Cambridge Speechwriters’ & Business Communicators’ Conference 2018

11-13 April 2018
  • Start: 1000 11 April 2018
  • End: 1230 13 April 2018
  • Venue: King's College
  • Address: Cambridge, CB2 1ST
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16th UK Speechwriters’ Guild/European Speechwriter Network Conference.

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




Pre-conference Training

Wednesday 11 April – Delegates can choose from three pre-conference training workshops


Full Conference

Thursday 12 April – Conference takes place in the Keynes Lecture Theatre

10am – 4.30pm

Speakers include: Jan Walravens, Pacelle van Goethem

7.30pm – Conference Banquet

Enjoy a three-course banquet in King’s College dining hall with wine.

Contact us if you would like to enter the speaking competition for the Fred Metcalf Memorial Trophy


Conference Continues

Friday 13 April – 10am – 12.30pm

Speakers include: Professor Alan Finlayson (University of East Anglia)

Official Conference Close – 12.30pm

1pm – Optional lunch

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


Pre-Conference Trainers

Martin Shovel & Martha Leyton

MartinMartha Leyton and Martin Shovel run UK consultancy CreativityWorks.

They write speeches for chief executives, politicians, leaders of trade unions and professional organizations, and they train speechwriters and other communications professionals.

Martin was recently commissioned to write a series on political rhetoric Marthafor the Guardian’s Mind Your Language blog, and is currently writing a book on rhetoric.

He is also a prolific cartoonist and commentator on Twitter, and he and Martha have created several animated films, including the viral YouTube hit, Busting the Mehrabian Myth.






Professor Alan Finlayson

Alan is Professor of Political and Social Theory at the University of East Anglia. He writes primarily about political ideologies, political language and the theories of democracy. He is closely associated with the revival of the study of Rhetoric in British political science and is a founder member and Treasurer of the Rhetoric and Politics research group of the Political Studies Association. In addition to academic work he has written for publications such as The Guardian and The London Review of Books. He is currently Principal Investigator on a research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, looking at the rhetoric and aesthetics of political ideologies online with a particular focus on the so-called ‘alt-right’.




Anders Thor

Anders Thor is currently working as a speechwriter and advisor for the Prime Minister of Sweden. Educated at Uppsala University and University of Toronto, he worked as a campaign manager and communication consultant for unions, government agencies and global enterprises, before being recruited by the leadership of the Swedish Social Democratic Party in 2011.





Shais Taub

Rabbi Shais has lectured to audiences on six continents and is one of the most sought after speakers in the Jewish world today. He currently serves as scholar-in-residence at Chabad of the Five Towns in Long Island, New York where he teaches classes on mysticism and philosophy. In addition to speaking and teaching, he is also an in-demand speech writer who crafts sermons for other rabbis. Each week, his material is heard by hundreds of audiences all around the world. His focus and passion in speaking, teaching, and speechwriting is to embrace the challenge of making highly abstract concepts relatable.



Pacelle van Goethem

Biography and photo to follow…

Jan Walravens

Biography and photo to follow..

Jeremy Gardner

Biography and photo to follow..

Kallirroe Agathos

Biography and photo to follow..

More speakers to follow…


Clip from Last Year’s Conference in Oxford



For an Early-Bird Residential Pre-Conference Training + Conference Pass (Wed, Thu & Fri), the cost is £1425 + 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.


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%. No refunds will be given for cancellations made within 14 days.

However, we are happy to discuss transferring your ticket to a future conference in the event that you can’t attend due to unforeseen circumstances.


Get to Cambridge



We recommend you take rooms in King’s 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

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