£632.33 – £1,613.92

Oxford Speechwriters' & Business Communicators' Conference 2017

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Magdalen College



United Kingdom

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14th UK Speechwriters' Guild/ European Speechwriter Network Conference at Magdalen College, Oxford.

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

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, how they build relationships.

Who should attend?

Previous conferences in the UK, Brussels and Amsterdam have attracted speechwriters from the European Commission, NATO, 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.

You should attend this conference if you are interested in:

Communicating your organisation's mission, vision and values

Helping leaders motivate and inspire

Discovering techniques to give your speeches more impact

Understanding how speeches are interpreted

Engaging people with your 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 13 April



Delegates can choose from three pre-conference training workshops

10am – 4.30pm Martin Shovel and Martha Leyton – Style, Structure and Storytelling – a 1-day seminar to sharpen your speechwriting skills. Click here to download a more detailed summary.

Main Conference

Thursday 30 March

10am - 4.30pm - European Speechwriter Network Conference

Speakers include:

6.30pm - Drinks reception.

7pm - Three course banquet in Magdalen College

Email us if you'd like to take one of the three-minute speaking slots to practise your after-dinner speechwriting.

Friday 15 April

10 - 12.30am - Conference Day 2

Speakers include: TBA

Official Conference Close

1pm - Optional lunch in the Nosebag, St Michael's Street

2.00pm - Optional tour of the Oxford Union Debating Society

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

Martha 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 for the Guardian’s Mind Your Language blog, and is currently writing a Marthabook on rhetoric.

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


Speakers will be announced in the coming weeks...

We do our best to make sure all speakers appear as billed, but we may have to make some substitutions in the event of illness or unexpected events.


If your institution does not pay VAT, or if you prefer to submit a purchase order, or you would just like us to send you an invoice instead of paying through Eventbrite, please get in touch.

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.

How to get to Oxford

By Air

Oxford is within easy reach of London Heathrow, London Gatwick and Birmingham International Airport.

By Train

If you arrive in the UK by Eurostar, there is a fast and frequent rail service from Paddington.


To maximise enjoyment of the conference we encourge you to stay in Magdalen College with most of the other delegates. Oxford colleges have old rooms that can be part of their charm. Some rooms do not have ensuite toilet facilities. To get the best rooms, it's advisable to book early.


There are a limited number of discounts availalbe to people in full-time education who are considering a career in speechwriting. Details on application.


Click here to read an article the Financial Times wrote about one of our conferences.

It was a great event and I found the speakers provided an excellent insight into the world of speechwriting - so thank you!

Kate, IBM

We went back to the real nitty-gritty elements of the craft, and going back to basics made me think afresh about different approaches that can be taken. The Conference overall was educational, practical and full of ideas and creative energy. Attending was a brilliant opportunity – go!

Jonathan Kinsella (speechwriter at Dept of Culture, Media and Sport)

Loved the conference. Great speakers and well organized. Learnt lots.

Alistair McIntosh, Chief Executive, Housing Quality Network

Thanks especially for getting Sam Leith and David Day to speak to the group, both were utterly compelling. And thanks for all the thought and hard work that doubtlessly go into this event every year, I can't think of any other conference that's worth packing a suitcase for.

Maddy, Clifford Chance

It was a hugely enjoyable two days and an honour to speak among such stellar names. Congrats on pulling off such a successful event.

David K

I greatly enjoyed the conference, and very much appreciated being invited.

Edward Mortimer, former speechwriter to Kofi Annan

Let me thank you wholeheartedly again for having invited me to your brilliantly organized conference in Oxford. I enjoyed it thoroughly and I was impressed by the line-up of speakers, the truly international mix of people, the intellectual level of the contributions (and contributors) and the wonderful venue you had chosen

Willi Vogler, Verband der Redenschreiber deutscher Sprache

Thanks for organising such a brilliant event – I have just been raving about how brilliant the event was to my colleagues and would very much like one of them to attend next year, could you keep me on your mailing list.

Communications Director at Astellas Pharma Europe

Thanks for organising such a great event.

Ben Duncan, Senior Adviser to the Director, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Thank you for an outstanding conference. Congratulations for organising multiple perspectives on speech writing – Foreign Office, UN, government and business.

Jamie Priestley

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