Podcast E10: How to write a speech

In this episode 10 of Coffee, Tea or Something Stronger?, Clare Lynch talks to Alan Barker, a speechwriter and trainer of other speechwriters. Alan reveals the elements that make a great speech – from capturing the speaker’s unique voice to structuring your speech for maximum impact. This episode is a must-listen if you’re writing speeches for senior executives, hoping to break into speech writing as a career, or are preparing to deliver a speech yourself.

Tune in now to discover:

  • How to write a text so it’s ‘speakable’

  • The two essential criteria every sentence in a speech must meet

  • The uses and abuses of ancient rhetorical techniques in modern speech writing

  • How to kick-start the speech writing process

  • The three types of speeches – deliberative, judicial and ceremonial

  • The importance of having a topic for your speech, not just a subject (and knowing the difference)

  • How to use ‘how’ or ‘why’ phrases to establish your point

  • The powerful five-part structure for quickly assembling a speech

  • How to break into speech writing as a profession


About Alan Barker

Alan Barker is an author and learning consultant. After studying and acting at Cambridge University, he acted professionally for 15 years, giving him insights into performance, language and rhetoric that inform all his work. He trains copywriting for the Chartered Institute of Marketing, speechwriting for the European Speechwriter Network and science communication for the British Science Association. He’s a keen musician and choral singer, and sometimes has time to walk his dog on the hills of Wiltshire, where he lives. Alan’s blog contains an ever-growing archive of articles and resources relating to his interests.