Paris Speechwriters’ & Business Communicators’ Conference

26-27 September 2019
  • Start: 1000 26 September 2019
  • End: 1630 27 September 2019
  • Venue: Centre Culturel Irlandais
  • Address: 5 rue des Irlandais 75005 - Paris
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Rhetoric is the art of influence, friendship and eloquence – Jay Heinrichs

In the context of turbulent political events, the 19th UK Speechwriters’ Guild/European Speechwriter Network Leadership & Communication conference will be held at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris.

We’ll be at the heart of the university quarter, surrounded by the great academic institutions of France.

Our conferences are open to people who write speeches in their organisations.

We welcome advanced speechwriters, beginners and those interested in developing skills for the future.

You’ll meet colleagues who face the same challenges.

The European Speechwriter Network, working with the UK Speechwriters’ Guild, has pioneered a format where we listen to top speechwriters, leaders and interpreters talk about their work.

We learn what techniques they use, how they craft stories and how they build relationships. We host our conferences in a university environment, enabling speechwriters to exchange ideas, make contacts and build a reputation.


Who should attend?

Previous conferences in Brussels, Amsterdam and Berlin have attracted speechwriters 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.

This conference is for anyone wanting to improve their ability to write and deliver speeches.

While the conference is predominantly in English, the techniques will be transferable to other languages.

It’s also for people wishing to improve their company’s ability to communicate ideas.

The benefits

  • 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 public speakers
  • Have your own work analysed in interactive sessions with top trainers
  • Meet fellow professionals from the Europe and the rest of the world




Wednesday 26 September

6.30 for 7.00pm – For early arrivals, we’ll go for a meal at the Restaurant Perraudin Please send us an email if you’d like to book in with us.

– Pre-conference Training

Thursday 26 September – Delegates can choose from three pre-conference training workshops

10am – 4.30pm Mike Long: Strategic Speechwriting: The Method and The Art
Click here to download a more detailed description

10.00am – 4.30pm – Martin Shovel & Martha Leyton: How to Write Speeches that Move Hearts as well as Minds
Click here for a more detailed summary of the workshop 

10.00am – 4.30pm – Alan Barker: Bring Your Speech to Life
Click here for a more detailed description of the workshop

Lunch will be from 1-2.30pm in a restaurant

4.45pm – Tour of the Centre Culturel Irlandais with a guide

6.30pm – Informal dinner at the Mosquée de Paris


Friday 27 September – Full Conference

10am – 4.30pm

Speakers: Aziliz Gouez, Kevin Toolis, Tom Moylan (European Commission), Antonia Fleischman (Bundesbank)

5.00pm Informal drinks and a meal in Paris

What you will learn and leave with

  • A better understanding of what makes an effective speech
  • 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



Mike Long

Mike is a speechwriter, playwright, and award-winning screenwriter based in Washington, D.C.

He is a former director of the White House Writers Group, and served most recently as the director of writing for the graduate program in public relations and corporate communications at Georgetown University.



Martin Shovel & Martha Leyton


Martha Leyton and Martin Shovel are speechwriters and communications coaches, who run a UK communications consultancy called CreativityWorks.

They write speeches for chief executives, politicians, trade union leaders, academics and lawyers. They also train speechwriters and other communications professionals.

Martin’s writing has appeared in many places, including the Guardian’s Mind Your Language blog and the Macmillan Dictionary blog, and he is also a prolific cartoonist and Twitter commentator (@martinshovel). He and Martha have also made several animated films, including the viral YouTube hit, Busting the Mehrabian Myth.

Alan Barker

Alan is Managing Director of Kairos Training Limited. He regularly delivers workshops and coaching on speechwriting to a wide range of organisations, including the European Commission, the International Criminal Court and The Natural History Museum, London.

Alan is the author of fifteen books, including: How to Solve Almost Any Problem (Pearson), Improve Your Communication Skills (Kogan Page), How to Manage Meetings (Kogan Page).






Aziliz Gouez

Aziliz is an anthropologist by training. Between 2013-2017 she was the Chief Speechwriter for the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.

Aziliz is a graduate of Sciences Po Paris, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and the University of Cambridge. She has lived and worked in Romania, Poland, Ireland, the former-Yugoslavia, as well as the United States and Israel.



Antonia Fleischmann

Antonia is a speechwriter in politics and finance. In her current role, she drafts speeches for a board member at Germany’s central bank. In previous roles, she wrote speeches for Germany’s former Minister of Labour and Social Affairs and for the president of a large German banking association. Antonia also offers speechwriting training for academic researchers. Antonia delivered her first (and only) own speech at a students’ demonstration against the Iraq war in 2003. She also fondly remembers her first speechwriting experiences abroad, including one for the German ambassador to Uganda celebrating the opening of a children’s hospital in Kampala.



Melanie Dunn

Melanie is the founder of, which provides services in speechwriting and training to a range of international clients.  With an early career in journalism and communications, she became a speechwriter in 2010. Since then, she has worked for a Portuguese politician, a Qatari queen, an Indian industrialist and English educationalists.

Melanie will be talking about translating skills across borders, languages and sectors.



Pauline Genee

Pauline is a Dutch diplomat and novelist.

She served as the speechwriter for three consecutive Ministers of Foreign Affairs and also wrote for ministers of Trade and Development Cooperation.

As a diplomat, she mainly worked in the field of Security Policy. Pauline has published two novels with Querido Publishing House (in Dutch).

At the Paris Conference, Pauline will focus her talk on the differences and parallels between fiction writing and speechwriting. (Photo: Lionne Hietberg for Querido Publishing House)


Hélène Faure

After working in French politics for five years, including two years as a speechwriter for former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Hélène decided to become a screenwriter. She worked on Baron Noir, a French TV show on politics. She has just returned from Los Angeles where she did the screenwriting course at UCLA.




Tom Moylan

Tom is the speechwriter to the EU Commissioner for Trade. Previously he was a Digital Strategist, specialising in the meeting point of social media and political communication. In short: he used to work with the newest form of public communication and now he works with the oldest.




Kevin Toolis

Kevin worked as a journalist  in the House of Commons as a press gallery reporter and then reported on political conflicts and terrorism for publications including The New York Times, The Guardian and The Daily Mirror.

As a documentary director has made a series of acclaimed films on terrorism and was nominated for an International Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for the programme ‘Cult of Death: Suicide Bombers’ for the Discovery Channel.

He has also worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood. He will talk about ‘The Catastrophe Speech – What we can learn from Tony Blair’s speech on the death of Princess Diana’.


Jennifer Migan

Jennifer is a French former professional tennis player who after living in the US, the UK and in Turkey is currently living in her hometown Bordeaux, where she works as public speaking coach/speechwriter and media manager. She is convinced that her ‘previous life’ as a professional athlete was the best training to become a speechwriter.

Her talk will be: From chasing balls to picking the right word : the (un)natural transition of a tennis player to speechwriting.




Alexandra Fresse-Eliazord

Alexandra, former speechwriter for the President of the Loire Countries, is a presentation coach and consultant.

She’s also an actress and for four years she has been running an improv workshop in a studio at the Morbihan. She will be running a workshop on using improv theatre to find inspiration for a speech. She will use improv games involving body movement and voice, inviting you to follow your intuition to create a theme or an opening paragraph.



Guy Doza

Guy has a degree from Royal Holloway’s Centre for Oratory and Rhetoric. His research was 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.



More speakers to be announced in the coming days…while we do our best to make sure all speakers on the programme will appear on the day, we cannot be responsible for any unforeseen cancellations.



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.


Cancellation Policy

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%. If you can’t make it at the last minute, you can transfer your attendance to a future conference.


The venue is at the heart of the university quarter in Paris. For this reason accommodation is quite expensive, but there are many hotels nearby. No accommodation is available at the venue.

If you want to book accommodation, we have a block booking at the Hôtel St Christophe. We have three single room bookings for three nights at the for the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday @ €150 per night. We will release them on a first come first served basis.

The Centre Culturel recommend the no frills Hôtel de Senlis. I’ve stayed before at Hôtel de la Sorbonne, which is comfortable.

You can download a list of hotels here


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 + VAT 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

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