication called the Summer School of Rhetoric, where a number of the world’s most influential speechwriters have been speakers. Antti is an actively used commentator on public speeches in his home country’s media.




Rodger Evans

In his role as a parliamentary clerk, Rodger has been writing speeches for various Scottish politicians for the best part of two decades. During the noughties he was a member of the children’s panel, Scotland’s care and justice system for children and young people, and he has been a listening volunteer for the Samaritans since early 2022. He lives in Edinburgh with his put-upon family, their poetry-loving cat, and a stupid amount of books and vinyl records. His speech is entitled: Like a whisper from the bottom of the well: what the Samaritans and Simone Weil can teach us about how to listen and the words we choose. 



Hanneke Kulik

Haneke is the speechwriter for the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security. Her presentation will be about how to add freshness and colour to speeches that have to be delivered on an annual basis.





Guy Doza

Guy is an author, speechwriter, and TEDx speaker. He has a degree in education from Cambridge and a Masters in rhetoric from Royal Holloway. He has worked for members of both The House of Commons and The House of Lords. He’s run his own speechwriting consultancy and been a leading member of the European Speechwriter Network for ten years.

Outside of Parliament, he’s worked with numerous companies ranging from BP to the BBC. Beyond the UK, he’s worked as consultant to a range of governments across Europe and Central Asia.

Guy won awards for speaking at Toastmasters International. In 2019, he was invited to give a TEDxTalk at the University of Cambridge about how rhetoric influences the decisions that shape our lives. He has also lectured at Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard and Caltech.


More speakers to be announced in the coming days…while we do our best to make sure all speakers on the programme will appear on the day, we cannot be responsible for any unforeseen cancellations.



The cost for a pre-conference training + main conference ticket (including refreshments and meals on 19 & 20 October) is €1099 + BTW (Dutch VAT)

The cost for a main conference ticket (including refreshments and meals on 20 October) is €575 + BTW (Dutch VAT)

If you prefer for us to send you an invoice instead of paying by card on Eventbrite (which incurs Eventbrite fees) , please send an email and we will send you one.

Cancellation Policy

Bookings will not be accepted unless accompanied by payment and cancellations must be received no later than one month (28 days) before the conference if a full refund is to be given.

Cancellations received within 2 to 4 weeks of the first date of conference will be refunded 50%. If you can’t make it at the last minute, you can transfer your attendance to a future conference.


The venue is opposite the train station at Hollands Spoor in The Hague. TSH has rooms available on site which means you can share the conference experience over breakfast each morning.

Click here to go through to their website.


There are a limited number of places available at a discount to people in full-time education who are considering a career in speechwriting. Details on application.


Join our Network

Membership of the UK Speechwriters’ Guild or European Speechwriter Network entitles you to a €50 + VAT discount on the conference fee.

You can follow the European Speechwriter Network on Twitter @EUSpeechwriters

You can apply to join our Linkedin group, European Speechwriter Network

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