Seven benefits of attending our Autumn Leadership and Communication Conference

Posted on 18 July 2016



On 23 June 2016, Britain voted to leave the European Union. It was contrary to the wishes of the Government, the advice of most experts and the views of most leading politicians.

UKIP donor, Arron Banks, who financed the Brexit campaign, said: ‘The remain campaign featured fact, fact, fact, fact, fact. It just doesn’t work. You have got to connect with people emotionally. It’s the Trump success.’

Speechwriters know what he’s talking about. Other European countries can learn from the UK’s failure.



The best speechwriters are creative not corporate. They earn their living working in political and commercial environments, but they’re different. They’ve got to feed their imagination. Sitting in front of a screen in the company of people who don’t understand how you do your work is often dispiriting. Our conferences are an antidote: two days of sympathetic, like-minded company, listening to the very best examples of our craft.



Speechwriting is at the deep end of public relations. If you can put together a good speech, you can generate Tweets, blogs and press releases using the text as a source. Our conferences give people the technical skills and the emotional confidence to create compelling arguments.



While not all comms professionals call themselves speechwriters, most comms professionals write speeches. But do they understand the basic principles? Writers with an academic background tend to ask the question: ‘What’s wrong and how do we fix it?’. What they should be asking is: ‘What’s working and how do we do more of it?’ That’s the kind of insight that you pick up at our conferences. It means you have a template to write more effective speeches that get results.



Last year we gave Dr Max Atkinson a lifetime achievement award. After years of study, he came to the conclusion that there is ‘a language of public speaking’. It’s a very simple language that only takes a few hours to learn, but most people in public life are not familiar with it. We put it at the heart of all that we teach.




In hierarchies, speechwriters get a raw deal from leaders making unrealistic demands, within short timescales, without doing the work to create the intimate relationship that is part of writing speeches that are worth listening to. We can’t change that, but spending time with others who have to overcome the same problems can make you tougher and more effective.



One of our members has recently completed a thesis on the speechwriting profession. Her conclusion is: ‘The flow of information is getting more intensive day by day due to new social media effects on our lives. If a leader wants to influence the public, his/her message has to be designed carefully. Otherwise it can become invisible among all other messages.’

If you want to acquire a set of rare but marketable skills for the C21st, join us at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on 20 & 21 October 2016. See the programme and purchase tickets here.

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