Dr Max Atkinson’s Contribution to the World of Speechwriting

18 July 2017

Dr Max Atkinson is a former academic who was in the right place at the right time.

He had an interest in political oratory. His research began in the mid-1970s when there were two technological developments which enabled him to make pioneering insights.

Firstly video recording machines became widely available which enabled him to study politicians in slow motion. Secondly, audio recordings of the House of Commons were first broadcast.

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A Tribute to Fred Metcalf

10 April 2017

We heard over the weekend that Fred Metcalf died last month. You can read an obituary of him here.

I first came across Fred through his book of humorous quotations and jokes, which were published by Penguin. They were very useful for writing birthday and wedding speeches. I knew he worked as a speechwriter because he’s mentioned for writing great lines for David Frost in Bob Monkhouse’s book Complete Speaker’s Handbook.

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Speechwriters to come together to scratch their heads

16 January 2017

European speechwriters will gather for their 14th conference at Magdalen College, Oxford from 29-31 March to ponder the ‘trashing’ of their art by the new President of the United States.

They will also be reflecting on the challenges made by the Brexit campaign. And the rise of populists across Europe.

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Speechwriters versus Copywriters: Copy Cabana 2016

29 September 2016

On the morning of Copy Cabana 2016, a colleague of mine said there were three things you could expect at a writers’ conference.

You’ll hear a speaker tell you things you already know in a boring way and it irritates you a lot.

You’ll hear a speaker tell you things you already know, but in such a way as you love hearing it again.

You’ll hear a speaker tell you one or two things you didn’t know, in such a way that you remember them, and they change the way you do your work.

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Britain in the Brexit: Join us for the Edinburgh conference

20 July 2016

You are invited to the 13th conference of the UK Speechwriters’ Guild at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh on 20 & 21 October 2016. 

By accident, rather than design, this conference will be at the epicentre of major recent political upheavals.

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American speechwriting guru, Mike Long, flies into London

22 June 2016

mikelong2One of the things the UK Speechwriters’ Guild likes to do is fly in trainers from America to share their expertise. Their approach is different, but useful. Because we’re not so familiar with American culture, the examples are fresh.

On 21 June 2016, Mike delivered a speechwriting workshop at St Matthew’s conference centre in Westminster. His background is as a physicist and a computer programmer.

It’s hard to summarise a day workshop in a few paragraphs. So here’s some of the asides he gave us.

One tip was when you’ve finished the speech, change the font and point size of the text and then read it out again. It’ll make you see the speech in a different way.

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Lucia Hodgson advises on how to handle TV debates

6 June 2016

The European referendum campaign is hotting up. One of our members, Lucia Hodgson, was invited to offer some top tips on the BBC. You can watch her punchy video above.

Phil Collins to speak on how to make the case for the European Union

14 March 2016

Tony Blair’s former speechwriter, Phil Collins, will be delivering the closing keynote speech at the spring conference of the European Speechwriter Network on ‘How to make the case for the European Union’.

The conference is at Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford on 14 & 15 April 2016.

Phil Collins is a columnist on The Times and has spoken at many of the previous conferences of the UK Speechwriters’ Guild and European Speechwriter Network.

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Zehn Gründe, an unserer Frühjahrstagung für Redenschreiber und Geschäftskommunikatoren in Oxford teilzunehmen

28 January 2016
Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 11.48.55

1) Sie ist ungewöhnlich

Henry Boettinger hat gesagt: „Gute Referate sind wie Ströme; schlechte sind wie Kanäle“.

In der Geschäftswelt möchte jeder Kanäle heruntersegeln. Dagegen ist diese Tagung wie Wildwasser-Rafting für Unternehmenskommunikatoren. Ein Delegierter hat letztes Jahr bemerkt: „ Es ist wirklich seltsam, weil jeder jeden Vortrag besucht“.

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Making your rhetoric sing – keys to using music as hidden seducer in your speeches

3 November 2015

On 23 October 2015 at the Neue Mälzerei in Berlin, Marina Lacroix, a communication specialist at McKinsey, and Suzanne Levy, a speechwriter for the Dutch Minister of Education, Science and Culture, gave a presentation on the similarities between music and rhetoric.

These were their take-away lessons.

Let the music set the mood

  • Make a song a part of your speech – either by playing it, or by letting you speaker sing it
  • Music at the opening of a speech can set the mood
  • Music at the end of a speech can work as a climax
  • Ask your speaker for his or her favourite songs and use them

Play with expectations Read more

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