What do speechwriters do all day?

20 January 2021
  • Start: 1100
  • End: 1200
  • Venue: Online
  • Address: Zoom
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On the day of the inauguration of a new President of the United States, we’re offering a seminar on how speechwriters operate in-house and as independent professionals

About this Event

How does someone end up in working as a speechwriter?

What value do they offer to their clients?

What skills do they need?

How do they put words into the mouths of business and political leaders?

What goes wrong?

What do you need to know about the process of hiring a speechwriter?

And how do you get the best work out of them?

On the day of the inauguration of a new American President – the most important day in the speechwriters’ calendar – we hear from five top speechwriters, including one who has worked for a US President himself.

This is a rare chance to get an in-depth insight into this highly specialised area of work from speechwriters with very different backgrounds.


Panellists will include:

Stephen Krupin

Stephen served in the White House as a senior speechwriter to President Obama, as director of speechwriting on Obama’s re-election campaign, and as chief speechwriter to Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

As the director of SKDK’s Executive Communications practice, Stephen partners with C-suite executives, elected officials, and nonprofit leaders to help them achieve their strategic objectives from behind the podium and in front of the camera. He also teaches speechwriting as an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Matt Greenough

Matt is the former Chief Special Adviser to the Welsh Government. That included writing all of Carwyn Jones’ political keynote speeches during the time he was First Minister of Wales. Everything from academic lectures about the future of the UK constitution to tweets about football.

Jessica Shepherd

Jessica has written speeches for leading education and business leaders. She worked as Education Correspondent of the Guardian and went on to manage the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s press office team responsible for corporate affairs.

David Vigar

David has written speeches for scores of UK business leaders – chairs, CEOs and senior partners of law firms – as well as other public figures. Having started writing speeches with the late Paddy Ashdown when he was Liberal Democrat leader in the 1990s, he went on to full-time roles with BT and BP.

Brian Jenner

Brian is the founder of The European Speechwriter Network. For many years he advertised his services in the classified section of Private Eye. He has worked as a speechwriter for a Duke, a Dragon’s Den panellist and a Premiership footballer.


Cover photo: Kennedy’s inauguration, U. S. Army Signal Corps photograph in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

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