Writing to please the ear,
engage the mind
and move the
This is me
In 2014 the opportunity to introduce U.S. President Barack Obama's Address to European Youth changed me from a community organiser and minor civil servant into the youngest political speechwriter at the European Commission. After the EU membership referendum in 2016, I returned home to Scotland to help profit for purpose startups make the case for benevolence in business. In 2018 I started Vocalcoach, a leadership communications agency through which I provide ghostwriting services and speech writing instruction to mission-led organisations.
Political speech writing Marketing content
Communications strategy Ghost writing
Public speaking training Pitch coaching
Workshop facilitation Event moderation Tech writing Public Relations Script writing
Oration Opinion and commentary
I train and advise companies on ethical and effective leadership communications
Speech writing is perhaps one of the oldest and smallest professions in the world, a profession that the vast majority of modern-day speechwriters fall into rather than set out to master. Professional speechwriters often have a journalistic, public service or corporate background. One day someone is asked to write a speech, it goes well, the speaker realises the writer's talent and the writer finds their calling.
I wrote my first speech in primary school, continued as a community organiser and eventually fell into professional speech writing in my twenties; writing political speeches on a range of topics from technology, to immigration, to feminism. I learned that good speech writing is about building trust - with the speaker and with the audience - and that, at their best, speeches inform thought, ignite hearts and inspire progress.
With populism on the rise in the West once more, many people have asked me whether speech writing still matters? If facts can be considered opinions, if messages should be condensed into 280 characters and if authentic speech should be ad libbed, who are speechwriters writing for? What is our relevance?
It's my opinion that trends in speech making are an important indication of the health of our democracy. Words have always had as much power to advance civilisation as they do to incite humanity's most violent tendencies, it's how we choose to use them that matters and that is where the role of the speechwriter comes in.
I set up Vocalcoach to help business for good companies and mission-led organisations use the power of words concisely, creatively and convincingly. If you'd like to learn how speech writing techniques can help you to reach your audience, contact me for more information.