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September 2012 | Volume 10

The Speechwriter Newsletter of the

UK Speechwriters' Guild

Welcome Welcome to the tenth edition of The Speechwriter newsletter. The purpose of this publication is to circulate examples of excellent speeches to members of the UK Speechwriters’ Guild. We do this by picking out openings, closings, one-liners and quotations and other topical extracts from newspapers and the internet to identify techniques, stimulate your imagination and provide models which you can emulate. This newsletter appears quarterly and is available to anyone who is a Standard Member of the UK Speechwriters’ Guild or the European Speechwriter Network.

incorporating

MASTERCLASS by Henry M Boettinger

H

enry M Boettinger worked for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. He wrote a book Moving Mountains or The Art of Letting Others See Things Your Way published in 1969. It’s regarded as an obscure classic on the art of giving presentations. Here are some soundbites from the book: Everyone subjected to a presentation brings with him several unseen retainers. Kipling called them his ‘six honest serving men’: Who, What, Where, Why, How and When? Start where THEY are, not where YOU are. Presentation of ideas is conversation carried on at high voltage — at once more dangerous and more powerful. Good presentations are like rivers; bad ones like canals.

Contribute Every quarter we award the Demosthenes Pebble (£25 Amazon token) for an outstanding speech. Please send your speeches to:

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EUROPEAN SPEECHWRITER NETWORK

How to get and hold attention or creating sleeplessness . My nine-year-old daughter was once assigned the task of making a report on the Aztecs. Her teacher told her to ‘do research on it first’. Since she was only nine, she lettered in a fine title on the cover sheet: History of the Aztecs. Were she 29, and an expert on the subject, she would concoct a title like, Some Preliminary Notes on Aztec Grain Cultivated in the Period 1316-1319AD and take 500 pages to do it.

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Uncomfortable chairs are tough opponents; they always win in the end, when the presentation is too long. Create a clash between the background environment and the event. Every renowned figure in history…understood the power of drama. Churchill’s speeches - uttered word for word by a phlegmatic predecessor could not have inspired and rallied an entire free world. Sir Winston was a consummate, and not altogether unconscious, showman.

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BOOK REVIEWS Alan Barker reviews two essential books for speechwriters. He will be running a seminar on how to make your speech ‘speakerproof’ at the UK Speechwriters’ Guild autumn conference in Bournemouth.

Conversation: a history of a declining art by Stephen Miller Yale University Press, 2006 £20.00 ISBN: 978 0 300 12365 4 “An American cannot converse,” said Tocqueville, “but he can certainly orate.” Public speakers, we’re increasingly told, should be more authentic – and public speeches more conversational. So a history of conversation – especially from America, where the flame of European rhetoric currently shines brightest – must be interesting. Americans, says Stephen Miller in this intriguing book, prefer their conversations public. From Oliver Wendell Holmes to the ‘ersatz

conversations’ of Oprah and Jerry Springer, American culture has, he says, consistently favoured performed conversation over the pleasures of ‘the conversible world’. Miller sets his argument in a broad historical context, from Mesopotamia to Eminem. But his heart’s in the 18th century, when conversation was cultivated as a social accomplishment to manage passion and avert civil discord. Like his heroes Hume, Addison and Johnson, Miller regards conversation as a rhetorical skill, requiring humour, the ability to listen, and politeness. Combined, they create raillery, “good-humoured, intelligent wit and banter”. Raillery, for Miller, virtually defines good conversation: it’s “a solvent of cultural and social differences”. But it’s threatened, he suggests, by ‘authenticity’, promoted by the post-war counterculture, which has disabled conversation in three ways. It prioritises self-expression over politeness; it values everybody’s views equally, making critical comment uncool; and it celebrates inarticulacy. “The heroes of the counterculture,” claims Miller, “are grunters, mumblers, ranters and cursers.” Miller wants to rescue conversation. But he’s not optimistic. “People need to be persuaded that the benefits of politeness exceed the costs.” Especially, perhaps, in a culture that values authenticity over respect.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman Penguin, 2012 £8.99 ISBN 0141033576 Daniel Kahneman is a behavioural economist, studying how social, cognitive and emotional factors affect our decisions. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, he aims to stimulate “watercooler conversations” about our cognitive biases.

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What’s the rhetorical connection? Aristotle says that rhetoric concerns “things about which we deliberate but for which we have no systematic rules”. Decision science concerns the same matters. It explains how we choose when faced with uncertainty. Kahneman invokes the fiction of two ‘systems’: System 1 (intuitive, associative and fast); and System 2 (rational, logical and slow). System 1 prefers plausibility to probability; it constructs narratives to generate coherent meaning from inadequate information. (Sound rhetorically familiar?) System 2 is lazy: without conscious attention and effort, it simply ratifies System 1’s decisions. Almost all of Kahneman’s examples have rhetorical implications. For example, your audience’s System 1 will accept a message more easily if it’s repeated. If they’re grasping pencils between their teeth, they’re forced to smile – making them feel happier and even more receptive. (Go on: try it.) For all his brilliance, Kahneman’s pessimism can be infectious. “Our thoughts and actions,” he writes, “are routinely guided by System 1 and are generally on the mark”; but he’s overwhelmingly concerned more with intuition’s flaws than its marvels. Look in the index: you’ll find no entry for imagination.

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WHEN IT COMES TO SPEECHES, THE AUDIENCE IS ALWAYS RIGHT a crucial speech on two audiences before our client eventually delivered it to the target audience. In the first dry run our speech went down a treat – the audience loved it, and their response to it convinced us that our well-wrought speech was going to work. So imagine the shock when in the second dry run our speech fell flat on its face. This audience “just didn’t get it”, and things looked even more sticky when we learned that this second audience was much more similar to the target audience than the first had been.

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n a recent interview, the writer Will Self confesses, “I don’t really write for readers. I think that’s the defining characteristic of being serious as a writer…And if people like it, great, and if they don’t like it, well, that’s that – what can you do?” A novelist has the freedom to concentrate their efforts on the structural and aesthetic content of their writing – they can please themselves. By contrast, every word a speechwriter produces has to please a specific audience, on a particular occasion. From the outset, the speechwriter is under pressure because they know full well they won’t get a second bite of the cherry. It is not unheard of for a novel to sell badly at first and then go on to become a success. Speeches, on the other hand, either rise to the occasion or withdraw in ignominy with their tail between their legs – the margin of error is narrow, and the audience unforgiving. Some think the Gettysburg Address is the exception that proves this rule. According to folklore, the speech barely caused a ripple

at the time, and yet is now widely regarded as a one of the greatest of all speeches. Apparently, the speech that made the headlines was the one that preceded Lincoln’s – a two-hour marathon, which was given by the most admired orator of the day, Edward Everett. But eyewitness reports of the crowd’s response are divided, often along partisan lines. In a letter Everett himself sent to Lincoln the following day, he wrote, “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.” The crucial point is that, unlike novels and many other forms of writing, a speech has no wriggle room – an audience judges it in the moment, as it is delivered. If a speech is going to have any chance winning over its audience, the speechwriter needs to know that audience inside out. Unfortunately, achieving this is rarely easy or straightforward – and there are many traps along the way.

Magnanimously, our client apologised for having given us “the wrong exam question”, and together we got on with the job of revising the speech in light of the feedback. We had to cut right back on the inspiring stories and illuminating metaphors, and ramp up the technical details, statistical data, and, yes…. include some power point slides. As a result, when our client gave the final speech, it hit the audience’s sweet spot. Of course, the successful professional speechwriter shares the novelist’s love of language, but, unlike the novelist, the speechwriter can never fully abandon him or herself to its aesthetic allure without courting disaster. However beautifully written your speech may be, if it doesn’t push the buttons of the audience it was written for, it’s a flop. Martin Shovel blogs at www.creativityworks.net and tweets @MartinShovel

Last year we had what we thought was the luxury of testing

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CHURCHILL - THE POWER OF WORDS and amendments made in pencil, dark ink and occasionally, for impact or convenience, in red ink. The changes are rarely wholesale. More often than not they are careful, wellchosen excisions or additions that illuminate a turn of phrase, or correct a factual reference. The visitor can compare how Churchill’s typescript looks on the page and then compare it with how the same words were paced and enunciated when spoken. Blocks of text typed out in a rough system of scansion clearly guide the delivery of broadcasts or public speeches.

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hurchill: The Power of Words – at The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, until September 23rd 2012 – offers a fascinating glimpse into the construction and delivery of speeches by one of the great statesmen of the 20th century. It is also an interesting if coincidental review of the close relationship between Winston Churchill and the United States, and the impact this had on his personal and political lives. For writers, there are exhibits that show the architecture of Churchill’s approach and the implements used to draft the speeches that had such a dramatic effect on the outcome of World War II. A significant proportion of the words on show here served to strengthen the bond between the British Empire – at the moment of its most profound weakness – and the emerging industrial and political powerhouse of the U.S.. Artifacts displayed include a dipping ink pen from the White House, and a Remington ‘noiseless’ typewriter used by Churchill’s secretarial team so as not to interrupt his narrative flow when dictating drafts. Most of the speeches shown here in their physical form are draft or amended final versions, with marks

The centrepiece of the show is a darkened semi-circular booth positioned at the back of the modest room in which the majority of the exhibition is housed. Inside the booth, you sit and listen to a selection of the speeches featured in the exhibition, and watch as the words unfold on screen in a way that echoes how Churchill built his texts. It is at this point that you are reminded not just of the poetry and impact of his writing, but of his tremendous control of pace, pitch and pause in delivery. It is within the booth that you hear what is perhaps the defining speech of the exhibition. Broadcast from London on February 9th 1941, Give us the tools marked a pivotal point in the wartime relationship between the British Empire and the U.S. The bargain offered here was that if President Roosevelt responded positively to Churchill’s appeal for support in the resolution of World War II, Churchill would commit the British people, and British and Allied forces, to redouble their own efforts (in hardship and sacrifice) in seeking an end to the conflict. Having quoted from Henry Longfellow’s O Ship of State, Churchill asks that President Roosevelt and the people of the U.S. give Britain their faith and blessing:

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“We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle, nor the longdrawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.” This was a powerful plea that struck a balance between the humility of a nation almost on its knees, and likely to succumb without support, and the pride of a people that had already sacrificed much in staving off a defeat that would have implications for generations. It is important to understand the context of this speech beyond the immediate and obvious tumult of World War II. This was a moment in the history of the British Empire when everything was in peril. At the point Churchill made his plea to the U.S., the Allied forces were as good as defeated and appeasement to Hitler’s Germany seemed inevitable. At the highest levels, many U.S. politicians were set against becoming involved in a war that already appeared lost. Public opinion in the U.S. was also heavily against joining such a seemingly distant conflict. But this difficult political relationship was in contrast to the benefits Churchill had gained from his significant personal connections to the U.S. His mother, Jennie Jerome, was born in Brooklyn. His maternal grandfather, Leonard Jerome, was one-time proprietor and editor of The New York Times. His first visit to the U.S., at age 21, was to New York as a guest of Bourke Cockran, a prominent Irish American with interests in the law and whose future would see him operate at the highest levels of American politics. He was also a noted and impressive public speaker. In 1946, Churchill credited Cockran with giving him many of the words he used in his speeches, describing him as a great Irish American orator. Indeed, he said at

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Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild one point that Cockran taught him “how to use every note of the human voice like an organ.” Cockran was renowned for his epic phrasing and thundering voice. That said, Churchill’s approach was not founded entirely outside of his immediate family. His father, a noted parliamentarian, was celebrated for his speaking appearances in the House of Commons. Indeed, it was said that when it looked like Randolph Churchill was about to stand, word would spread, and the chamber would fill with MPs keen to see how he would perform. But it remains the case that Winston’s personal connection to and connections within the U.S. were clearly fundamental to his style. This special relationship might also explain what lies at the heart of the reciprocal affection that has been shown for Churchillian rhetoric, not just by his contemporaries during and immediately after the war, but also by the U.S. political leaders that followed. Despite Dwight D. Eisenhower’s occasional frustrations with Churchill, the former U.S. President turned to Churchill’s mastery of plain language in his own political maneuverings. In his memoirs, Eisenhower talks about quoting Churchill in defence of measures he had implemented to combat inflation: “This attitude caused me to recall a laconic comment of Winston Churchill when someone asked him during World War II what the allies were fighting for: ‘If we stop,’ he replied, ‘you will find out.’” John F. Kennedy also called upon Churchill’s example. At the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in 1961, he combined some of Churchill’s most effective rhetorical techniques and made a direct reference to one of Churchill’s

of conflict. Just before U.S. troops entered Afghanistan he spoke to the American people, saying: “We will not waiver, we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.” This was a direct reference back to Churchill’s 1941 radio address. It is perhaps of passing interest that Bush spoke these words within sight of a bust of Churchill that used to reside in the Oval Office.

reflections on the responsibilities of power. Employing a tricolon of sobering intensity, he said: “The times are too grave, the challenge too urgent, the stakes too high…” And then followed: “As Winston Churchill said on taking office… if we are open to a quarrel between the present and the past, we shall be in danger of losing the future.” As President, JFK made Churchill an Honorary Citizen of the United States in 1963, and this act created an opportunity for the President to outdo Churchill’s rhetorical skills. In making the award, which Churchill was not able to receive in person, Kennedy spoke about how the man he so admired “mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.” With an even greater flourish, he developed the thought, describing how “the incandescent quality of his words illuminated the courage of his countrymen.” With his tongue firmly in his cheek, and in a barely disguised allusion to Churchill’s fondness for Pol Roger champagne, JFK went on to say that though the great man was accustomed to the hardships which war had brought, Churchill had “no distaste for pleasure.” George W. Bush also chose Churchillian rhetoric to help inform his public address on the advent

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Most recently, President Barack Obama closed a speech he made to the British Parliament in 2011 with an affirmation of the continued benefits of the transatlantic relationship. To do this, he quoted the words Churchill spoke to the crowds on V-E Day, May 8th 1945. As the speech neared its end, the president said: “In the long years to come not only will the people of this island but [Obama omitted ‘of’] the world, wherever the bird of freedom chirps in [Obama added ‘the’] human heart [the President turned ‘hearts’ into a singular], look back to what we’ve done, and they will say ‘do not despair, do not yield [Obama omitted ‘to violence and tyranny’]… march straightforward.” This closing phrase clearly achieved the president’s ends, for he left out six words from the end of that sentence. Churchill’s original prepared people for conflicts and sacrifices as yet unknown when it continued: “March straightforward and die if need be unconquered.” For the benefit and future reference of students of rhetoric, and those who take inspiration from reading the thoughts of writers on writing, Churchill had the foresight (some might even say the arrogance of youth) to commit his own thoughts on the subject to paper in an unpublished article entitled The Scaffolding of Rhetoric. Written in 1897, the piece gave clear guidance on how to move an audience from unresponsive silence to grudging approval, and eventually to complete agreement.

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Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild Churchill’s scaffolding was built from a number of elements. First, he believed it was important to have good diction. Second, short words – the older the better – are best. This particular piece of advice is best illustrated by an example from The Wicked Wit of Winston Churchill, compiled by Dominique Enright: “There is a story that an American general once asked Churchill to look over the draft of an address he had written. It was returned with the comment ‘Too many passives and too many zeds.’ The general asked him what he meant and was told: ‘Too many Latinate polysyllabics like “systematize”, “prioritize”, and “finalize”. And then the passives. What if I had said, instead of “we shall fight on the beaches”, “Hostilities will be engaged with our adversary on the coastal perimeter?’” Churchill also wrote that it is crucial to understand the rhythm, cadence and sound of a speech – and the way this propels an argument or strengthens and affirms a key point. And there is what he describes as the accumulation of argument, where facts point in a common direction and the last words fall “amid a thunder of assent.” Throughout this modest, methodically set out show at The Morgan, you are reminded of the importance of the physicality of writing, and the way in which the scaffolding of language is built, piece by piece, with effort and craft, to arrive at something which inspires, moves and motivates. In the case of Winston Churchill, and in the context of the ending of World War II, words and orator can have rarely enjoyed such a symbiotic relationship, or achieved a more important goal. Patrick Baglee is a thinker and writer for brands and businesses. This article first appeared on the website: www.66000milesperhour.com

IN PRAISE OF QUOTATIONS by Brian Jenner

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ne of the characteristics of a great speech is that you remember what was said. A useful exercise for a speechwriter is to trawl your own memory. What speeches can you remember from your own life? What made them so memorable? I’ve found that the speeches I can remember were attached to an acronym, a phrase or a quotation. When I was 13, I heard a speech at my school which was made by the Principal of St Hilda’s College, our next door neighbour. She used the postcode, ‘O*X*4 1*D*Z’, and repeated it over and over again. I think the general idea was cooperation between institutions. She pronounced the letters as a mantra, and they stuck. One of the few things I can remember David Cameron saying is ’N*H*S’ - which worked probably for the same reasons. In the lower sixth, the Chaplain gave a speech titled ‘sicut lilium, inter spinas’ which was the school motto - like the lily among thorns, taken from the Sermon the Mount. He went on to talk about legitimate pride in institutions. The fact that the phrase was in Latin helped make it sticky. A year later I remember my headmaster using the quotation that is attributed to many different sources, ‘Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.’ The rhythm of that quotation helped to embed it in my memory. Considering I left school 25 years ago, these speakers were either very impressive or I was very impressionable.

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Nowadays when I listen, with a critical ear to speeches, I’ve become convinced a good quotation is one of the simplest and most powerful was to lift a speech. Quotations are coriander in the salad. They add vitality and depth. In rhetoric, there is a term diatyposis, which means recommending useful precepts. A classic example is the speech of Polonius to Laertes in Hamlet. Proverbs are easy to remember they’re concentrated thought. Quoting is a straightforward way to amplify a message. You’re using an external authority to make your point and the fact that you need a build up and context, means the line will stand out. Before Neville Chamberlain left for Munich for talks with Hitler in September 1938 he spoke at Heston aerodrome using just over 50 words, quoting proverbial wisdom and Shakespeare. It’s a superb example of economy of expression to express the seriousness of his task: “When I was a little boy, I was told if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. This is what I am doing. When I come back, I hope I may be able to say as Hotspur says in Henry IV: ‘Out of the nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.”

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Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild One of my favourite writers is the psychotherapist Irvin Yalom. He writes books popularising the ideas of psychotherapy. Almost every book uses the same half-dozen quotations to illustrate his principles. One from Nietzsche, for example: ‘To become wise you must learn to listen to the wild dogs barking in your cellar.’

THE DEMOSTHENES PEBBLE The new Demosthenes Pebble competition for this quarter attracted three entries. We’re reproducing them all to show the variety. The winner of the first prize is Rodger Evans. He receives a £25 Amazon token. We hope you’ll keep sending in your entries. The closing date for the next competition is 1 December 2012.

SPEECH by Phillip Khan Panni

This makes it very easy to communicate Yalom’s ideas in conversation to other people because you remember the key phrases and you can use them as a starting point to expand on what he believes. Organisations like Alcoholics Anonymous use mantras, which they repeat at meetings, to help their members change their behaviour and give them strength. It’s perhaps appropriate to end this article with a shower of wise sayings to summarise the ideas in this article. ‘The aphorism is the perfect fishhook, for it catches the most fish’ according to Nietzsche. Samuel Johnson said: ‘He is a benefactor of mankind who contracts the great rules of life into short sentences, that may be easily impressed on the memory, and so recur habitually to the mind.’ Dorothy Sayers put it more crudely: ‘I always have a quotation for everything—it saves original thinking.’

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o you buy green bananas? I have a friend aged mid-70s and he says he never buys green bananas these days. He says at his age he cannot afford to plan so far ahead. But if you buy green bananas, it proves that you expect to be still alive when they are ripe enough to eat.

Sometimes I tease people about the way they answer that question. One day I asked a man, “What work do you do?” And he said, “I’m an engineer.”

Green bananas are a symbol of expectations, and that is the basis for doing business and for relationships of any kind. So let’s see

He said, “No, I’m a civil engineer.”

• •

how relationships start and then let me offer you one word that will tell you all you need to know about creating and meeting expectations in business.

WHAT DO YOU DO? Think about what happens when you meet someone new in a business setting. You ask each other, “What do you do?” What happens in the next 30 seconds could influence whether a new relationship will develop or not.

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I said, “Oh you drive trains?” Because the Americans call train drivers engineers.

So I said, “Oh, you’re a polite train driver!” OK, I was teasing him. But I was allowed to do that because it was in a training session, and I was helping him to understand what happens when you describe yourself as a label. The word “engineer” is just a label, and when you say “I am an engineer” you are saying, “I am a label”, and the other person will make up his own mind about who you are and what you do. The other thing to notice about a first meeting is how well you listen to

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Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild each other. In my experience, most people don’t listen to what you are saying. They just wait for your mouth to stop moving so they can tell you their own story. OSLO STORY But let me tell you a story. I was in Oslo, doing a training programme on Advanced Presentation Skills. It’s a programme I have run for many years, and it usually goes very smoothly. But this day was different. The answers I was getting did not feel right, so after 20 minutes I stopped and asked them what was wrong. They told me that they were senior engineers who had been sent on the course against their will. The original delegates had all dropped out because there were political problems in the company and they did not want to be out of the office for a full day. So these engineers were told to take their places. I asked them why they did not want to be on the course, and they said, “We are engineers. We do not need to learn how to talk about our work. Our work speaks for itself.” Obviously, with that attitude, they would not learn anything from me. I knew they were ready to walk out, and they were watching to see what I would do about it. MIND-MAPPED SPEECH I had to do something different or the training course was dead. And I was a long way from home! •

So I asked them if they would like to see a live example of how my methods could work, and they said yes.

I asked them if they would like to see me deliver a speech on their own subject, and they said yes.

I asked them if that would persuade them to stay and follow my training programme, and they said yes.

thought they would be wasting a day on a course they did not want. My solution was to demonstrate how effective that could be.

In fact, they seemed quite excited by the challenge. For the next half hour I asked them questions about their topic and I wrote their answers on a Mind Map on the white board. I then delivered a speech from that Mind Map.

E is for Evidence. We buy on emotion and justify with reason. So provide the evidence that will reinforce the emotional decision to accept your Solution. My mindmapped speech was the evidence. Engineers love evidence.

They were fascinated by the Mind Map, because they has never seen one before, but they were even more interested in the fact that I was quickly able to put together and deliver a speech on a subject that I previously knew very little about.

D is for Delivery. It’s not enough to gain agreement. You still have to deliver. You have to command the platform and connect with the audience. You may have a powerful message and a brilliant text. But it’s the way you deliver it that will make all the difference.

A-M-U-S-E-D Why did I succeed? Because I AMUSED them. That is the word I promised you at the start, the one word that tells you all you need to know about creating and meeting expectations. The six letters of the word AMUSED explain the process of persuasion. A is for Attention. I listened to what they wanted and offered them a challenge. That got their Attention. M is for Matching their expectations. If you can exceed their expectations, as I did, that is even better. But you must at least match their expectations. So start by asking questions to find out what they want. They needed a reason to believe they could learn something from me. I gave them that reason. U is for Understanding. When you understand what they want and they understand how you can help them, you will connect on a deeper level than reason alone. S is for your Solution. Your best chance of success is to identify a problem and work towards a solution. Their problem was that they

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SPEECH IS A SALES PITCH When you have AMUSED your audience or your business prospects, you will succeed. It is the same whether you are making a speech or a business presentation. Because a speech is a sales pitch. It is a sales pitch for your ideas. And to make it succeed you must have a central idea that is relevant to your audience. It must be an idea that raises expectations, and then meets those expectations. SUMMARY It works best when your listeners are AMUSED. Because you have to get their Attention, Match their expectations, help them to a new understanding, offer them a Solution to their problem, with the necessary Evidence, and Deliver that Solution. When you have done all that, they will want to accept your proposition, they will want to do business with you, they will want to buy your green bananas.

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SPEECH by the Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, Melanie

Schultz van Haegen, at the opening of the 5th International Architecture Biannual, Rotterdam, April 19th, 2012 (written by Jan Sonneveld).

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adies and Gentlemen, the Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom once said:

So this year, the International Architecture Biannual is focused on a very Dutch theme: Making City.

‘I love the city with a passion.

The city is not simply a collection of people that live close together.

That’s why I sometimes can’t stand it.’ It’s a feeling that we certainly all recognise. The city is a place that can attract us and repel us at the same time. Yet its power to attract is always greater. People from rural areas have been drawn to life in the city for many years. It is a worldwide trend that can clearly be seen in China. Each month more than a million Chinese move from the country to the city. Since January of this year, a majority of the Chinese live in cities. The city holds a promise of a better life for them. Greater prosperity, greater happiness. For them, the city equals opportunity. In the Netherlands as well, cities are growing.

In the city, people search each other out in order to move forward together. To come up with solutions to problems. To earn money. And especially to live happily. The city is thus the engine driving social and economic progress. And it is in the city that not only the questions, but also the solutions to big problems come together. We know that the world’s population will continue to grow. So urban areas will continue to expand. We must continually ask ourselves how we can best organise countries and cities. All the big social problems of the coming decades will lead to spatial consequences in the end. How much space will we need to grow our food? Or to live, travel and recreate?

This country has traditionally been a land of urban areas.

In other words: how should we design a city?

Since the seventeenth century, most Dutch people have lived in a city.

This Architecture Biannual gives many answers to this question.

This approach belongs to a time when governments stood above people. Yet this era is long gone. Governments no longer have a monopoly on the truth. They are now a part of a network. A network of citizens and entrepreneurs. A network of residents and travellers. These networks are increasingly determining the answers given to the bigger questions. The world has changed and government has to change along with it. Since the Dutch government began actively engaging in spatial planning in the 1930s, this country has changed beyond recognition. The population has doubled and the cities have grown with this increase. This growth was managed by a central government under the motto: one size fits all. Government managed from on high. This era has passed.

As it should.

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As a Cabinet Minister, I regularly notice that governments have an inclination to give only one conclusive answer to any question posed.

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Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild Although the Netherlands is a relatively small country, it is a country made up of a patchwork of different urban regions. Each of these regions has its own specific problems. One region is bursting at the seams, while another is experiencing a decrease in population. So the solutions are not the same for every region. One size does not fit all anymore. That is why I propose a different policy in spatial planning. The strength of individual regions is my point of focus. I am placing the responsibility for the development of each region at the lowest level possible, with other levels of government. I do this because I believe the development of regions will benefit from having greater freedom. And benefit from a focus on the strength of regions and local revenue models. This Cabinet is will continue to manage regional development in a selected number of regions. These urban regions are the most important ones for our economy. They include, of course, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven. But they also include the regions around Maastricht, Arnhem/ Nijmegen, Twente and Groningen. In this policy, local differences are not smoothed over. Because I very much believe in the power of competition between regions.

Let them compete. Competing will keep them strong and self-aware. It will also increase the competitive strength of our regions within the entire urban system of Western Europe. Besides, the national government has another role to play. No longer from above on high, but now in the very midst of citizens and businesspeople. As a part of a real network society. This approach is necessary to keep up with the times. That is why I am enthusiastic about this Biannual. Because here we can see wonderful examples of innovative thinking and working. Examples such as the Atelier Making Projects. This atelier was set up by the Biannual and the Ministry together. For a year it conducted design research in seven national projects. The Atelier gave us new alliances and networks to work with. Governments, businesspeople and cultural institutions. It helped the government with testing its new role in spatial planning. We apply the insights that the Atelier gives us immediately.

In this district we initially thought we should work starting from the challenge of mobility: how can we keep the Zuidas district accessible? In the Atelier, three spatial planning programmes initiated a discussion with stakeholders and experts to further scrutinise the development of the Zuidas business district. The solution was found in a new perspective on the region as a whole. We go beyond road, rail and office. We look into residential living, learning and innovation. For work, development and recreation. The ZuidAs business district that we are now developing further is urban development in optimum form. You can see the details at the exhibition of this Biennale.

THE QUEEN’S SPEECHWRITER

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he Queen’s speechwriter was drafting a speech about a visit to Birmingham and the first line read: ‘I am very glad to be back in Birmingham’. The Queen read the sentence, picked up a pen and crossed out the ‘very’. Mentioned in Our Queen, by Robert Hardman

We do this in areas such as the development of the Amsterdam Zuidas – a business district in Amsterdam.

W W W. U K S P E E C H W R I T E R S G U I L D . C O . U K

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The Speechwriter

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September 2012 | Volume 10

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild

SPEECH by Duncan McNeil, MSP, written by Rodger Evans Made at the “Out for Sport” conference on Thursday 28 June at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. This was an event organised by the Equality Network to highlight the findings of a report on homophobia and transphobia in sport.

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hank you, Tim.

Oh don’t look so worried, folks, they’ve only given me five minutes. Football may be “a funny old game”, as Saint and Greavsie were fond of telling us in the 1980s, but hate is no laughing matter. Homophobia and trans-phobia in sport, as in society, must be appalling for those who experience bullying and so-called banter.

community sport and – reading this report – it struck me how many of the themes overlap. We are looking at people, participation and places – all the p-s if you please. And accessibility very much features within that, as do the health and other benefits that sports clubs can bring both to individuals and communities.

And it’s dispiriting for all of us who want a Scotland rid of prejudice, bigotry and discrimination.

Of course nobody in the LGBT community should be denied those benefits. I say “of course” but it seems we must spell it out. Such is the essence of the report.

I’m grateful to the Equality Network for inviting me to say a few words today and I want to congratulate the authors of Out for Sport for their good work.

Some examples– 3,300 sporting bodies and individuals signed up to the UK Government’s Sports Charter to Tackle Homophobia and Transphobia in Sport.

That’s Margaret Smith, Scott Cuthbertson and Nathan Gale.

How many in Scotland? Go on. Take a guess.

Regrettably, I can’t stay the whole day – parliamentary business calls – but I’m sure the discussion will be positive and the Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport will be worth hearing later. I’m here to speak on behalf of the Health and Sport Committee but I find myself in a curious position as we haven’t done any specific work on this area. That said, equalities are embedded in the work of the Parliament and I am confident my words are neither partisan nor out of step with the mood in this room. The Committee is just about to undertake an inquiry into support for

Three…

So how can we challenge that culture? Organisations like Show Racism The Red Card Scotland and Nil by Mouth have led the way in the combat of ignorance and softmindedness. Not that we can be complacent. Politicians like to talk the talk, don’t we? But we have to move beyond the comfort of warm words in a press release, and a nice photo opportunity. The report recommends three areas for action: strong leadership, overcoming barriers to inclusion, and understanding of the issues. I’m sure Shona Robison will address each of the strands later. I want to focus here on leadership and to highlight what’s possible.

A quote from page 17 of the report that caught my eye: “Sport seems the last place in society where it’s okay to be bigoted and homophobic.”

Because with the abolition of Section 28 back in 2000 we – and I mean that in the widest sense – set a standard to which we continue to aspire.

And a contribution to a recent television debate by Graham Spiers – the sports journalist and, like me, a fan of the football club formerly known as Rangers.

My colleague, Wendy Alexander, then Communities Minister, said “discrimination needed to be faced down…let the Parliament of Scotland repeal the section, to keep our pledge to serve all our people without discrimination.”

He said the fact that no professional footballer in Scotland today felt able to “come out” was “a minor tragedy”; an indictment of a macho culture that could be “backward, unreconstructed and oppressive”.

W W W. U K S P E E C H W R I T E R S G U I L D . C O . U K

Leadership comes in many guises though and if I can make one plea today – football-wise and for other sports – it’s that we don’t overlook the supporters.

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The Speechwriter

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September 2012 | Volume 10

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild For as Jock Stein said: “Football is nothing without fans”. And it’s worth noting that an academic study in 2010 found that 80% of football fans were “relaxed” about players’ sexuality. However accurate that is, we should be working with the likes of the Scottish Football Supporters Network, Supporters Direct Scotland, and other fan-based groups and trusts. We’d do well to enlist their help to tackle the problem. Pun intended. The message of this report is clear: there is no place for prejudice, bigotry or hate in sport. And there can be no place for it in Scottish society. We must serve all our people without discrimination.

IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU

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few years ago, I went to a memorial service for a revered book editor and a very good guy. One by one, authors with whom the editor had worked came up to the pulpit in the church to speak of the deceased’s mind and character. One eulogy went: ‘John’, he once said to me, his eyes moist with tears, ‘you are the best writer since Hemingway!’ Another, ‘May’ he said, trembling from head to foot with joy, ‘you are the best writer since Virginia Woolf.’ And so on. I recall another memorial service where a man talked for

nearly half-an-hour, recounting various tales of how much the dearly departed had relied on his excellent judgement. It’s not about you is a simple rule to follow if you can concentrate on the question or the occasion at hand and ask yourself; ‘What is required here?’ Though you are certain that you are the centre of the universe, you might acknowledge, in one or two instances, that you ought to travel to another planet. Roger Rosenblatt, Rules for Aging

PIERS LETCHER QUESTIONNAIRE Do you have a tip for writing for multilingual audiences? Short words, simple sentences. Plenty of pauses. What’s the best book on speechwriting you’ve ever read?

Who is your favourite speaker? Hans Rosling and Kenneth Robinson would have to take equal first place – combining passion and humour, self-deprecation and style (both can be seen most famously on TED talks). That said, Barack Obama is probably the best political speaker of our times (when the moment is right) and Hillary Clinton is one of the best speakers I’ve seen recently. Can you remember the first speech you ever wrote?

The first major speech I was asked to contribute to was Nelson Mandela’s opening speech to the UN’s Telecom 95 Opening Ceremony on 3 October 1995 – but I only contributed some of the key messages about the importance of communications, rather than the whole speech. The first complete speeches I wrote would have been for Pekka Tarjanne, the Secretary-General of the ITU at the time.

W W W. U K S P E E C H W R I T E R S G U I L D . C O . U K

I’m sorry to confess – with apologies to any authors – that I haven’t read any books on speechwriting. I was thrown into the deep end in 1995 and told to get on with it. I did lots of primary research (listening to and reading famous speeches) but never had the time to read a book… How did you get into travel writing? Like most things in life, by accident. I was writing music reviews and reviewing computer software and hardware, and was asked by my agent whether I could take on a ‘Europe by Rail’ project for an Australian publisher. Once that was

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The Speechwriter

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September 2012 | Volume 10

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild done, I pitched to write other books/ articles. What’s your favourite joke? I’m very fond of the Holmes and Watson camping joke: Holmes and Watson were camping out in the wilds. In the night, Holmes wakes up Watson up and says: “Watson, look up at the stars, and tell me what you see.” Watson replies: “Millions of stars.” “And what does that mean?” “There are suns like ours, beyond number.” “And what else?” “Then maybe we are not alone in the universe?” “And what else?” “I don’t know.” “Watson, you idiot, someone’s stolen our tent!” I also like the snail joke: A snail goes to the police station and reports being mugged by a gang of slugs. “Calm down sir, and just tell us exactly what happened.” “I don’t know; it was all over so quickly.” How many speeches do you write a week? Until 2010 it was usually one a week, but this year I’ve written an average of three – which is pretty much unmanageable, long-term, but I do get some help, in terms of technical input. How do you present your texts (font, spacing, etc)?

Draft texts are presented as bulleted lists, with rarely more than one or two sentences per bullet, and indented sub-lists if actual lists (or lists of three or four) are needed. The actual reading copy is 14 point Tahoma – though increasingly the speeches are delivered off an autocue or iPad, so font size is less relevant. What makes for a good structure in a speech? All sorts of structures are viable; what seems more important to me is that the ‘proposition’ is clear throughout – what is the speech affirming (or denying)? Beyond that, a strong beginning is always good, and of course it’s important to make sure that it’s clear when the speech is actually over. Also, see how stories/ micro-stories can be worked in, as they ‘humanize’ a speech and make it easier for the audience to relate to the speaker. “Every last touch of colour and plain English was removed, every image and metaphor cut, every list of three expanded into verbosity, every reference to the time, location, date, people…The soul was ruthlessly removed, and replaced with more bullets with stats and meaningless intangible pomposity.” This was some feedback sent in by a speechwriter working in the City – what consolation/advice can you offer? We have all been there! In terms of consolation, it’s important to remember two things: firstly, that most people don’t even know that speechwriters exist, and won’t therefore look beyond the person delivering the speech (and even if they do, they’re likely to blame the review process and not the writer, in my experience); and secondly that tomorrow is another day, and another opportunity to try again. You can’t win every battle, but it doesn’t mean you should self-censor or give up trying.

W W W. U K S P E E C H W R I T E R S G U I L D . C O . U K

VoiceGig – the World in Speeches

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oiceGig is a new global showcase for speeches. Anyone can upload, access or comment on speeches on the website - free. There are speeches on all topics, from today’s business and political speeches to the great historic examples from Churchill, Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. In less than a year VoiceGig has gained some 14,000 followers on Facebook and a further 7000 followers to different accounts on Twitter, such as VoiceGigWomen and VoiceGigSocial. “We plan to be the Go-To portal for any search that relates to a speeches or speechmaking on the internet.” says Simon Gibson, VoiceGig founder. “We are also making huge use of social media to build communities around special interests – such as VoiceGigAcademics or VoiceGigFinance. And we’re growing our services too: the basic site will always be free but increasingly we will introduce access to fee paying services such as speech writing or speaker training. We are hoping that professional speech writers everywhere will support us.” “President Kennedy once remarked that “the only reason to give a speech is to change the world”. We believe the skills to give a better speech can help change a person’s world professionally - and understanding a speech better will help people across society make better decisions.” Go to: http://www.voicegig.com The Speechwriter is edited by

Brian Jenner

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The Speechwriter September 2012