I’ll be leading the Writing Salon at The Hospital Club on Monday 16th October. This month’s topic is speechwriting and oratory. Here’s the full blurb.

Lend me your ears:

I wouldn’t blame you if you’ve decided to skip the news recently. It’s all pretty depressing to be honest. The post-summer blues are well and truly upon us and in a few short weeks the clocks will go back. I don’t know why we bother because the annual party political conference season seems to turn back time all on its own these days and this year has been no exception.

When did these things become so dull? Admittedly the PM did her bit with a performance that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons but other than that the standard of oratory on display was pretty shocking.

So shocking in fact that it got me thinking. When did oratory take such a back seat? It’s not just a UK thing either. Last year’s US Presidential campaign was utterly devoid of anything worth repeating, which is a shame because oratory and politics usually go hand in hand.

On Monday I want to explore that. What can writers learn from the craft of speechwriting and oratory? At some point in your writing career you’ll face a situation in which a character will need to make a speech. It doesn’t have to be a political one delivered at a podium, it could be a few lines delivered to a team of employees, or a last-chance-plea to a lover. But when it comes it’s vital to get it right.

Shakespeare’s work is full of it but it’s something of a dying art these days. On Monday I’ll explain why it shouldn’t be. The principles of speechwriting and oratory go back further than you might think and I’ll draw from the likes of Aristotle and Cicero as we look at how good speeches are constructed. I’ll play some examples from film and TV and I’ll also add in a few from politics. Feel free to bring some of your own too.

Once we’ve looked at the theory and seen a few clips I’ll put you to work. Let’s see if we can produce something uplifting as the nights draw in.

I look forward to seeing you all on Monday 16th October at 19:30 in The Chalk Room.

Don’t forget you can also keep in touch with The Writing Salon in our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheHospitalClubWritingSalon/

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