Day 1: Autumn Speechwriters & Business Communicators Conference

This is a past event
DE BURCHT, Henri Polaklaan 9, Amsterdam, , 1018
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European Speechwriter Network Conference in Amsterdam

A conference including training which offers many perspectives on the skills of speechwriting and business communication

The European Speechwriter Network has pioneered a format where we listen to top speechwriters, leaders and interpreters talk about their work.

We learn what techniques they use, how they craft stories, how they build relationships.

Who should attend?


Previous conferences in the UK and Belgium have attracted speechwriters from the European Commission, NATO, IBM, the CBI, Orange, Deloitte, the United Nations, the European Investment Bank, Coca Cola as well as the Dutch, Danish and British civil service.

This conference is for anyone wanting to improve their ability to write and deliver speeches.

While the conference is predominantly in English, many of the techniques will be transferable to other languages.

It's also for people wishing to improve their company's ability to communicate ideas.

You should attend this course if you are interested in:

  • Communicating your organisation's mission, vision and values
  • Helping leaders motivate and inspire
  • Discovering techniques to give your speeches more impact
  • Understanding how speeches are interpreted
  • Engaging people with your ideas

The benefits

  • Acquire techniques used in the White House, European institutions and the UK Parliament
  • Get insights into rhetoric from top writers
  • Listen to outstanding public speakers
  • Have your own work analysed in interactive sessions with top trainers
  • Meet fellow professionals from the UK, Europe and the rest of the world


Thursday 23 October

Delegates can choose from three pre-conference training workshops

10am - 4.30pm followed by drinks/networking reception and tour of De Burcht

1) Soup to Nuts: Everything you need to know to write excellent speeches with Rob Friedman, Senior Director of Executive Communications for pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly & Co

2) Be the Eloquent Woman, Women & Public Speaking with Denise Graveline

3) Cartoon Thinking for Speechwriters: a visual thinking workshop for writers who want to breathe new life into their work with Martha Leyton and Martin Shovel


Friday 24 October - Full Conference

10am - 4.30pm - European Speechwriter Network Conference, followed by drinks/networking reception and tour of De Burcht

Speakers include
: Alexei Kapterev, Jan Sonneveld, (Dutch Ministry of Climate Change), Richard Newman (Winner of the Cicero Prize 2014)...more to be announced.


What you will learn and leave with

  • A better understanding of what makes an effective speech
  • Insights on how to work with multilingual audiences
  • Tips for managing your speakers
  • Strategies for dealing with interpreters
  • New contacts, ideas and perspectives on the trade



Pre-Conference Trainers

Rob Friedman

Rob Friedman is Senior Director of Executive Communications for pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly & Co.

He runs the pre-conference training each year at the Ragan Communications conference in Washington DC.

He supervises a team of writers for Lilly's CEO and other senior executives.

Rob was a speechwriter for Ameritech and the American Medical Association before joining Lilly in 1994.

Twenty of Rob's speeches have appeared in Vital Speeches of the Day; his 2010 speech for Lilly's CEO delivered to the Detroit Economic Club earned a Cicero Award.

Denise Graveline

Denise is a Washington DC-based communications consultant and speaker trainer.

She calls her consultancy don't get caught because she helps clients make sure they don't get caught unprepared, speechless or behind the curve with training and strategies.

She is also the author and publisher of The Eloquent Woman, a popular blog on women and public speaking. Denise will be running a workshop on Be the Eloquent Woman. Women & Public Speaking

Martin Shovel & Martha Leyton

Martin and Martha run UK consultancy CreativityWorks.

They write speeches for chief executives, politicians, leaders of trade unions and professional organisations, and they train speechwriters and other communications professionals.

Martin is also a prolific cartoonist and commentator on Twitter, and he and Martha have created several animated films, including the viral YouTube hit, 'Busting the Mehrabian Myth'.

Martha and Martin will be running a new workshop, Cartoon Thinking for Speechwriters, based on their popular Cartooning for Communicators workshop.




Alexei Kapterev

A teacher of visual communication at the Graduate School of Business Administration at Moscow State University, Alexei came to fame with his presentation, Death by PowerPoint - a presentation on presentations.

He works with Mercator, Russia's premier studio producing corporate presentations. He is the author of the book Presentation Secrets published by John Wiley.

Richard Newman

Richard Newman, Director of UK Body Talk, is the 2014 Grand winner of the prestigious Vital Speeches of the Day Cicero Awards for speechwriting.

He has taught advanced communication skills since 1995, training over 20,000 people from 45 countries.

Richard’s company is the official supplier of communication skills training to the London Business School.


More will be announced in the coming weeks...

See the video of the Oxford conference in April



If you prefer to submit a purchase order or you would like us to send you an invoice instead of paying through Eventbrite, please get in touch.

The prices are inclusive of BTW @ 21%.


Cancellation Policy


Bookings will not be accepted unless accompanied by payment and cancellations must be received no later than one month (28 days) before the conference if a full refund is to be given.


Cancellations received within 2 to 4 weeks of the first date of conference will be refunded 50%. No refunds will be given for cancellations made within 14 days.


It was a great event and I found the speakers provided an excellent insight into the world of speechwriting - so thank you!

Kate, IBM

We went back to the real nitty-gritty elements of the craft, and going back to basics made me think afresh about different approaches that can be taken. The Conference overall was educational, practical and full of ideas and creative energy. Attending was a brilliant opportunity – go!

Jonathan Kinsella (speechwriter at Dept of Culture, Media and Sport)

Loved the conference. Great speakers and well organized. Learnt lots.

Alistair McIntosh, Chief Executive, Housing Quality Network

Thanks especially for getting Sam Leith and David Day to speak to the group, both were utterly compelling.  And thanks for all the thought and hard work that doubtlessly go into this event every year, I can't think of any other conference that's worth packing a suitcase for.

Maddy, Clifford Chance

It was a hugely enjoyable two days and an honour to speak among such stellar names. Congrats on pulling off such a successful event.

David K

I greatly enjoyed the conference, and very much appreciated being invited.

Edward Mortimer, former speechwriter to Kofi Annan

Let me thank you wholeheartedly again for having invited me to your brilliantly organized conference in Oxford. I enjoyed it thoroughly and I was impressed by the line-up of speakers, the truly international mix of people, the intellectual level of the contributions (and contributors) and the wonderful venue you had chosen

Willi Vogler, Verband der Redenschreiber deutscher Sprache

Thanks for organising such a brilliant event – I have just been raving about how brilliant the event was to my colleagues and would very much like one of them to attend next year, could you keep me on your mailing list.

Communications Director at Astellas Pharma Europe

Thanks for organising such a great event.

Ben Duncan, Senior Adviser to the Director, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Thank you for an outstanding conference. Congratulations for organising multiple perspectives on speech writing – Foreign Office, UN, government and business.

Jamie Priestley

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