Writing speeches and preparing presentations are extremely important as they always need to communicate a message succinctly and effectively, however, they can often be difficult to get right.

Whilst every speech is written with a different purpose in mind, the tools required to write a powerful speech or presentation can be replicated across any topic, for any setting. Knowing which techniques to employ and how to write in an appropriate style for the specific occasion and audience is crucial for writing a truly impactful speech.

This highly interactive one-day training course, with former diplomat and award-winning speechwriter Charles Crawford, will feature a lively combination of presentations and powerful examples of best and worst practice to learn from.

Attend to gain practical and personalised advice on how to structure, format and achieve the right tone for your speech, in order to master the process of writing words to be spoken aloud, rather than read.

NB: Delegates will be asked to prepare a short speech or presentation in advance of the course. Volunteers will be asked to deliver their speech on the day and the group will discuss feedback, using the tools learnt throughout the day.

About the Chair: Charles Crawford
Charles Crawford retired from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the end of 2007 after nearly three decades in the UK Diplomatic Service

Charles Crawford CMG is the former British Ambassador to Poland (2003-2007); Serbia and Montenegro (2001-2003); and Bosnia and Herzegovina (1996-1998)

In his diplomatic career he served as FCO speechwriter to Foreign Secretary Sir Geoffrey Howe. He has contributed to speeches by members of the Royal Family, government ministers and many others in public and commercial life

He played a significant role in post-conflict reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the war crimes problem; in coordinating international support for democratic change in Serbia, Kosovo and Croatia; and in helping negotiate the 2005 EU Budget deal and 2007 EU Lisbon Treaty

He is a frequent commentator on international issues appearing on BBC, Sky, ITV and CNN; he has written for the Independent, Guardian, Daily Mail, Sun, National Review Online, Radio Free Europe and DIPLOMAT.  He is on the Daily Telegraph comment team. Find out more.

09:15 - 09:45


09:45 - 10:00

Trainer’s Welcome and Learning Objectives

10:00 - 10:30

Exercise: Giving a Speech

Four participants give short, pre-prepared speeches which are then discussed by the group

10:30 - 11:30

Preparing a Successful Speech

  • Writing for reading vs writing for speaking
  • Linking the speech or presentation to the event
    • Occasion
    • Audience
    • Room
  • Getting the right tone
  • Finding thematic metaphors
  • Message, structure, signposts, stories
11:30 - 11:45

Morning Break

11:45 - 13:00

Practical Tips: Speaker and Process

  • Engaging with venue
  • Presenting numbers and statistics
  • Starting and finishing
  • Understanding timing and pace of a speech
  • Using teleprompters and gadgets
  • Formatting speeches and speaking notes
  • Negotiating the internal drafting process
13:00 - 14:00


14:00 - 15:00

Analysing Speeches and Presentations

  • Basic PowerPoint principles
  • Video examples of Speeches and supporting texts
  • Discussion of what works and why
15:00 - 15:15

Afternoon Break

15:15 - 16:00

Exercise: Giving a Speech

Four delegates repeat short pre-prepared speeches, amended / improved based on core lessons learned

16:00 - 16:15

Feedback, Evaluation and Close

Charles Crawford

former Ambassador, and UK Diplomat

Charles Crawford retired from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the end of 2007 after nearly three decades in the…

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Central London