Cambridge Speechwriters’ & Business Communicators’ Conference 2020
1-3 April 2020
You’re invited to the 20th European Speechwriter Network Conference.
This conference is for anyone wanting to learn from leading lights in the world of speechwriting.
And for people eager to share their experience with their peers.
Corporate, Government and financial cultures need imagination to communicate.
That’s why they hire talented writers to connect with the wider public.
If you have to script speeches, Tweets, blogs, op-eds, video scripts or presentations within your organisation, you’ll know how hard it can be.
We’ve had speakers who have written for President Obama, David Cameron and Angela Merkel.
We’ve heard from people working at BP, the Bundesbank and the European Commission.
The former Prime Minister of Finland came to share his views on speechwriting with us.
The European Speechwriter Network has pioneered a format where we listen to top speechwriters, leaders and experts talk about their work.
Our conferences expand your confidence, expertise and insight.
You’ll get instruction, ideas and inspiration from our speakers and trainers.
We welcome advanced writers, beginners and those interested in developing skills for the future.
We can learn to flourish within challenging environments.
We hear from our counterparts in foreign Governments, corporations and related professions
In a globalised world, our most valuable expertise is effective communication in English with multinational audiences.
That’s why we put on a multinational conference.
From the moment you arrive in Cambridge, you’ll be invited to eat, drink and talk with your fellow delegates.
We stay in touch after the conference. Over the past 10 years we’ve built a community that keeps coming back.
Who should attend?
Previous conferences in Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, Helsinki and Berlin have attracted writers from four Prime Ministers’ offices, the European Commission, NATO, Airbus, BMW, IBM, the CBI, Orange, Deloitte, the United Nations, the European Investment Bank, Coca Cola as well as the Dutch, Danish and British civil service.
While the conference is predominantly in English, the techniques will be transferable to other languages.
- Acquire techniques used in the White House, European institutions and and in numerous government and multinational offices around Europe
- Get insights into rhetoric from top writers
- Listen to outstanding writers tell their stories
- Have your own work analysed in interactive sessions with top trainers
- Meet fellow professionals from the Europe and the rest of the world
Wednesday 1 April – Delegates can choose from several pre-conference training workshops
- Eric Schnure – Structure and Substance: Why ‘How You Say It’ Is as Important as ‘What You Say’
Click here for a full description of the workshop
- Amélie Crosson – Money Talks: how to survive and thrive as a writer for central bankers and economists
Click here for a full description of the workshop
- Matt Greenough & Renée Broekmeulen – Creative Speechwriting: A collaborative seminar to generate collective insights
Click here for a full description of the workshop
Thursday 2 April – Conference takes place in the Lecture Theatre
10am – 4.30pm
Speakers include: Jens Kjeldsen, Anne Pédron-Moinard, Danny Coleman-Cooke, Eric Schnure, Elana Aptowitzer
7.30pm – Conference Banquet
Enjoy a three-course banquet in Emmanuel College dining hall with wine.
You will have the chance to take part in our speaking competition for the Fred Metcalf Memorial Trophy
Friday 3 April – 10am – 12.30pm
Speakers include: Bjørn Berge, David Murray
Official Conference Close – 12.30pm
1pm – Optional lunch
What you will leave with
- A better understanding of your counterparts
- Insights on how to work with multilingual audiences
- Tips for managing your speakers
- Strategies for dealing with interpreters
- New contacts, ideas and perspectives on the trade
A sought-after humour writer in Washington, Schnure began his communications career in the White House in 1993 as a speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore and later served in senior communications roles at the United States Department of Housing, General Electric and NASA.
He teaches speechwriting at Johns Hopkins University. He is co-author of The Political Speechwriter’s Companion, out in its second edition this autumn.
Amélie is the principal speechwriter for the Government Representative in the Senate of Canada. During her career, she has written speeches for prime ministers, cabinet ministers, governors of the Bank of Canada, and astronauts. She writes in both of Canada’s official languages (English and French) and welcomes the challenge of helping non-native speakers of a language connect with clarity and authenticity to audiences that are increasingly diverse. Fully trilingual (English, French and Spanish), Amélie has studied and worked in the US, France, and Latin America before settling in Canada.
Renée Broekmeulen & Matt Greenough
Matt was the Senior Special Adviser in the Welsh Government until 2018. He wrote the keynote speeches for the First Minister of Wales, and has written for Ministers, MEPs, Members of Parliament and Assembly Members. He provides speechwriting training through the Civil Service College in Westminster. He won the European Speechwriter Network ‘Battle of the Speeches’ competition in 2020.
Renée has worked for 20 years as a speechwriter and teacher. First as a civil servant writing for the Dutch Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and the Ministry of Interior Affairs. She writes speeches for politicians, directors and managers about every possible subject and teaches starting and/or aspiring speechwriters in The Netherlands and in Belgium how to be a professional speechwriter.
Felicity is Executive Speechwriter to John Williams, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Previously she wrote for John Williams in his capacity as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Before joining the Federal Reserve System she ran her own business, Thoughtful Speech, writing speeches and developing thought leadership programs for CEOs in tech, finance and academia. Felicity developed her speechwriting chops at the British insurance market, Lloyd’s of London, where she wrote for their CEO, Inga Beale.
Prior to speechwriting Felicity worked in British politics for a think tank, the Home Office and a member of parliament. She holds a BA from the University of Leeds and an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
As well as serving as speechwriter for seven different ministers in the UK Government, Danny has also developed speeches and books for award winning actors, sporting icons and CEOs of the world’s biggest companies.
In the world of theatre, Danny co-wrote the operatic adaptation of ‘Beowulf’, which was performed at the Royal Albert Hall, and has been a scriptwriter and judge for the Olivier Awards for several years.
He has also gained a strong reputation for writing topical comedy around major events; this has included covering the Paralympics for Channel 4, writing the script for the launch of the FIFA 19’ video game and creating jokes for BBC’s Have I Got News for You.
Elana is currently the Head of Speechwriting at Canada’s Department of National Defence, though she is taking a year to serve as the Federal Public Servant In-Residence at Carleton University in Ottowa, Canada, where she is developing and teaching a professional speechwriting course.
She has assumed a leadership position with the public service of Canada by launching the first Speechwriters’ Community of Practice, which brings together over 150 professional speechwriters to share tools and best practices.
She graduated from McGill University, in Montreal, Canada, with an Honours Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Sociology. She earned a Masters in Strategic Public Communications from American University in Washington DC.
Marianna is a former actor turned communication specialist based in Singapore. Her TED talk is one of the top 100 most viewed worldwide. Her presentation will be How To Craft A TEDx Talk That Gets 5 Million Views.
David is editor and publisher of Vital Speeches of the Day magazine and the executive director of the Professional Speechwriters Association. An award-winning journalist and a New York Times best-selling author, Murray writes and speaks widely on communication issues.
His speech will be titled: What (Only) a Speech Can Do. For almost all of the first 50,000 years of recorded human history, a speech was the most efficient communication method known to humankind: “Gather everyone together, I’ve got something I need to say.”
Since the Gutenberg Press, and radio, and television, and Internet and now YouTube—the speech has become just about the most inefficient communication method imaginable. Yet we still gather to listen to a speech. Why, on earth? For only one remaining reason, argues the publisher of Vital Speeches of the Day magazine. He’ll reveal it—and demonstrate it—in a speech. And if it resonates personally, you’ll be able to borrow from it liberally!
Anne was the speechwriter of the Mayor of Nantes. Historian, former high-school and college teacher, she’s now working as an independent speechwriter, trainer and speaker.
She also is the founder and the president of La Guilde des Plumes, the pioneering network of French speechwriters.
Bjørn is a Norwegian diplomat, author and international civil servant. He is currently Director General and Secretary to the Committee of Ministers in the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France.
Berge has been the speechwriter for three Norwegian Foreign Ministers. He has written and published several books, in particular about political speeches and speechwriting.
Berge has also served as an adviser in the International Department at the Office of the Prime Minister of Norway, and he was appointed Ambassador / Campaign Manager for the official Norwegian candidate to the post as Secretary General in the Council of Europe; Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, a former Norwegian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. After the successful election of Mr Jagland, Berge served for over seven years (2009-2017) as Director of the Private Office of the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General in the Council of Europe.
Jens is Professor of Rhetoric at University of Bergen, Norway. He is co-author of the book Speechwriting in Theory and Practice (Palgrave, 2019) He also works as a rhetoric coach and does CEO-courses in rhetoric, presentations and speechmaking.
Job has worked as a speechwriter for the Dutch minister of Education, Culture and Science for the past two years. From 2009-2017 he was a spokesman for several ministers. Before 2009 he was a political journalist, for the Dutch Press Agency ANP and the newspaper Telegraaf.
Sam is a coach and facilitator with 20 years’ public sector leadership experience, and runs the creative company Different Development, based in Sussex. She is also an actor, director and writer, and author of Rhyme and Reason: The Poetry of Leadership, winner of a Nautilus Books Silver Award. She leads the internationally renowned Mastery of Self-Expression workshop and a variety of Masterclasses, including Being a Leader. Much of her development work uses theatre skills and other creative approaches.
Martin Shovel & Martha Leyton
Martha and Martin run UK communications consultancy, CreativityWorks. They write speeches, lectures and presentations for chief executives, business leaders, lawyers, academics, leaders of trade unions and professional organisations, and more. In addition to their speechwriting work, they design and run workshops for speechwriters and other communications professionals.
Martin is also a cartoonist and commentator on Twitter, and he and Martha have created several animated films, including the viral YouTube hit, Busting the Mehrabian Myth, which challenges the widespread belief that tone of voice and body language are more important in spoken communication than words.
Max was a speechwriter for the late Paddy Ashdown. He ran workshops for Ronald Reagan’s speechwriters and has been a prolific author on the subject of speechwriting and public speaking. His books include, Our Masters Voices, Lend Me Your Ears and Speechmaking and Presentation Made Easy.
He became famous because he trained a woman who had never spoken in public before to make a speech at a party political conference. She proved a big hit. The training was featured in a television documentary called World in Action.
Guy @guydoza has a degree from Royal Holloway’s Centre for Oratory and Rhetoric. His research is focused on the application of classical rhetoric in modern speechwriting. He runs training courses for political writers in parliament. He has worked with a number of ministerial offices and trained Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green and SNP speechwriters.
As well as his political work he has also written for a range of private clients ranging from executives at BP to academics at leading universities. Guy will be chairing the conference.
The speakers advertised on the programme have agreed to speak at the conference. From time to time cancellations may arise. We always try to find appropriate replacements.
Clip from Last Year’s Conference in Oxford
For an Early-Bird Residential Pre-Conference Training + Conference Pass (Wed, Thu & Fri), the cost is £1499 + VAT. For other prices please press the ‘Tickets’ button to pay by credit card through Eventbrite.
If you prefer for us to send you an invoice instead of paying through Eventbrite, please send an email and we will send you one. If you need to separate the costs into two invoices – one for training, the other for accommodation, we’re happy to do that. Just email and ask.
Bookings will not be accepted unless accompanied by payment and cancellations must be received no later than one month (28 days) before the conference if a full refund is to be given.
Cancellations received within 2 to 4 weeks of the first date of conference will be refunded 50%. No refunds will be given for cancellations made within 14 days.
However, we prefer to discuss transferring your ticket to a future conference in the event that you can’t attend due to unforeseen circumstances.
Get to Cambridge
London Stansted Airport
This is the closest major airport, about 25 miles from Cambridge (40 minutes by car). It is well served by airlines flying from European destinations. For flight information try the BAA Stansted website or contact the airlines directly (budget airlines easyJet and Ryanair operate direct flights to Stansted from many European airports).
London Heathrow Airport
Many airlines fly to London Heathrow. The easiest way to get to Cambridge is to take a direct coach service. The coach runs at least once per hour, see the National Express website and takes at least 2.5 hours to reach Cambridge (often much longer, depending on traffic jams).
There are regular train services from London to Cambridge departing from London King’s Cross or London Liverpool Street. For timetable, fares and to plan your train journey from London to Cambridge, see the National Rail website. If you are travelling from Europe, you can catch the Eurostar and King’s Cross station is a short walk from St Pancras.
National Express operates coaches from London to Cambridge.
We recommend you take rooms in Emmanuel College to maximise your enjoyment of the conference.
There are a limited number of places available at a discount to people in full-time education who are considering a career in speechwriting. Details on application.
Join our Network
Membership of the UK Speechwriters’ Guild or European Speechwriter Network entitles you to a £50 discount on the conference fee.
You can follow the European Speechwriter Network on Twitter @EUSpeechwriters
You can apply to join our Linkedin group, European Speechwriter Network