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UK Speechwriters' Guild




The only event of its kind outside the US

2-4 April 2014 Trinity College, Oxford

Join us You are invited to attend the 8th Leadership & Communication conference organised by the UK Speechwriters’ Guild at Trinity College, Oxford on 3 & 4 April 2014. The conference runs from the Thursday morning to the Friday lunchtime, with a day of pre-conference training on the Wednesday. Dr Max Atkinson will be running a ‘Max Atkinson Masterclass’ as the pre-conference training on Wednesday 2 April. The masterclass is aimed at those people who wish to benefit from Dr Atkinson’s 30 years of studying speechwriting and public speaking. You do not need any prior experience of speechwriting to attend the training or the conference.

Dr Max Atkinson Masterclass Dr Max Atkinson is Britain’s leading authority on speechwriting and public speaking. After many years of academic research at Lancaster, Manchester and Wolfson College, Oxford, Dr Atkinson wrote Our Masters’ Voices. In the book he described a set of simple verbal techniques that trigger applause during political speeches. He was able to test his theories in a Granada Television World in Action programme, which showed how he coached a woman with no previous experience of public speaking to use the techniques and win a standing ovation. In 1985, Atkinson ran a seminar on speech writing in the White House during Ronald Reagan’s Presidency. He later became advisor to Paddy Ashdown, then the leader of the Liberal Democrats. In 2004 Max Atkinson published Lend Me Your Ears: All You Need to Know about making Speeches and Presentations. He has helped managers in numerous companies and organisations in the UK and abroad to improve their presentation skills, public speaking and speechwriting, often working individually with CEOs and other board level executives. The Masterclass will cover: • • • • • • • • • • •

What do you need to get out of your speeches? What is the language of public speaking and presentation? How do you learn it? Strong openings and bold conclusions How to use rhetorical techniques, imagery and anecdotes The perils of too much information Putting principles into practice Life after death from PowerPoint Uses and abuses of visual aids Structure and why it’s vital How to ‘supercharge’ a speech

2 April 2014, 10am – 4.30pm, Britton Room, Trinity College, Oxford (This workshop is open to anyone, whether they wish to attend the spring conference or not.)

Cost £499 Payable through Eventbrite or on request of an invoice.

Keynote speaker Clark Judge Clark S. Judge is founder and managing director of the White House Writers Group, Inc. and an opinion journalist. He was a speechwriter in the Reagan White House. As Managing Director of the White House Writers Group, he has advised some of the world’s most prominent corporations in meeting their strategic and communications challenges in the U.S. and elsewhere. For political clients he has written many nationally televised speeches, primarily during presidential campaigns. He has provided communications advice in support of numerous cases before the United States Supreme Court.

Who else will be speaking Caroline Johns is Chief of Staff to Deloitte’s global Chairman, Steve Almond. She will be speaking about the challenges of speechwriting for a global audience.

David Krikler was the former chief communications advisor to Ambassador Ron Prosor at the Israeli Embassy in London. He will be speaking about how to be funny and diplomatic

Financial Times columnist, Sam Leith, author of You Talkin’ To Me? Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama, will be explaining how rhetoric can invigorate speeches.

Hostage negotiator, Dick Mullender, will be speaking about how you can use negotiation techniques to get the information you need out of your speakers.

Professor Jens E. Kjeldsen, from the University of Bergen in Norway, will asking what’s the point of speaking today, in the age of internet, social media, interviews and a constant shrinking of audience attention span?

Willi Vogler is a founder member of the German speechwriters association and was speechwriter to the CEO of Lufthansa. He will be speaking about the German culture of writing speeches.

Ben Locker is co-founder of the Professional Copywriters’ Network. Ben has a deep hatred of PowerPoint. He will be speaking about persuasion. Brent Kerrigan, who has worked as a speechwriter for senior members of the Government of Canada and the United Nations. He will be running a breakout session on how to manage the approval chain for a speech. David Day, formerly Principal of St John’s College and Cranmer Hall, Durham, will be giving some insights on the skill of preaching. Mette Højen coaches European business leaders and is former advisor and speechwriter to the CEO of the Danish Bankers Association. She will be explaining how her musical training has shaped the way she teaches speechmaking.

What will I learn? Our conferences help you improve your ability to write and deliver speeches by: • • • • • •

listening to top speechwriters share their experiences
 giving you techniques from the White House, European institutions and the UK Parliament to improve your texts
 making you aware of the linguistic and cultural problems that arise in international speechwriting work
 introducing you to fellow professionals from the UK, Europe and the rest of the world
 giving you the chance to contrast a variety of speaking styles
 allowing you to discuss your own work problems in sessions

Who goes? We make our conferences accessible to new speechwriters, press officers, public affairs professionals, PR specialists, Government speechwriters, freelance copywriters, union officials, aspiring politicians, charities and professional speakers. Previous conferences have attracted delegates from NATO, the European Commission, the CBI, Orange, Kingfisher, Deloitte, the United Nations, the European Investment Bank, Coca Cola as well as the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. Our conferences have a strong international flavour. In recent year we’ve attracted delegates from France, Italy, Singapore, Nigeria, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, the United States and Zimbabwe.


10.00 - 4.30pm Max Atkinson Masterclass (Britain’s leading authority on speechwriting and public speaking).


10.00-4.30pm Speakers include Jens Kjeldsen, Sam Leith (Financial Times), Caroline Johns (Deloitte), Willi Vogler (German Speechwriters’ Guild), David Krikler (Tetra-Strategy PR), Ben Locker (Professional Copywriters’ Network).


10.00 - 1pm Speakers include Mette Højen, Dick Mullender, Clark Judge.

How do I register? To secure a place by credit card for the Masterclass (£499) or the Conference (£349), or both (£795), go to To request an invoice, call 01202 551257. To make an enquiry by email

UK Speechwriters' Guild


The UK Speechwriters’ Guild is an organisation which contracts with Trinity College for the use of facilities, but which has no formal connection with The University of Oxford.

Spring Conference Oxford 2014  

Details of speakers and registration for the 8th UK Speechwriters Guild Leadership & Communication Conference 2014

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