The Ups and Downs of Speechwriting

15 January 2012

Speechwriting can be a satisfying and lucrative career. But our jobs hang by a thread, and we can never afford to forget that.

There are two ways of dealing with this insecurity. One is by using speechwriting as a stepping-stone to an editorial or managerial position. The other is by cultivating speechwriter survival skills.

Here are some tips I’ve picked up over the course of my own career:

First: Always remember that you have two clients: the person you write for – and yourself. And you are just as important as the client.

There’s no conflict of interest here. If you’re working to make your client look good, you’re also making yourself look good. For example: You’re hired to write speeches? Offer to ghost an article or op/ed for your client. If it gets published, the client looks good and you’ve got another choice writing sample to add to your portfolio; something to show potential employers that you’re good at different kinds of writing.

Read more

Politicians and broadcasters: collaboration or capitulation?

7 November 2011

Should politicians be making more speeches and taking part in fewer interviews?

Public speaking expert, Dr Max Atkinson, will explain why making speeches is a much more effective way to communicate messages than taking part in interviews, because broadcast interviews seldom deliver anything but bad news for politicians.

He will expound the ‘snakes and ladders theory of political communication’ when he delivers the UK Speechwriters’ Guild Christmas lecture on Thursday 8 December at the School of Life, 70 Marchmont Streeet, in Bloomsbury.

Read more

Management Speak: Why We Listen to What Management Gurus Tell Us

Book Review – Management Speak: Why We Listen to What Management Gurus Tell Us

27 October 2011

By David Greatbatch and Timothy Clark
Published by Routledge, (156 pages)
ISBN 041530623X, £29.99

This book is a laconic, but rather devastating academic analysis of how business gurus ply their trade. Part of me thinks there may be a streak of envy in all this because academics are notoriously poor communicators. All the same the authors dissect how the gurus work their magic. They tell rather banal stories, they avoid criticising the audience directly, they make everyone laugh and they craft tales which paint themselves as being at the cutting edge.

Read more

Profile: Stuart Mole

27 October 2011

Stuart Mole is a freelance speechwriter and consultant. He is a former Director-General of the Royal Commonwealth Society and a former Director of the Secretary-General’s Office in the Commonwealth Secretariat.

What was the first speech you wrote for somebody else?

My guess it was when I was appointed the Parliamentary Press Officer of the Liberal Party back in 1975. My first draft was for Clement Freud, then MP for the Isle of Ely. He did the jokes and I inserted the party policy. I am not sure it was the ideal way to write speeches. Read more

Copyright © 2019 UK Speechwriters' Guild. All rights reserved. Website by Europa Studio.