Essentials of Speechwriting Leuven 2019

17 October 2019
Leuven, Belgium
  • Start: 1000
  • End: 1700
  • Venue: The Leuven Institute
  • Address: Janseniusstraat 1, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
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How does speechwriting differ from other kinds of writing?

This practical training day introduces the basic tools of speechwriting.

We’ll look at how to:

  • formulate striking messages
  • structure a speech as an engaging performance
  • help our speeches survive poor delivery
  • adapt the text to the speaker
  • use rhetorical devices to give our language flair
  • make our ideas more memorable

We’ll also explore how to manage speakers in the context of political, corporate and academic realities, and how to survive with our professionalism and self-esteem intact. (In other words, we understand how hard it can be!)

The day will end with your speech being read out by an invited guest who will evaluate what it’s like to deliver your work.

This course is limited to eight delegates.

Who is this workshop aimed at?

The workshop is aimed at people who are writing speeches for leaders within organisations, who want to learn new strategies to overcome the challenges they face.

The Programme

Introduction and objectives

  • The challenges of speechwriting (and how to meet them)
  • Sources of inspiration
  • Five-dimensional speechwriting
  • Formulating a message
  • Understanding the kairos
  • Three modes of appeal
  • Pulling focus: subject, audience, objective, topic, message
  • The elements of microstyle (with thanks to Christopher Johnson)
  • Creating a structure
  • Constructing a performance
  • Four modes of discourse (and how to use them)
  • Patterning information
  • Developing our style
  • Writing for speaking (and why it’s not like writing for reading)
  • Sentence structure and sequencing
  • Words, words, words: secrets of vocabulary management
  • Tropes and schemes (and understanding the difference)
  • Making it stick: weaving the magic of memory
  • Appealing to the senses
  • Building credibility into the text
  • The uses and abuses of narrative
  • Using technology
  • Microphones, autocues and other devices
  • Death by PowerPoint (and how to avoid it)
  • Practical exercises

Throughout the day, participants practise preparing, editing and delivering speeches and parts of speeches.

Action session

Delegates identify actions they will take as a result of attending the course.

What you will learn and leave with:

  • Ways to improve your scripts using figures of speech
  • Insights into how emotions work in speeches
  • Strategies to find persuasive stories
  • Tips for managing your speakers
  • Knowledge of good speechwriting etiquette
  • New contacts, ideas and perspectives

Participating in The Essentials of Speechwriting also plugs you into the UK Speechwriters’ Guild and its sister organisation the European Speechwriter Network, a unique community of speechwriting professionals that offers you ongoing support and advice.


The Trainer

Alan Barker spent fifteen years as a professional actor and broadcaster before becoming a training consultant and coach in 1990.

He regularly delivers workshops and coaching on speechwriting to a wide range of organisations, including the European Commission, the London Assembly and the British Science Association.

He also runs a module on the annual development programme for candidate diplomats at the Korean National Diplomatic Academy.

Alan is the author of over 20 books.


Feedback from previous workshops:

Alan was a wonderful trainer. The day was very well structured and there were lots of opportunities for feedback and discussion. I came away from the day feeling really motivated and enthused.
Emma, Royal College of Nursing

The training was fantastic. I can honestly say it was the most useful and enjoyable training course I have ever been on. Wonderful venue as well.
Miriam Haywood, Ofgem

Nice location. Nicely paced day. Would recommend.
Richard, Insurance Europe

The prospect of my next speech is not so daunting.
Anna, Canon Europe

Great approach – open and friendly.
Zenon, European Investment Fund



You can download and print a description of the workshop here:

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