Light up a Chariot of Fire. Seven reasons to attend the European Speechwriter Network conference in Cambridge

Posted on 18 January 2024

1) Connection

We’re living in a world moderated by technological filters. Speechwriters need to know what’s going on. This is your chance to break free and eat, drink and talk with writers from all over the world, for three days, without interruption.

2) Larry McEnerney will be there

If Mick Jagger had become a university lecturer, he would have wanted to emulate Larry McEnerney. Larry was the director of the Writing Program at University of Chicago for many decades. His training workshops and lectures have a focus and intensity that you only normally associate with the sermons of Orthodox Rabbis or the shares of recovering alcoholics.

3) Remember Obama

Joe Biden is not a good advert for speechwriting. Neither is Donald Trump. So we need to go back to Obama to learn how intelligent, soaring oratory can define and uplift an administration. Sarada Peri will be explaining how that worked and delivering her workshop, ‘From Speechwriting to Strategy.’

4) Admire other greats

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was the most eloquent and accessible public intellectual of recent times. From Reith Lectures to TEDtalks, Sacks did humour, wisdom and moral authority. Dan Sacker was his speechwriter. He went on to launch the the Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust as a means to perpetuate the teachings of his distinguished boss. Dan will tell the story.

5) Hear from an Arabic speechwriter

Where will the speechwriting business come from in the future? The answer is Doha, Dubai and Riyadh. We’ve invited Hossam Hussein Ismail, an Egyptian diplomat, to talk about how Arabic speeches work, and what we can learn from the protocol that surrounds them.

6) Catch the Chariot of Fire

The conference and banquet take place in Sidney Sussex College. Sidney Sussex is round the corner from Trinity College quadrangle, where one of the most iconic scenes in British cinema was filmed. Watch it here:

7)  Speak that we may see thee

At our conference almost everyone in the audience is capable of delivering their own compelling presentation. (After all we’re often writing two or three each week). All delegates can enter our after-dinner speaking competition or have a say in our open mic.

The 23rd Speechwriters’ & Business Communicators’ conference takes place from 17-19 April 2024. The early-bird offer ends on Friday 9 February. Sign up here.

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