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Boris Johnson’s Conference Speech: from The Who to Larry the Cable Guy

The song playing immediately before and after Boris Johnson’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference, my fellow music nerds might have recognised, was The Who’s Baba O’Riley. It…

Taking the “we” out of WeWork: protests and pronouns

Protests outside WeWork offices in London and an article in the FT about the company’s CEO both serve to compound the problems that the shared office space provider…

On “Optics” – and a visit from the Vice-President of the United States of America

West Yorkshire Police have issued a statement to distance themselves from the Prime Minister’s decision to use a visit to their facilities to make a political speech. Statement…

Boris Johnson’s Victory Speech

Boris Johnson has just won the Conservative Party vote to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister. What tone did his victory speech set? What might we expect of…

Countercurrent podcast: Sam Cooper in conversation with Professor Roger Kneebone

Earlier this year, I had the great pleasure to meet Roger Kneebone, Professor of Anatomy at the Royal Academy of Arts, Professor of Surgical Education at Imperial College…

Storytelling in PR: “Put some people in it!”

In her guide to DIY public relations, Your Press Release is Breaking My Heart, Janet Murray offers a mantra for PR storytelling: “Put some people in it!” Janet…

Against “Style vs Substance”

There’s a fascinating “long read” in today’s Financial Times: “How Oxford University shaped Brexit – and Britain’s next Prime Minister.” (“Gift” link) Its author, Simon Kuper, discusses how…

How do I become a speechwriter?

I’m often asked how I became a speechwriter. And for those in search of career guidance, I suspect my answer is rather frustrating: “Totally by chance.” I’m being…

Karen Duffin’s “The Speechwriter’s Lament”

“It’s Alive!” How to repurpose content and give your speech an afterlife

After much writing and rewriting, rehearsing and – er – re-rehearsing, your speech has finally been delivered. Time to sit back and bask in its glories? Probably not….