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Rhetorically speaking…
Speechwriters Blog on Speechwriting


“It is very hard to fault this carefully crafted book. As the longest serving government speechwriter until he left Whitehall in 2007 to form the Bespoke agency, Simon Lancaster knows his craft. Cutting his teeth writing for Patricia Hewitt and then Alan Johnson, he now writes for a broader audience that includes company CEOs, rock stars, celebrities as well as politicians across the parties. Speechwriting: the Expert Guide shows that he also has the ability to impart his ample wisdom in a highly polished, lively and often amusing way.

The technical stuff starts with Aristotle’s three essential ingredients for persuasive speaking - ethos (the speaker’s character and credibility), pathos (the emotions of the audience and the argument) and logos (the proof - or apparent proof - of the argument). After laying out three golden principles - that the audience is more important than the speaker, emotions are more powerful than logic, and that less is more - Lancaster leads the reader on a seamless journey as he reveals techniques for grabbing attention, convincing audiences and moving them to action. A chapter on the Craft of Speechwriting provides useful structures for different types of speech - e.g. political speeches, responding to a crisis or for celebratory events.

Where this guide really excels, however, is in its broad use of speech material to illustrate its points - from David Cameron to Gordon Brown, from Bill Gates to Nick Clegg and from Julia Roberts to Cicero. For senior public servants wanting to realise their full potential on the platform - and for professional communicators - this is, quite simply, essential reading.”

Posted by Simon Lancaster on February 21st, 2011 :: Filed under Random
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