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November 2009 | Volume 02

The Speechwriter
Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild

Welcome MASTERCLASS turns to his sister, by the sheer fact of

listening to him, she gets his brain to
Welcome to the second
Lessons from Heinrich work on the solution.
edition of The Speechwriter
von Kleist
newsletter. The purpose of this It works even better if she has
publication is to circulate reason to interrupt him, because that
The German playwright, Heinrich
examples of excellent speeches excites his brain to finish what he is
von Kleist, wrote an essay in 1807 On
to members of the UK saying, and raises the quality of his
the Gradual Formulation of Thoughts
Speechwriters’ Guild. We do this output.
While Speaking.
by picking out openings, closings,
one-liners and quotations and The other person’s face is a
The significance of this essay for
other topical extracts from curious source of inspiration for a
speechwriters is that he suggests a way
newspapers and the internet to person who speaks. A single glance
to clarify thoughts is not through
identify techniques, stimulate your which indicates that a half-expressed
reflection but by speaking. He begins:
imagination and provide models thought is already understood,
which you can emulate. bestows on us the other half of the
My dear thoughtful friend: if there
is something you want to know formulation.
This newsletter appears quarterly
without being able to find it out
and is available to anyone who is He goes on to suggest that great
through meditation, turn to any
a Standard Member of the UK orators often open their mouths
acquaintance you run into to talk
Speechwriters’ Guild. without knowing what they’re going to
about the matter.
say. But the situation, and the tension
Kleist suggests that the person of the occasion, inspire them to
you’re talking to doesn’t need to be become eloquent.
clever or know anything about the
Contribute subject under discussion. Dale Carnegie puts this in a more
banal way. If you knock someone over
We need your speeches. Most
The German playwright suggests in the street, you will soon find they
of the examples in this edition are
that creativity is a flowing process: have something to say.
taken from the Americans. We
want to raise standards in the UK.
The French say l’appétit vient en For speechwriters it is appropriate
Please send examples of
mangeant, and this empirical maxim to play the role of Kleist’s sister,
speeches to:
remains true if one makes a parody of stimulating the speaker to produce
it and says l’idée vient en parlant. thoughts, and then with frequent attempts to interrupt the flow of
He explains how he can struggle thought, you can stir up the mind of the
with an obscure mathematical problem person, thus producing sharper and
for hours without any joy. But if he more colourful ideas.

The Speechwriter November 2009 | Volume 02 2

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild

Book Reviews When you’re starting to have a good large amounts of time writing his own
time, you’re supposed to be speeches.
The Unwritten Laws of Life: someplace else.
Unofficial Rules Handed Down by - Bill Clinton’s Laws of Politics The tradition of having in-house
Murphy and Other Sages, Collected speechwriters seems to have begun
by Hugh Rawson If you have the facts on your side, around the time H L Mencken wrote of
Published by Carbolic Smoke Ball hammer the facts. If you have the Warren Harding’s inaugural address:
Company (360 pages) law on your side, hammer the law. If “(Harding) writes the worst English that
ISBN 0955655714, £12.99 you have neither the facts nor the I have ever encountered. It reminds me
law, hammer the table. of a string of wet sponges; it reminds
The less teeth the women have, the - Michael’s Law of Advocacy me of tattered washing on the line; it
better the bar. reminds me of stale bean soup, of
- Hensley’s Law college yells, of dogs barking idiotically
through endless nights. It is so bad that
Some presentation trainers say that White House Ghosts: Presidents and a sort of grandeur creeps into it.”
you shouldn’t put jokes in speeches. Their Speechwriters by Robert
There is a reason behind this. Schlesinger If you want to be a Government
Inexperienced speakers interpret Published by Simon & Schuster (592 speechwriter, the book has useful
humour as jokes, and they choose pages)
insights into how a speech is put
crude jokes or jokes that have nothing ISBN: 0743291700, £10.92
together and how policy and
to do with the subject matter, hence wordsmithery work together. I found it
the scope for disaster. This book is an exhaustive account
quite ponderous, and lacking in drama
of the different ways speechwriting has
been managed at the White House. The in places. I don’t think Schlesinger
I recently read some research that would make a good speechwriter
notion that speechwriters in American
says when we see a speaker for the himself!
politics are cherished and coddled is
first time, we are inclined to assume the
very wrong. Even the tenure of Ted
worst about them, until something gives Sorensen and Peggy Noonan was quite Learning Rhetoric
us reason to think otherwise. So the short. There is a high turnover.
ability to say something amusing when If you want to
you start is likely to have a big impact There is evidence of high amounts learn the basic skills
on whether they can be bothered to of stress and little appreciation. Michael of rhetoric, the
listen to you. Gerson, George W Bush’s Toastmasters
speechwriter, had a heart attack while International
Hugh Rawson has done working in the White House. The organisation offers opportunities to
speechwriters a favour by creating a humorist, Robert Orben, who worked practise in front of a sympathetic
book packed with witty insights, all of for Gerald Ford, said, “You’re on such a audience. The groups offer a
which are appropriate for speakers. treadmill. The last year I would say I comprehensive educational programme,
Each law offers an insight into human got an average of four hours sleep at with evaluations from senior members
affairs, be it frivolous or profound. And night. I would still have a gallbladder if and nationwide competitions. The
with a bit of imagination they can be it weren’t for two and a half years at organisation was founded by Ralph C.
worked into speeches on the driest of the White House.” Smedley on October 22, 1924, at the
subjects. YMCA in Santa Ana, California, United
There are useful insights, Jimmy States. Branches have been set up all
Here are three examples: Carter made poor use of his over the world. To find out about
Anything good is either immoral, speechwriters, Bill Clinton never London clubs, go to the blog:
illegal, or fattening. worked with speechwriters before his
- Woollcott’s Law presidential run, Richard Nixon spent

The Speechwriter November 2009 | Volume 02 3

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild

A Note on Churchill's “Do not,” he declared, “let us speak more powerful, or Martin Luther King’s
"Never give in" speech at of darker days; let us speak rather of “I have a dream” speech more moving,
Harrow sterner days. These are not dark days: if they’d been delivered as PowerPoint
these are great days – the greatest days presentations? I think not.
The story of Winston our country has ever lived; and we
Churchill’s return to must all thank God that we have been Rifling through his collection of
Harrow as a very old man allowed, each of us according to our clip-art, and desperately entering
has been told so often that stations, to play a part in making these multiple search terms in Google,
it has become a cliché. It’s days memorable in the history of our Churchill would have struggled in vain
easy to see why. It’s appealing to race.” to find a picture of an “iron curtain” to
imagine Churchill in the sunset of his accompany his famous speech. Time
long life, returning to the school where This, I think, is a more noble pressure would have forced him to
he spent his boyhood. He is so sentiment and a more eloquent quote abandon his strikingly original idea in
enfeebled that he can barely rise to his than “never give in”. Let’s bury the favour of something more literal and
feet to say a few words to another legend and resurrect the real story. mundane, like a brick wall, or a
generation of Harrovians. barbed-wire fence.
Hal Gordon writes a blog about
But those few words are testimony speechwriting. See: The phrase “iron curtain” is what
to an unquenchable spirit: “Never give rhetoricians call an oxymoron: that is, a
in,” he tells the students. “Never give contradiction in terms – a sort of
in, never, never, never, never!”. It’s a condensed paradox. Other well-known
great story, but it’s not quite true. examples of this figure of speech are
Churchill did return to Harrow, and did What PowerPoint Can’t “darkness visible”, “deafening silence”,
speak those words, but the year was Show You by Martin and “bitter sweet”.
1941 and they were part of a longer Shovel
speech. At first sight oxymorons like these
may appear to be little more than a bit
The pity is that the legend has of clever, but meaningless, word play.
swallowed up a better story and a But a second more thoughtful and less
better quote. The better story is that literal look often reveals a poetic truth
the headmaster of Harrow had made a or insight – one that captures not just
blatant attempt to butter up the the look of an experience, but its feel.
school’s most illustrious “old boy” by
adding a stanza to the school song. The Images in PowerPoint slides are
new stanza went like this: PowerPoint has been with us for limited by their literalness – whereas
over twenty years but during that time the only limitation on an image conjured
Nor less we praise in darker days it has gained more of a reputation for up by words is our imagination.
The leader of our nation, sending the world to sleep than
And Churchill’s name shall win changing it. Mental images aren’t confined and
acclaim restricted by frames either – they don’t
From each new generation. Great orators, past and present, have edges. So in our mind’s eye we
have managed to get by quite nicely can begin to appreciate the full
To the headmaster’s dismay, without it – preferring instead to weave enormity, and sweep, of Churchill’s
Churchill objected to the word their magic with words alone. monumental “iron curtain”, as we watch
“darker” – and said so in his speech to it descend “across the Continent”.
the students. Would Nelson Mandela’s statement
at the opening of his trial have been

The Speechwriter November 2009 | Volume 02 4

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild

The images that words evoke in our after the applause has started, which matters while the noise of the applause
minds are not just pictorial either – they creates a number of positive might still drown it out.
are multisensory. We feel the soft impressions. It makes it look as though
unyielding hardness of the iron curtain you hadn’t been seeking applause at all, Repeating the first few words, as
in our bodies – it doesn’t just help us and you really are quite surprised that Obama did, is probably the easiest and
understand the tragedy of a divided the audience has interrupted you with safest way of doing it, but it’s not the
postwar Europe intellectually, it helps an unexpected display of approval. only option. Another is to keep adding
us feel it too. a few more words each time until the
Then, if you keep trying to go on applause has died down enough for
Martin Shovel and Martha Leyton while the audience is still clapping, it’s people to be able to hear the fully
from CreativityWorks are are running as if you’re telling them that, unlike less formed sentence you want them to
two training courses in early 2010. passionate politicians, you’re the kind of hear.
You can have an early bird discount person who regards getting your
of £100 if you book at least six message across as much more Here is Cameron cranking out three
weeks before each masterclass. important than waiting around to savour rhetorical questions and a powerful
They’re both in central London, one the applause. contrast between the Tories and
on 25 January and one on 1 March. Labour – note how he doesn’t back off
This means getting your booking in If you’re really lucky, and the as soon as the applause gets under
for the January date by the 14 broadcasters want to put this particular way.
December; and by the 18 January for extract on prime time news
the March event. For more programmes, the lack of any clean break CAMERON:
information go to: between your speech and the applause Do you know what Labour called it?
makes it difficult for them to edit “Callous.” without including the adulation of the Excuse me?
crowd as well – so that the various Who has made the poorest poorer?
positive impressions are transmitted Who left youth unemployment
Surfing Applause by Max beyond the hall to the much bigger higher?
Atkinson numbers viewing or listening at home. Who made inequality greater?
No, not the wicked Tories
For me the high spot of More experienced surfers don’t just You, Labour: you are the ones who
David Cameron’s speech make one aborted attempt to speak have done it to this society.
at the Conservative Party during the applause, but do it several Don’t you dare lecture us on
Conference in Manchester times in a row, as in this example from poverty.
was the sequence in which Barack Obama: You have failed and it (applause
he demononstrated that he can ‘surf’ starts) falls the modern Conservative
applause. “.. that threatens my civil liberties. Party to help the poorest in our
[applause starts] It is that fundamental country today (applause continues
Commentators singled it out as belief – [applause continues] -- It is and develops into standing ovation).
evidence of ‘passion’, and it was widely that fundamental belief -- [applause
replayed on prime-time television news starts to fade] It is that fundamental
programmes. belief that I am my brother’s keeper, I
am my sister’s keeper, that makes this
Unlike most speakers, surfers don’t country work.”
just stop whenever the audience
applauds and wait until they’ve finished. The important thing is to make sure
What surfers do is to carry on speaking that you don’t say anything that really

The Speechwriter November 2009 | Volume 02 5

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild

INSPIRATION yourself the equivalent, the equal of All the teams had to rethink their
Sherlock Holmes in your powers of strategies and adjust to playing within
Openings deduction.” The driver said, “There is these new parameters.
one more additional fact, monsieur.
I spent a little time – if you read my Your name was on your valise.” Today the energy industry faces a
biography – in the United Kingdom for a similar adjustment in order to make the
post-graduate degree. And while the So I guess in every business, in progress it needs to make.
United States does have the best every time, every country, people have
Intelligence Community in the world, something valuable to contribute to Katrina Landis, CEO BP Alternative
the Brits have an excellent one, too. what we call intelligence. And quite Energy, SPE Offshore Europe
They’re a proud nation. And one often, many of the important things are Conference, 8 September 2009,
influence not only on the police not so secret that they aren’t even Aberdeen.
detectives of the United Kingdom and hidden.
many other countries but also on their
police officers was Sir Arthur Conan Brilliant Deductions: The Intelligence Substance
Doyle, the author of the famous Community and Private Sector
Sherlock Holmes stories. Partnerships, Delivered by The Speakers elected younger than me
Honourable Dennis C Blair, Director at 46 were actually quite common in
As we look at this intersection of National Intelligence at the US times gone by. In the 18th century,
between business and intelligence, it’s Chamber of Commerce, Washington Speaker Grenville was elected at 29
worth telling a little story on Arthur DC, 22 July 2009. and Speaker Addington at 32. Indeed,
Conan Doyle. Supposedly, he was both went on to become Prime
coming into Paris. He hailed a cab, Good afternoon everyone and Minister—not a likely career move in
threw his bag inside the cab, climbed in thanks for the opportunity to contribute my case. By contrast, Speaker Onslow,
and before he could say a word, the to today’s discussion. was elected at 36 in 1728 and he stayed
driver said to him, “Where to, Monsieur in situ for more than 30 years—not a
Conan Doyle?” “You recognise me?” he As the US representative on the danger in my case, given my
said in surprise. “Non, never seen a panel, let me share with you something commitment to serving no longer than
picture of you.” “Then how do you that happened just over 100 years ago nine years in total. Even further back,
know I’m Conan Doyle?” in the States. Sir Thomas More was virtually my age
when he became Speaker, though
The driver replied, “I read in the In 1905, American football was in frankly his rather sticky end does not fill
newspapers that you’re on vacation in crisis. That year, 18 players were killed, me with encouragement. But then again
the south of France. I noticed your train 160 were seriously injured on the he is the only Member of this House
came from Marseilles. You had the tan playing field and there was talk of ever to have been canonised. My own
of a week on the Riviera. From the ink banning the game altogether. preference is, however, for success in
spot on your right middle finger, I this world rather than in the next.
deduce you were a writer. You have the However, President Theodore
keen look of a medical man and the Roosevelt intervened, demanding Speech from John Bercow MP on
wardrobe of an Englishman. Putting it instead that the rules be reformed to becoming the Speaker of the House
all together, I felt you must surely be preserve the sport - but to make it less of Commons, 22 June 2009.
Conan Doyle, the creator of the famous dangerous.
Sherlock Holmes mysteries.”
The result was a major overhaul in
Conan Doyle was amazed. which new rules were created, including
“Extraordinary, my good man! You are the forward pass which revolutionised
the way football was played.

The Speechwriter November 2009 | Volume 02 6

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild

There’s a story I like to tell about a It is hard to see how the existence President of the United States,
man who walked into church one of institutions that are “too important to Barack Obama’s speech to the
Sunday with his hat on. And he kept it fail” is consistent with their being in the National Association for the
on until a sidesman crept up to him in private sector. Encouraging banks to Advancement of American Colored
the pew and whispered: ‘Excuse me, sir, take risks that result in large dividend People, New York, 16 July 2009.
but would you mind removing your hat?’ and remuneration payouts when things
‘Thank you,’ replied the man, ‘You’re go well, and losses for The business we are in, of turning
the first person who has spoken to me taxpayers when they don’t, distorts the human understanding to our clients’
since I started coming to this church allocation of resources and advantage, is to me the most
five weeks ago!’ management of risk. worthwhile non-medical way you can
earn a decent living.
Now that man had the right idea That is what economists mean by
about what the Church is meant to be. “moral hazard”. The massive support Our job in the IPA is to do
The Church is the family of God. It extended to the banking sector around everything we possibly can to support
exists, not only to bring people into a the world, while necessary to avert that approach and to promote it
special relationship with God, but also economic disaster, has created possibly aggressively.
into a special relationship with one the biggest moral hazard in history. The
another, as the children of God. “too important to fail” problem is too Before we return to our jobs – and
important to ignore. go back to the pressing problem we all
And then there is that other true face, of generating some sustainable
story of the rather proud and prickly Speech by Governor of the Bank of consumer-led demand – I would just
man who came up to John Wesley and England, Mervyn King, to Scottish like to remind you again of my first
said: ‘My religion is strictly a private business organisations, Edinburgh, 20 point. The importance of trying to grow
matter between myself and my God.’ October 2009. the industry, rather than merely one
‘Well, in that case,’ said Wesley, ‘it’s slice of it.
not the Christian religion.’ And on Endings
another occasion he said: ‘Christianity is The best lesson against turf wars
essentially a social religion. To turn it If three civil rights workers in takes us back to 1917. If you endlessly
into a solitary one is to destroy it.’ Mississippi - black, white, Christian and fight over the same territory, no-one
Jew, city-born and country-bred - could really wins – as even in victory you may
Sermon from Glyn James, St Peter’s, lay down their lives in freedom’s cause, find that all you have succeeded in
Bournemouth, 27 September 2009. I know we can come together to face capturing is a few hundred yards of
down the challenges of our own time. badly churned mud.
The sheer scale of support to the We can fix our schools - we can heal
banking sector is breathtaking. In the our sick, we can rescue our youth from There is plenty of new turf for all of
UK, in the form of direct or guaranteed violence and despair. And 100 years us. We simply need the confidence to
loans and equity investment, it is not far from now, on the 200th anniversary of go out and find it.
short of a trillion (that is, one thousand the NAACP - let it be said that this
billion) pounds, close to two-thirds of generation did its part; that we too ran Rory Sutherland, Inaugural address of
the annual output of the entire the race; that full of faith that our dark the new IPA President, London
economy. To paraphrase a great past has taught us, full of the hope that Marriott, Grosvenor Square, London,
wartime leader, never in the field of the present has brought us - we faced, 22 April 2009.
financial endeavour has so much money in our lives and all across this nation,
been owed by so few to so many. And, the rising sun of a new day begun.
one might add, so far with little real Thank you, God bless you. God bless
reform. the United States of America.

The Speechwriter November 2009 | Volume 02 7

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild

INSIGHTS random sample paths, to look at the working in some of the poorest areas of
patterns that emerge. the world. I listened to four days of
No Speech Like An Old speeches by politicians, policy makers
Speech He muses on whether you can use and aspiring academics talking about
the Monte Carlo method to compose poverty, health and the demands of a
There are two diametrically poetry or highbrow literary criticism. He planet with ever diminishing resources
opposed schools of thought when it concludes you can. If you select certain and an apparent environmental
comes to preparing an after-dinner vocabulary, you can even construct a nightmare about to unravel.
speech. There is the Clement Freud speech imitating your chief executive
school of thought and the non-Clement officer. You just pick the phrases you I was asked to give the final keynote
Freud school of thought. I learnt this like and string them together. address. I went up to the lectern and
when as a young man I foolishly began by telling the assembled
accepted an invitation to take part in a We look after our customer’s audience that I though this had been a
Cambridge Union debate. interests / the road ahead / our very well-organized conference. Yet I
assets are our people / creation of had spent four days looking at large
There were good things in my shareholder value / our vision / our graphs and hearing about policies for
speech but I didn’t get it really right, expertise lies in / we provide change and endless statistics from
and Clement Freud, a fellow-speaker, interactive solutions / we position around the world. No one had actually
leant over to me afterwards and said: "If ourselves in this market / how to mentioned anyone with a name and
you’ll take my advice, Miles, you won’t serve our customers better / address.
bother to make up a speech every time. short-term pain for long-term gain /
Just have one very good speech and we will be rewarded in the long run / The messy details of people’s real
always use that. we play from our strength and lives and experiences were startlingly
improve our weaknesses / courage absent from the platform. I then told
"But make sure you alter the opening and determination will prevail / we our Bromley-le-Bow story, which I will
and closing paragraph each time, to are committed to innovation and share in this book, and unexpectedly
make it seem topical. If the start and technology / a happy employee is an received a standing ovation. I don’t
close of a speech is geared to the productive employee / commitment think it had anything to do with my
actual occasion and the actual people to excellence / strategic plan / our abilities as a public speaker.
present, then they will assume that the work ethics
rest of the speech is the same, even I think it had everything to do with
though you delivered exactly the same Next time you listen to your CEO, touching a raw nerve and daring to
stuff at Huddersfield the week before." think whether he’s saying anything of suggest that the way we think about
value or just spouting meaningless government and its relationship to
Extract from an article by Miles random nonsense. people, both in Britain and across the
Kington in The Independent, 14 world, is profoundly out of kilter with
November, 1995 Lord Mawson on the realities experienced by millions of
Speechmaking people.
Tired Phrases and Worn
Out Concepts A few years ago I was invited to This is an extract from Lord
speak at a conference in Melbourne, Mawson’s book, The Social
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in his book, Australia organised by the World Entrepreneur, Atlantic Books (192
Fooled by Ramdomness, discusses Health Organisation (WHO). I pages), ISBN 1843546612, £9.99
Monte Carlo generators, a simulation, expected there to be three hundred
usually done through a computer people there; I was greeted by nearly
program that can generate lots of three thousand, all of who were

The Speechwriter November 2009 | Volume 02 8

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild

Interview with Dr Do you write in different styles for Do you have a favourite reference
William Beaver and Lucia different characters, or do you think book or website when you’re
Graves, Speechwriters for there is just a public speaking mode? composing your speeches?
the City of London.
‘They’ say that it takes three months Bill finds succour in Barron’s
for the Lord Mayor to sort out the London in the Late Middle Ages and
speechwriters and we say it takes three reports from International Financial
months for the speechwriters to sort Services London. Lucia is in love with
out the Lord Mayor! Writing as we do the Financial Times online - and the
for the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs and senior Economist (though recently all the best
Aldermen, we do try to take on material went subscription only).
different persona.
What suggestions would you make
What’s your best tip for a to David Cameron to improve his
speechwriter? presentation skills?
How do you end up writing speeches
for the The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor If volume is your challenge, then the Be clear about what you are going
of London? best anxiety-eraser is a forward to say at the beginning. You never know
planning system which gives you plenty where he going so it is hard to give your
Lucia was a journalist, both in the of time. Remember, there is no such full attention.
UK and abroad. Bill was director of thing as a late speech. Another tip is to
communications for NatWest, cultivate the experts in the area you are Do you ever do PowerPoint?
Barnardo’s, the Industrial Society, the writing about and let them do most of
Church of England and the Red Cross. the work! Rarely. It’s a turn-off unless you use
illustrations, as we do, and we never fill
How many speeches do you write a Who would you most like to write the screen with the words being
year? speeches for? uttered.

The Lord Mayor will deliver some Bill would like to write for St Paul. Is there a difference between the
800 speeches, more than any other Lucia says: ‘Apart from the next American and British ways of
Cabinet-level minister. That’s two to thirty-eight Lord Mayors?’ speaking?
three a day each on a variety of
subjects from the strengths of UK Who makes you laugh? There’s a notable difference in
insurance and risk management, to writing styles; but we have never had a
corporate responsibility; or civic events Lucia laughs at anything ironic. Bill US Lord Mayor to test out our theory
such as the great Dictionary writer, Dr doesn’t know what ironic is. that US speakers might veer a bit more
Johnson’s, tercentenary where we towards a TV/ Toastmaster-presenter
waxed lyrical on Johnson’s attitude to Have you given social speeches style.
breakfast! yourself?
How much time do you spend with
How do you add ‘life’ to formal Bill does, mainly to build up the your speakers?
speeches? myth about speechwriters being the
most important people on anyone’s We put in drafts about a week
Stories always work. Our most staff. Real West Wing stuff. ahead. These are read and any points
powerful currently are on financial are discussed between the principal for
literacy. whom we are writing and us, often on
the fly between engagements.

The Speechwriter November 2009 | Volume 02 9

Newsletter of The UK Speechwriters’ Guild

Do you have to communicate policy candidate stands for and what the party Christmas Drinks
in your speeches? How do you candidate cannot stand, most centrally,
manage that? what the antagonists represent.

Much of the policy we communicate 3) It should be coherent, requiring few

is about the age-old ethics of the City leaps of inference or imagination to
which is our USP. Newer policy we try make its plot line move forward or the
to set out clearly and confidently. Do intentions of its central actors clear.
we make up policy? Of course not...!
4) It should have a clear moral (and
Does the title speechwriter convey generally subordinate morals, which Thursday 10 December 2009
the value you bring to the party? refer to the party’s values). Christmas drinks in the Theatre Bar, at
the Victoria Pub, 10a Strathearn Place
A few months ago we received a 5) It should be vivid and memorable (off Sussex Place), London, W2 2NH
letter from abroad addressed to THE from 7pm. Call 01202 551257 to tell us
SPEECH MASTERS. We rather liked 6) It should be moving you’re coming,
7) It should have central elements that
Drew Westen’s Elements are readily visualized or pictured, to
of a Compelling Political maximise its memorability and Credits
Narrative emotional impact.
The Speechwriter is edited by
Brian Jenner.
8) It should be rich in metaphor, both
so that it is emotionally evocative and

Design by
so that it creates and reinforces its
intended analogies.

9) It should take elements of the

opposition’s story, including it’s
metaphors, and recast them as its own.

10) Finally, if the story is the party’s

master narrative, it should be a story its
framers would want to tell their
children – that could be illustrated in a
children’s book – because it should be
so clear, compelling, and central to its
members’ understanding of right and
wrong that they would want their
1) It should have the structure our children to internalize the values it
brains expect of a narrative so that it embodies.
can be readily understood, told and
retold. The Political Brain, The Role of
Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the
2) It should have protagonists and Nation, by Drew Westen
antagonists, defining what the party Published by PublicAffairs (496 pages)
ISBN 1586485733, £8.99