A Twitter account may win you the Presidency of the United States, but in European democracies traditional speechmaking is still a vital skill.
Amidst the social and political upheaval, speechwriters from around the world will gather this autumn near Brussels in Belgium to share their expertise and calm their fractious nerves.
Language most shows a man. Speak that I may see thee.
This quotation from the playwright, Ben Johnson, is the raison d’être for speechwriters. Public speaking gives us an intimate view of the speaker. The speaker can choose to write something for herself or himself, but it’s very easy to ‘leak the truth from every pore’, that is to say: reveal things about yourself that are irrelevant or inappropriate that damage the case or alienate the audience.
We have developed a tradition at our conferences – at least it has run for the last two. It’s an after-dinner speaking contest.
The idea came from the Dutch, who are great supporters of the event.
Renée Broekmeulen, who chaired the LMH conference in 2016, asked the audience to call out some words summarising each presentation. She selected three from each.
Then, at the end of the first day, she wrote them all down on a flipchart and invited delegates to write a speech incorporating each of the words.
1) Make Speeches Great Again
That’s what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again. Quote from Walt Disney, Saving Mr Banks
2) Meet Other Speechwriters
This is our 14th international event.
The best speechwriters aren’t usually corporate animals or political animals: they tend to be the creative types within their organisations.
An ESN conference has been described as a ‘gathering of gregarious loners’. Half the conference is about learning new skills, the other half is about learning from the other practitioners of our craft. Read more
When did you first become interested in speechwriting?
From 2012-2014, I worked as a press advisor to the previous president of The Council of Higher Education in Turkey. It started when the president asked me to write a speech for a graduation ceremony. Since then, I’ve done research into speechwriting. It’s one of the most interesting jobs in the world. You can hear speechwriters everywhere but you can’t see them. That’s just fantastic.
A former speechwriter to Al Gore will deliver a masterclass at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh next month.
The workshop, titled Wisdom from the White House will give delegates some insights into how craft speeches like an American President.
Eric Schnure serves as an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where he teaches speechwriting.
Many people are shocked that speechwriters exist. At first they think it’s a dubious trade. Why can’t top people write their own speeches? Later in the conversation it can be a problem explaining what we do and how we do it.
We asked members of the European Speechwriter Network to take part in a competition to come up with their own definition of what they do.
A speechwriter makes sure that when the speaker finishes, the audience applauds.
On 23 June 2016, Britain voted to leave the European Union. It was contrary to the wishes of the Government, the advice of most experts and the views of most leading politicians.
American speechwriting guru, Mike Long, was in London this week to deliver a special workshop on ‘Strategic Speechwriting’ for the European Speechwriter Network. One of the many highlights was his mnemonic for constructing a speech introduction.
It went as follows:
The Acknowledgements are the important people in the room you’ve got to recognise. Read more