The Leader’s Journey – how to add drama to your speechwriting

27 February 2018
London, UK
  • Start: 10.00
  • End: 1630
  • Venue: St Matthew's Conference Centre
  • Address: 20 Great Peter Street, SW1P 2BU, London, United Kingdom
Buy Tickets

Combining short instruction bursts with practical exercises and one-on-one consulting, American persuasion expert, Jay Heinrichs, teaches the persuasive art of Ethos.

Practised by the most skilled American political and corporate speechwriters, Ethos makes an audience believe your speaker is their ideal leader.

By the end of this day-long session, you’ll have mastered new, powerful tools, along with a strategy for making you indispensable to speakers and clients.

By taking the Leader’s Journey, you will your hone your writing skills, find templates to build a ‘vision’ and help you help others to bring out their ‘heroic’ leadership style.

Each participant will receive free copies of Jay’s bestselling book, Thank You for Arguing.


1. Make a hero

We’ll look at modern heroic speakers, from Steve Jobs to Cheryl Sandberg, and see how their images arose from their speeches. Then we’ll examine the three tools for creating the ethos of a leader: Caring, Craft, and Cause. We’ll break up for a team competition: Who can create the most likeable and trustworthy leader?

2. Bring the pain

The pain statement launches the hero on a quest and creates the all-important cause. It doesn’t have to be overly dramatic; the cause just has to make the audience believe in a problem—one that your speaker can solve. We’ll drill down into the best tools for creating a pain statement. Then, taking the winning hero from the first session, we’ll collaborate on a real-world problem. We’ll make sure everyone understands the basic tools of framing and definition. Then we’ll craft our hero’s pain statement.

3. Go on a journey

Even the most mundane topics can be made compelling with a hero’s journey. We’ll look at several of the most effective narrative outlines. Jay will offer a technique for seamless transitions and teach three tension-building devices. Then we’ll continue our speechmaking from the section session, writing the narrative of the leader’s speech. A critical part of this exercise: the art of choice-making. This empowers the audience and invites them into the journey, turning them into heroes.

4. Make the scene shovel-ready

The special effects of speechmaking comprise Enargeia, the art of making the audience feel they’re experiencing the story themselves. The trick is to use simple, plain-sounding, reality-bending language in the form of tropes. We’ll focus on the Belonging Tropes (metonymy and synecdoche). Often overlooked by speechwriters, they form the most effective persuasion tools that hide in plain sight. In addition, we’ll bring in a figure of speech called chiasmus, ideal for convincing an audience to make a choice. We’ll exercise these tools in our heroic speech.

5. Control the emotional volume

Techniques for bringing emotions up a notch toward the end of a speech: done properly, they make an audience eager to follow the heroic speaker in whatever course he takes. We’ll create an emotional ending appropriate even to emotion- averse audiences.

6. Invite the audience

The invitation takes the speech into the future, turning decision into action. Calls to action tend to be done too crudely. In this workshop, we’ll offer three essential calls that audiences will be eager to follow.

7. Speak!

Our short speech crafted, one of us will be asked to deliver it in front of our smartphones. Jay will then edit the video and email it to participants, along with an edited draft of the speech itself—with annotations showing every tool used.


£649 + VAT per delegate. You can purchase a ticket by pressing on the ‘Buy Tickets’ button or by emailing us to request an invoice.

The Trainer

Jay Heinrichs is the bestselling author of Thank You for Arguing.

He has written for dozens of publications, including The New York Times magazine, Vice and the Huffington Post, and won numerous journalism awards.

He has taught persuasion to college and university editors at Ivy League universities, NASA, and the Pentagon. He runs the acclaimed blog, as well as the rhetoric site

Buy Tickets