17 September 2011

In praise of Brian Jenner & the UK Speechwriters' Guild

I've often said that professional speechwriting is a bit like robbing banks.

It's a job that's done in isolated secrecy. You can't boast about your successes. And you certainly can't rely on your clients to go around telling their audiences that someone else had written the speech for which they're being so warmly congratulated.

So those of us who've just got back from the 3rd annual conference of the UK Speechwriters' Guild in Bournemouth owe a tremendous debt to its founder, Brian Jenner, for bringing together 60+ of us to meet up and exchange notes with others involved in this obscure and clandestine occupation.

With delegates from at least 9 countries in Europe and North America, it's now become a truly international gathering.

An added bonus this year was a Strictly Come Dancing style UK Business Speaker of the Year Award on the eve of the conference.

And, as in previous years, Brian also deserves our thanks for his genius for pulling unlikely rabbits out of his hat - by which I mean his ability to unearth relevant and entertaining speakers - like Fred Metcalf, who's jokes have won laughs for an extraordinary range of celebrities, ranging from John Major to David Frost and Morecambe and Wise (and prompted yet more laughter from those of us who heard him speak yesterday).

If you weren't there, you can see what you missed HERE.

If you're not already a member of the UK Speechwriters' Guild, you can find out more about it HERE.

You can also keep up with what Brian Jenner's getting up to next by following him on Twitter at @beachwordsmith.

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