|Simon Lancaster became a speechwriter in the late 90s, writing for Tony Blair’s Cabinet. In 2007, he set up Bespoke, Britain’s first specialist speechwriting agency, and now writes for the CEOs of many of Britain’s biggest companies including Cadbury, HSBC and Intercontinental Hotels. He has a Masters Degree in Mass Communications and lectures at Henley Business School, Oxford University and Gresham College. His book, ‘Speechwriting: The Expert Guide’ was published by Robert Hale in 2010 and is regarded as the definitive text on speechwriting. He is a columnist in Total Politics and The Guardian and appears regularly as a political pundit on BBC News.|
|Lyndsey Jenkins spent seven years in government communications, primarily writing speeches and articles for senior Ministers. She has degrees in history and politics, social policy, and creative non-fiction, and currently writes part-time while pursuing a PhD in history at the University of Oxford. She is the author of two books. Lyndsey has a knack for capturing exactly how people speak, for structuring a logical and effective argument, and for writing crisp, engaging and persuasive prose.|
|Lucy Brunt-Jenner began her career in government communications in the late nineties. She has worked as the Press Secretary to a number of senior government figures including Lord Sainsbury, Sir Stephen Lander and Professor Sir David King. She has written speeches for weddings and funerals as well as major international press conferences.|
|Alice Wright first began her writing career ten years ago, working on magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Bella and Take a Break. She now writes speeches for weddings, funerals, birthday parties, anniversaries and many other celebratory events. She takes great care to tailor her speeches to the speaker, the occasion and the audience.
|"Simon's energy, vitality and sheer joie-de-vivre make him a great speechwriter. He has the rare ability to encapsulate in a speech all the central issues in an interesting and entertaining way."
Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP
|"Simon's a great speechwriter. He has a rare talent for really understanding what you want to say and helping you say it better."
Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt MP
|"Simon is the perfectionist as speechwriter: not only a flair for the word and phrase, but also thorough research and an attention to detail and accuracy which comes from his past life as a senior ministerial adviser."
|"Simon runs a speechwriting workshop as part of the University of Cambridge's Masters degree in Creative Writing. He balances an entertaining and engaging style with erudite insight and practical useful advice on how to construct a compelling speech. He makes the students laugh and he makes the students work, indeed producing some outstanding material. I don’t think any of them will forget the workshop. I cannot recommend him highly enough."
Dr Sarah Burton Course Director Creative Writing MSt University of Cambridge
|"I've worked with dozens of Whitehall speechwriters and Simon is not only the best, he is in a league of his own."
Tom Clark, Editor of 'Great Speeches of the 20th Century' (Preface Publishing, 2008)
"This was a fantastic course - just the right balance between learning and doing. Having "been there and done that," Simon really knows what he's talking about. I went home with loads of ideas and contacts - and more importantly, a real confidence boost."
Lyndsey Jenkins, Speechwriter to Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP
"Simon gave me a fantastic introduction to the art of speechwriting. I use many of the techniques covered on a daily basis."
Andrew Kaye, Speechwriter to Rt Hon Vince Cable MP
"This was one of the best courses I've ever attended. The calibre of speakers was excellent - we heard from people that had actually been there and done the job extremely well. The rhetorical tricks of the trade we learnt have been invaluable. And the course really gave me a chance to try them out in challenging, but fun and engaging practical exercises."
Sara Halliday, Speechwriter to Rt Hon Peter Mandelson MP
"Challenging, engaging and stimulating. A fantastic refresher for experienced speechwriters, and an eye-opener for the less-experienced. This course will change the way you think about communication."
Greg Simpson, Speechwriter to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
"Genuinely useful and very entertaining – a revelation!"
David Tinline, Speechwriter to Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation
"The Mansion House Speech Team prepares more than 800 speeches a year, more than any other Cabinet-level speech office, so we and other speech-producing colleagues in the City of London Corporation need to pull back from time to time to re-focus and re-energise ourselves. In our experience Simon Lancaster from Bespoke is absolutely ideal to help both seasoned and new speechwriters to get to grips with the essence of the art. His work is both imaginative and grounded and valued by all. Book early, book often."
William Beaver, Speechwriter to the Lord Mayor of London
"The course was invaluable. Every time I write a sentence that really nails it, it's because I've applied the techniques that Simon taught me."
Zoe Mayne, Speechwriter to Trevor Phillips
"Great day. Great course. Great insights."
James Hampson, Speechwriter to Lord Kinnock
Lynn Eccles, Speechwriter to Chris Grayling MP, Employment Minister
"This course has been a revelation: not just through appreciating the art, but by sharing experience and meeting interesting people. It has been thoroughly appreciated and enjoyable. Many many thanks."
Benedict Macon-Cooney, Speechwriter, Association of British Insurers
"Thoroughly excellent. Best training I have ever done."
Oliver Rowe, Editor, Public Servant Magazine
"Very helpful. Covered all the things I wanted."
Danny Wilkinson, PR Manager, Which? Magazine
"Good combination of writing technique and strategy."
CG, Head of Corporate Comms, FTSE 100 company
"Excellent communication is critical up, down and across a diverse organisation like ours. Simon brought evidence and expertise in a succession of highly engaging sessions to help my staff learn how to communicate well."
Peter Wanless, then CEO, Big Lottery Fund
"We shared Simon’s fascinating Language of Leadership course with our managers across the world to help them inspire and engage others. The feedback was great! He tailored his material so it was really relevant for us."
Dave Roycroft, HR, Invesco plc
"Simon is extremely charismatic and will really challenge your thinking. Great tips and structures! One of the most enjoyable, practical and informative courses I’ve ever attended."
Paul Pomroy, Head of Finance, McDonalds UK
"Great energy, great participation. Love the head, heart and gut model! Superb practical take-aways which are improving my team’s sales results. Enjoyable and engaging!"
Teresa Kotlicka, HR Business Partner, William Grant and Sons
"Simon has made a huge impact on me and every manager he’s trained. I’ve rarely worked with someone so steeped in their craft. Inspirational! Immeasurable! Indelible!"
Perry Timms, Head of HR, Big Lottery Fund
"The Language of Leadership is one of those rare courses where you truly come away with a toolkit that will enhance your impact. You will never listen to a speech the same way again!"
Alex Higgins, Head of Technology, Palgrave Macmillan
"The Language of Leadership course changed me for the better. I now articulate myself much more clearly, concisely and convincingly than ever before."
Parag Vaghjiani, Policy and Implementation Unit, 10 Downing Street
"Attend this course only if you want to become a deeply inspiring leader. Simon helped me become significantly more passionate, engaging and persuasive in content and style."
Phil Ruse, Head of Operations, Allianz Insurance plc
"Lucy wrote me a wonderful speech at very short notice and gave me excellent service, guidance and support throughout. The final speech went very well and got the audience thinking about the importance of living your life to the full. At the end, many of the guests came up to me and said the speech was excellent. Thank you so much!"