The Essentials of Speechwriting London Autumn 2018

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St Matthew's Conference Centre

20 Great Peter Street



United Kingdom

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Event description


Take your skills as a speechwriter to a new level.

This practical training day introduces a systematic approach to speechwriting.

We’ll look at how to:

  • formulate striking key messages;
  • structure a speech as an engaging performance;
  • use rhetorical devices to give our language flair;
  • make our ideas more memorable;
  • adjust the text of the speech to the delivery style of the speaker; and
  • help our speeches survive poor delivery.

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.

We shall be working throughout with real speeches, as many as possible submitted by participants themselves.

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 six delegates.

Who is this workshop aimed at?

The workshop is aimed at people who are writing speeches for executives within organisations, who want to learn new techniques and to get 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 course, 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:

  • A better understanding of what makes an effective speech
  • Techniques for writing better speeches
  • Tips for managing your speakers
  • Ways to find persuasive stories
  • New contacts, ideas and perspectives on the trade

Participating in The Essentials of Speechwriting also plugs you into the UK Speechwriters' Guild, a unique community of speechwriting professionals that offers you ongoing support and advice.

The Trainer

Alan Barker is Managing Director of Kairos Training Limited. He regularly delivers workshops and coaching on speechwriting to a wide range of organisations, including the European Commission, ICAEW and The Natural History Museum, London. Alan is the author of fifteen books, including:
  • How to Solve Almost Any Problem (Pearson)
  • Improve Your Communication Skills (Kogan Page)
  • How to Manage Meetings (Kogan Page)


I can honestly say it was by far one of the best training sessions I have been on. Alan was a wonderful trainer, the day was very well structured and there were lots of opportunity for feedback and discussion. I came away from the day feeling really motivated and enthused.
Emma, RCN

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, Ofgem

The tutor made the class very interactive. He explained his points very clearly and simply.
International MA student, Regents Business School
Very good – felt very involved.
Project manager, McCarthy and Stone

Very good. Dynamic, interesting, challenging and intelligent.
Survey team manager, Capita Learning and Development
I've learnt many new techniques and I now have the tools to actually articulate what works and what doesn’t and why.
Scrutiny team member, Greater London Authority
Very informative and obviously passionate about the subject
Research consultant, SQW
The teacher was very good and professional. He explained the subject very well.
Events coordinator, Cancer Research UK
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St Matthew's Conference Centre

20 Great Peter Street



United Kingdom

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