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January 2011 | Volume 05

The Speechwriter Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild Welcome Welcome to the fifth 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.

Contribute We need your speeches. Most of the examples in this edition are taken from the Americans. We want to raise standards in the UK. Please send examples of speeches to:

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info@ukspeechwritersguild.co.uk

MASTERCLASS by James Webb Young A Technique for Producing Ideas

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good speech is concatenation of ideas. But where do ideas come from? The reason that effective speechwriting remains an elusive skill for many people is that it requires thought. James Webb Young, an American advertising executive, wrote a very slim book, published in 1965, called A Technique for Producing Ideas. He answered the question directly. He defined the production of new ideas as ‘a new combination of old elements’ and the capacity ‘to bring old elements into new combination…(depending) largely on the ability to see relationships.’ The process he describes is as follows. The first step is to get the raw material. You consider every aspect of the subject matter of your speech. If it’s on the ‘Big Society’, for example, you collect other speeches on the subject, you find out where David Cameron’s team found the principles, you read how it’s reported in the press and you reflect on your own interpretations and insights from a variety of sources. Then Young advises that you put the information down on index cards – or yellow post-its in the modern era. This information is to be combined with information you collect on a regular basis (your commonplace book – which stores all those great quotations and funny stories you hear, which you know you can recycle on a rainy day).

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Then you play Patience with your yellow Post-its moving them around on a board – looking for the unexpected linkages. You immerse your mind in all aspects of the ‘Big Society’. The next step is that you let go. You go for a walk or to see a film that takes your mind off the subject. Then you’ll find that a connection will pop into your head while you’re doing something else. That Eureka moment will inspire you to put the speech together in an original and striking way. The technique is applicable to many disciplines, but for a speechwriter, this is the moment you put pen to paper. The final stage is to take your idea to market. Put it on show and get feedback. Refine the idea and let it evolve. The author admits it’s simple process, but adds there are no shortcuts.

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January 2011 | Volume 05

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild

BOOK REVIEWS Speechwriting: the Expert Guide By Simon Lancaster. Published by Robert Hale Ltd (288 pages) ISBN 7090-8917-9, £12.99 Speechwriting is on the up. Speeches are back in the news, and ‘this great and noble trade, dating back to Antiphon in Ancient Greece, is finally restored to its rightful place in the spotlight’. So says Simon Lancaster, author of a new guide to the art and craft of speechwriting, which aims to draw back the curtains and reveal all the trade secrets of the professional speechwriter. As a former Whitehall speechwriter of longstanding, Simon Lancaster is well placed to offer such advice and his book would be a welcome addition to any aspiring speechwriter’s bookshelf. Not only does it provide a comprehensive overview of the key rhetorical techniques, but each chapter concludes with a case study where we see the techniques being put to good use by speechwriters at the top of their game. Many of the examples are drawn from speeches by Blair, Brown, Cameron, Obama, Clinton, et al., and there is also plenty for the business speechwriter to chew on, from Toyota’s speech strategy to Steve Jobs’ seductive – iPhone as sex toy – presentation style. But there’s more to the book than speech analysis. Lancaster’s tips on how to write for a speaker, how to make the most of what little access you get to them, and how to edit your work, are all very useful, too.

Peppered with examples from Demosthenes to Julia Roberts, and from Shakespeare to John Prescott, this eminently readable book keeps the reader entertained and enthused about speeches and speechwriting, while providing a solid foundation in the tricks – and the art – of our trade.

Howard. Even he couldn’t save them: the swaggering style is mixed with plenty of humility. This book is fresh and opinionated, and while I can disagree strongly with some bits, like a great speech, it is at least entertaining and fun.

Martha Leyton www.creativityworks.net

The Presentation Coach: Bare Knuckle Brilliance For Every Presenter By Graham Davies. Published by Capstone (280 Pages) ISBN 0857080448, £12.99 Graham Davies has a pugilistic style, but once you get used to it, you warm to the material. The chapter on humorous speaking is outstanding, as is the stuff on after dinner speaking. He includes very personal examples from speeches he has written and heard. At first the ‘Pipeline’ can seem a bit like something borrowed from a biology textbook, but once you get familiar with the terms, it all makes good sense. Davies is prone to the occasional sweeping statement. He demolishes PowerPoint with a few incisive swipes. He writes off the entire corpus of Classical rhetorical techniques in two sentences. He also says of quotations, don’t bother. Well I collect quotations and I find them to be very useful as ‘micro-statements’. Properly used they give authority to the speaker and elegance to the discourse. Still, the author is brave enough to admit that he wrote for Iain Duncan Smith and Michael

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English Culture and the Decline of the Industrial Spirit, 1850-1980 By Martin J. Wiener, Published by Cambridge University Press (240 pages) ISBN 0521270340, £19.99 For any speechwriter, this is a fascinating piece of political history. Keith Joseph, the brains behind Mrs Thatcher’s first Government, distributed copies to all her cabinet. It makes the case for British economic decline based on institutional disdain for business and industry. Wiener evokes the Southern Metaphor of the country as ‘romantic, illogical, muddled, divinely lucky, Anglican, aristocratic, traditional, frivolous and believes in order and tradition’ and contrasts it with the Northern metaphor, which sees itself as ‘pragmatic, empirical, calculating, Puritan, bourgeois, enterprising, adventurous, scientific, serious and believes in struggle.’ If you’re writing speeches to buoy up the economy it helps to see how attitudes to economic growth have evolved, and what you’re dealing with in the national consciousness. David Cameron’s espousal of a ‘happiness’ index as an alternative to the pursuit of growth is part of a recurring debate about the merits of capitalism.

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January 2011 | Volume 05

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild

INSPIRATION

Openings

And it is also a great pleasure to speak tonight alongside Tony Blair. Old Christchurch Road. I love the Triangle. I love the promenade. I love Charminster. I love Pokesdown, where I bought my first bass guitar. I always felt like you could walk in there and stumble upon something magical and I suppose I did when I bought a £50 Fender Precision Copy from Southbourne Exchange and Mart. I didn’t know where it would take me. Alex James, bassist of Blur, Bournemouth University Graduation Ceremony, BIC Bournemouth, 5 November 2010

I am sure everyone here is really looking forward to hearing Tony speak. His will be a great speech, full of humour, drama and insight. And you can buy a signed copy in the foyer afterwards. When he was Prime Minister, of course we had our differences. I wanted to win an election. He made sure I kept losing them. But he is a dedicated servant of our country, who has taken hard decisions to promote liberty and democracy around the globe and I pay tribute to him and his achievements.

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r O’Leary goes into a pub, asks for a pint of Guinness and is told by the barman that it will cost him £1. ’Just £1?’ asks Mr O’Leary. ‘Well, I’m a great fan of yours,’ says the barman. So Mr O’Leary hands over £1 and the barman goes to pour the pint, when he stops and asks: ‘Would you be wanting a glass with that?’ Speech by Martin Broughton, Airport Operators Association conference, London Hilton Metropole, 26 October 2010

I think this is the first time we have shared a joint platform since we last appeared together at a ‘who does Gordon Brown like least’ competition.

Let me also pay tribute to the Board of Deputies of British Jews on this its 250th Anniversary year.

hief Rabbi, Ambassador, ladies and gentlemen – good evening.

For centuries the Board has fought against the prejudice, ignorance and discrimination so often faced by British Jews.

Let me start by saying that it is a huge pleasure to be here tonight to address such a distinguished audience on such a special occasion.

Over that time, you have helped your community become a vibrant, generous and fully integrated part of our society today.

In every walk of life and across every aspect of our civil society, from business to charity, from the arts to the sciences, I can see many people here who have made a massive contribution to British life.

Speech by George Osborne, Board of Deputies 250th Anniversary Dinner, Intercontinental, Park Lane, London, 24 November 2010

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I am delighted to be your guest.

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t’s just so nice to come back and see this town full of bright young people. It makes my heart beat faster. I love this place. I love

I asked a friend of mine what to expect tonight and he said 500 people, 600 opinions and 700 cars. I told him that this sounded exactly like the Coalition Government.

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January 2011 | Volume 05

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild

Substance

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ow, of course, you cannot capture happiness on a spreadsheet any more than you can bottle it. If anyone was trying to reduce the whole spectrum of human happiness into one snapshot statistic I would be the first to roll my eyes and write about it in newspapers. But that’s not what this is all about. Just as the GDP figures don’t give a full story of our economy’s growth, but give us a useful indicator of where we’re heading. So, I believe a new measure won’t give the full story of our nation’s wellbeing, or our happiness or contentment or the rest of it – of course it won’t – but it could give us a general picture of whether life is improving, and that does have a really practical purpose. First, it will open up a national debate about what really matters, not just in government but amongst people who influence our lives: in the media; in business; the people who develop the products we use, who build the towns we live in, who shape the culture we enjoy. And second, this information will help government work out, with evidence, the best ways of trying to help to improve people’s wellbeing. Speech by Prime Minister, David Cameron, ‘National Wellbeing Project’, London, 25 November 2010

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ne of the things about going out of office, you get time to read occasionally and I read over the summer a great biography of Einstein by Walter Isaacson and it’s a fabulous book about Einstein. It also, by the way, contains a great story of Einstein and Chaim Weizmann. Weizmann took Einstein to America for the first time and when he landed – because Einstein had just published his theory of relativity and he was the great scientific hero absolutely everywhere – and Weizmann was asked what was it like sharing this trip with Einstein. And Weizmann said: ‘Well during the crossing Einstein explained his theory of relativity to me everyday and by the time we arrived I was fully convinced he really understands it.’ But Einstein wrote this in 1938 when he’d himself gone on quite a voyage, a journey one might even say of discovery about his own roots and his own views and had become by then a very strong supporter of the State of Israel and he wrote this: The bond that has united the Jews for thousands of years and that unites them today is above all the democratic ideal of social justice coupled with the ideal of mutual aid and tolerance amongst all people. And that sentiment, those values, they are what have given rise to the science, to the progress, to the culture, the art, the justice, the compassion, the determination and principle, even under the most vicious persecution. Those are the values that created the State of Israel. Those are the values that give rise to the work the Jewish community does for its unfortunate members for those in need, for those who require compassion and help and steadfast assistance. Speech by Tony Blair, Board of Deputies 250th Anniversary Dinner, Intercontinental, Park Lane, London, 24 November 2010

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hadow Chancellor Alan Johnson had some wise words for women whose husbands are overweight, ‘Speaking as a former Health Secretary, my advice is this. Get him to run three miles in the morning and in the evening get him to run another three miles – and after a week, the fat git will be 42 miles away.’ Speech by Alan Johnson, Greenwich Labour Annual Dinner, November 2010

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t was Sir Isaac Newton, the great mathematician and philosopher, who said: ‘Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.’ Our objective here today is to become builders of bridges. We seek ways to bring hope and optimism to relationships that have long been characterised by doubt and lack of trust. I agree with the conviction that The Tony Blair Foundation espouses, that the practice of faith too often has devolved into suspicion of motives, bitterness, strife, and, ultimately, war. I believe that the only strategy that will reduce, and eventually eliminate, conflict emerging from religious differences is to take direct action to find common ground among people of all nations and faiths. Speech by Sheikh Nahayan Marabak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor, Higher Colleges of Technology, United Arab Emirates, 29 November 2010

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January 2011 | Volume 05

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild

Endings

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adies and Gentlemen, I am here because I wish to defend science. But this support for science must not blind us to the need for informed debate. Science can explain, it can offer signposts, but it cannot make decisions. That is a job for society. Albert Einstein is supposed to have had a sign above his desk that read: ‘Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.’ I do hope he did because, for me, that says it all. Speech by HRH The Prince of Wales at the opening of Atmosphere, The Science Museum, 3 December 2010

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he final and best reason to be cheerful is to read about the achievements of the companies that are up for awards tonight. All of them have great stories to tell. All of them have created jobs and wealth for the communities in which they operate. All of them are winners. Of course, times are still hard and credit conditions challenging. As David Brent from The Office said: ‘If you can keep your head when all around you have lost theirs, then you probably haven’t understood the seriousness of the situation.’ Speech to Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Richard Lambert, DirectorGeneral, CBI, ‘Daring to succeed: entrepreneurs and the recovery’, 18 October 2010

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he next decade will not be nice. History suggests that after a financial crisis the hangover lasts for a while. So the next decade is likely to be a sober decade – a decade of savings, orderly budgets, and equitable rebalancing. Our prospects remain closely linked to developments in the rest of the

world. But we can influence the outcome, with monetary policy still a potent weapon to ensure that the amount of money in the economy is growing neither too slowly, as in the recent past, nor too quickly so as to reignite inflation. With that, and the inspiration provided by the Black Country’s example of how to adapt to economic change, I am sure of one thing. A sober decade may not be fun but it is necessary for our economic health. Speech by Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, Black Country Chamber of Commerce, West Midlands, 19 October 2010 A rabbi and his wife were cleaning up the house. The rabbi came across a box he didn’t recognise. His wife told him to leave it alone, it was personal. One day she was out and his curiosity got the better of him. He opened the box and inside he found three eggs and £2,000. When his wife came home, he admitted that he opened the box, and he asked her to explain the contents to him. She told him that every time he had a bad sermon, she would put an egg in the box. He interrupted: ‘In 20 years, only three bad sermons, that’s not bad.’ His wife continued, ‘and every time I got a dozen eggs, I would sell them for £1.’ Address by Rabbi Neil Amswych, St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth, April 2010

Insights Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

It was developed in the mid-1930s by Adam Monroe at Purdue University. It consists of five steps:

i. Attention Get the attention of your audience using a detailed story, shocking example, dramatic statistic or a quotation.

ii. Need Show that the problem about which you are speaking exists, that it is significant, and that it won’t go away by itself. Use statistics and examples. Convince your audience that there is a need for action to be taken.

iii. Satisfy You need to solve the issue. Provide specific and viable solutions that the government or communities can implement to solve the problem.

iv. Visualisation Tell the audience what will happen if the solution is implemented or does not take place. Be visual and detailed.

v. Action Tell the audience what action they can take personally to solve the problem. The advantage of Monroe’s Motivated Sequence is that it emphasises what the audience can do. Too often the audience feels like a situation is hopeless. Monroe’s motivated sequence emphasises the action the audience can take.

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onroe’s motivated sequence is a technique for organising persuasive speeches that inspire people to take action.

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January 2011 | Volume 05

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild

GEORGE ORWELL AND THE BIBLE

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n George Orwell’s essay Politics and the English Language, he shares a method to acquire awareness of good writing taught by the headmaster’s wife at St Cyprian’s School, Mrs. Cicely Vaughan Wilkes.

Here is his translation: Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.

She would use simple passages from the King James Bible and then ‘translate’ them into poor English to show the clarity and brilliance of the original. He illustrates the point by translating a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes into modern English.

The UK Speechwriters’ Guild ‘We do, do God’ conference will take place in Bournemouth on Friday 8 April. We plan to have a speaker from the King James Bible Trust to talk about the impact of the Bible on our political culture.

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

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HAROLD PINTER

5 UNIVERSAL HUMAN FEARS

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arold Pinter said in a speech that one of the most interesting – and indeed acute – critical questions he’d ever heard was when he was introduced to a young woman and her six-year-old son. The woman looked down at her son and said: ‘This man is a very good writer.’ The little boy looked at him and then at his mother and said: ‘Can he do a W?’

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Fear of death

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Fear of loss of income

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Fear of loss of reputation

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Fear of loss of consciousness

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Fear of speaking in front of people

Vasubandhu, Indian Buddhist writer

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The Speechwriter

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January 2011 | Volume 05

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild

A SPEECHWRITER’S NEW YEAR MESSAGE By Hal Gordon

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eorge VI, Britain’s king during World War II, is sympathetically portrayed in the new film, The King’s Speech, which recreates the monarch’s heroic efforts to overcome his life-long stammer. The climax of the film is the king’s broadcast to the peoples of his empire, urging them to stand ‘calm and firm and united’ in the forthcoming struggle against Nazi Germany. But George VI is better known for the Christmas broadcast he gave a few months later. King George – the father of the present queen – was king by accident. He was the plodding, dutiful second son, almost totally eclipsed by his dashing, goldenhaired older brother, who ascended the British throne in 1936 as Edward VIII. After less than a year on the job, however, Edward skipped off to marry an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson. The scandal nearly sank the monarchy. But George succeeded his brother, and strove doggedly to salvage the crown’s prestige. It was a daunting task. George had not been trained for the job of being king. He had none of his brother’s easy charm. He was a shy, stammering man for whom public speaking was torture. Yet a modern king must be heard as well as seen. George’s father, George V, had recognized this, and established the custom of the sovereign’s annual Christmas radio message – a message broadcast not only to the people of Britain, but also to the far-flung dominions and colonies that made up Britain’s imperial family. So if the monarch

stumbled before the microphone, it was tantamount to performing a pratfall before the entire Englishspeaking world. George V had been blessed with a rich, plummy voice and perfect diction, and had excelled at these broadcasts. He was a tough act to follow, especially for a man with a stammer. So for the first three Christmases of his of his reign, George VI chose not make the holiday broadcast. But in 1939, with Britain fighting for her life against Hitler, the king felt duty-bound to offer his people what comfort he could by speaking to them at Christmas, regardless of what the effort cost him. Fortunately, he had help. The King’s Speech depicts the warm relationship that developed between George VI and his Australian-born speech therapist, Lionel Logue. Logue would later remark that his royal patient was ‘the pluckiest and most determined’ he ever had. But it was someone else who ensured the success of the king’s 1939 Christmas broadcast. Someone at the palace (the consensus is that it was his wife) gave the king some lines from an obscure book of poetry that had been published thirty years before. These lines suited perfectly the message of hope that the king wished to give his people, and he used them with great effect at the end of the broadcast: I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year

And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light, and safer than a known way.’ The king concluded: ‘May that Almighty hand uphold and guide us all.’ The poem made the broadcast. And, one might almost say that it made King George. It is impossible to exaggerate the effect that this brief radio address had on British morale, or on the British people’s affection for their king. Forever after, the lines he quoted during that fateful broadcast were associated in the public mind with George VI. Whether it was his queen or someone else who supplied King George with the perfect quote for the occasion, that person had a speechwriter’s instinct. Speechwriters should remain discreetly in the background, but that doesn’t mean that there are no heroes in our profession. Happy new year to speechwriters everywhere.

‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’

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January 2011 | Volume 05

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild You published The 100: Insights and Lessons from 100 of the Greatest Speakers and Speeches Ever Delivered last year. How was that received? Very well indeed. It’s being translated into five or six languages and is already out in South Korea. Schools and colleges are taking an interest too and I’ve been asked to speak about what comprises a great speech a few times as has Jeremy. Obviously, there has been some controversy about what was included and what not, but I like that. We are organising a conference on the subject of communicating faith next year. Do you enjoy a good sermon?

INTERVIEW Interview with Simon Maier, Events Director of the Grass Roots Group, and author of The 100: Insights and lessons from 100 of the greatest speeches ever delivered. How do you persuade a bad speaker that he needs the services of a speechwriter? By showing examples of a) a good speech and why it works/worked and b) film speeches that work/worked and explain why or get him/her to tell me why. You started out as a schoolteacher. Why do you think the teaching of rhetoric has almost completely disappeared from British schools? Very few teachers recognise the importance of great writing, the spoken word or great delivery. Mind you, rigid syllabuses don’t help. Universities too take little notice of the power of rhetoric or oratory where once they did. What would be your Desert Island spoken word recording?

Sir Ian McKellen’s King Lear (RSC directed by Trevor Nunn) 2007/08 We’re selecting the UK Business Communicator 2011 soon. Who is the most impressive business speaker you have ever come across? Sir John Browne, former CEO of BP Plc You organise conferences. Do you insist on coaching your speakers before they speak? How do you exert quality control? Insisting is a not a word I’d use – primarily because it’s hard to enforce. Advising that the best results can be obtained by practice is better – but still hard to enforce. Most executives believe that rehearsal or coaching are not necessary. 9/10 times they are wrong. Executives become embarrassed at the thought of coaching so making a coaching session much more like a mentoring or management advisory chunk of time works better.

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Yes, providing it really is very good indeed and sticks to a proposition. I’m an admirer of Martin Luther King Jr. but his speeches were more political than faith-driven. Henry Ward Beecher’s sermons on faith were fabulous as were those of Frederick Douglas. The meaning of the word ‘preach’ is now derogatory but it shouldn’t be. In times past, any preacher, great orator or poor, was the unchallenged authority. That’s gone of course so any sermon needs to be in tune with modern life and aware of all influences on an audience. Are you good at writing jokes for speakers? Jokes and stories with clever punch-lines are tricky. You have to know the audience. Jokes have to fit the narrative. They have to be reasonably short and they need to add value to helping people to like your argument or better understand your proposition.

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January 2011 | Volume 05

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild You are writing a book on great speeches in the film and theatre. What’s the most moving speech you’ve seen on film? To pick one is hard. Hence the book. But if I had to choose, then for all sorts of reasons I’d pick Scent of a Woman (1992) directed by Martin Brest in which Colonel Frank Slade makes a speech in the defence of young Charlie Simms on a school stage towards the film’s end. Al Pacino is magnificent and the scene is enormously moving. What’s your most useful reference book? I’d probably have to say a dictionary (in particular The American Encyclopaedic Dictionary published by the University of Michigan Library), but more likely is Susan McGlamery’s 24/7 Reference: Global Partnerships. I very much like The Queen’s English Society publication Shaking the Ketchup Bottle and Stephen Bax’s Discourse and Genre: Using Language in Context. Ted Sorensen died recently. Why do you think speechwriters are given such prominence in the US but little prestige in the UK? Rhetoric has often been regarded as an unnecessary skill in the UK. Sound-bites, texts, Tweets, rolling news and blogs are regarded as sufficient. But, again, this is an educational and strategic thing. Language appreciation isn’t taught and debating isn’t regarded as mainstream. In America, public speaking is held as important. We don’t give it much credence or value – which is odd since, when people do hear a great speech, they respond positively. I think that there’s a great ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude here which is mirrored by business executives not giving a jot about rehearsals or, very often, by the

quality of what they say. That’s an arrogance you don’t see in some other parts of the world. In the States and other countries, much more media coverage is given to scriptwriters and their craft. Here it’s regarded as a second class occupation - in politics and in business. The public still think of Churchill as the epitome of a great speech maker. There have been many great speeches written since but little credence is given for many or any. Do you keep a commonplace book? Yes, three actually. One is to compile phrases that I hear or conversations that are amusing, weird or useful for a piece of writing. The other is for poetry (mine and others’). The third is for ideas that would work in articles, books or speech material. The notebooks I use are large Moleskines (with squared paper). The important thing is to imagine not having the books (ie lost or stolen). It conditions what one commits to memory. Alastair Darling was famous for boring his audiences to death, and this was seen as an astute strategy. Isn’t the sad fact that being a good speaker is not an essential skill for a politician? Being a good speaker is an essential skill for a politician, but it may not matter immediately. Some slip through the net.

As the divisions between parties blur, it may be that oratory and rhetoric, well-placed and well-written will come more to the fore. The civil service is looking to make cuts and speechwriters are near the top of the list as ‘superfluous to requirements’. How do we persuade big organisations to invest in writers? The first thing to say here is that in tough times, good speeches are most important. Rhetoric in times of trouble is not an empty epithet and businesses know that. My feeling is that organisations won’t be persuaded first time round but will, when their communications suffer. One method that works is to get a couple of executives or politicians who do use speechwriters to put down on paper why they’re important.

Simon Maier’s new book is Speak Like a President: How to Inspire and Engage People with Your Words. Published by A & C Black, £9.99 ISBN 1408125335

The Speechwriter is edited by Brian Jenner.

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In the UK, it seems to matter less, although eventually good speakers win out. In the US it matters a great deal as it does in many SE Asian countries and elsewhere. Some politicians, of course, are very good at sound-bites, but less skilled at the longer speech. Some see a speech opportunity as a bonus while others prefer to hug the TV studio.

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