Since it started in 2009, the UK Speechwriters’ Guild has attracted a committed group of individuals who enjoy meeting up at conferences to listen to top speechwriters talk about their work.
The initial impetus came from British speechwriter, Brian Jenner, who was invited to speak at the Ragan Communications Speechwriters Conference in Washington in 2008.
Every spring, over 200 US speechwriters meet at the Mayflower Hotel to listen to each other describe their strategies for communicating with voters, clients and customers.
The questions came from the American delegates to their British visitor: how does speechwriting work in the UK? How can our speakers appear at your set-piece events? How could we promote our magazine that publishes speechwriting tips in Europe?
He couldn’t answer their questions. In December 2008, he tried to find out by sending out invitations to a drinks party in the Theatre Bar of the Victoria in London W2. Thirty people involved in the public speaking, training and speechwriting business showed up.
This inspired the first conference of the UK Speechwriters’ Guild held on Friday 16 September 2009 at the Arts University College in Bournemouth.
It became apparent that there was a community of public speaking experts and accomplished speechwriters in the UK and they enjoyed each other’s company.
It also became apparent that there was little understanding of what a speechwriter does within organisations, and even less appreciation for the idea of it being a specialist skill.
Since that time we have hosted regular conferences and events. We’ve built up a conference which rivals the annual Ragan Communications Washington event, firmly establishing speechwriting as multilingual talent that offers employment opportunities across the globe, pays well and involves stimulating work within big organisations.
In 2012, because we were attracting so many visiting delegates from Europe, we started the European Speechwriter Network.
The most recent UK conference was at Westminster College, Cambridge in April 2015, which attracted speechwriters from the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium and Denmark. In October 2015, we hosted our third European conference at the Neue Mälzerei in Berlin, Germany.
The 16th conference of the European Speechwriter Network (including the UK Speechwriters’ Guild) will take place at Ki More
The UK Speechwriters' Guild invited Tony Blair's former speechwriter, Phil Collins, to address our Christmas gatheri More
We had a competition through our email newsletter to write a 'chiastic' phrase about speechwriting. The prize was a copy More
1) We don't let speakers sit down If a speaker is telling us something important, we prefer them to stand up. We don' More
Dr Max Atkinson is a former academic who was in the right place at the right time. He had an interest in political or More
We heard over the weekend that Fred Metcalf died last month. You can read an obituary of him here. I first came acros More
European speechwriters will gather for their 14th conference at Magdalen College, Oxford from 29-31 March to ponder the More
On the morning of Copy Cabana 2016, a colleague of mine said there were three things you could expect at a writers More
You are invited to the 13th conference of the UK Speechwriters' Guild at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh on 20 & More
One of the things the UK Speechwriters' Guild likes to do is fly in trainers from America to share their expertise. The More
The European referendum campaign is hotting up. One of our members, Lucia Hodgson, was invited to offer some top ti More
Tony Blair’s former speechwriter, Phil Collins, will be delivering the closing keynote speech at the spring conference More