Speechwriting is a confidential service. You don’t know if that speech delivered by a rival was excellent because she got help. A speechwriter has terms and conditions and the client can supply confidentiality agreements when appropriate. Here are some descriptions of the jobs I have done over the past 15 years. They illustrate the specific services a speechwriter offers:
I had a contract to write speeches for the Chairman of a global FTSE 100 company. I had to read all his previous speeches and articles, consult with different departments and report to the company secretary. I got to meet the Chairman every couple of months for about 15 minutes. I had to do research into the policies of the organisation and read brochures, reports and relevant books. I also worked on after-dinner remarks for big banquets.
Cost £5,000 to £8,000 each speech based on an hourly rate
A managing partner of a law firm had written a 2,500-word overview of the past 12 months to be delivered as an address at the Christmas dinner. As a solicitor she was used to drafting legal documents. It needed shorter words and a warmer tone to engage the support staff and the lawyers.
£150 per hour
A chart-topping act was appearing at a celebrity wedding for a fee of over £1m. The groom had written a speech thanking every member of his extended family for their contribution to his upbringing. It lasted 45 minutes. I advised him that he was in danger of over-running and thus curtailing the set of the band he had employed at considerable cost. The speech was cut to 5 minutes.
Need some appropriate humour? I was asked by a banker to write a speech for the retirement of a business owner. The distinguished business owner had a much younger second wife. The speaker wanted laughs, but nothing that would cause embarrassment.
I offer ‘Oxbridge’ style tutorials to speechwriters and public speakers. Send me one or two examples of your work. I will analyse it and set up two one-hour Zoom tutorials. We’ll discuss your speech line-by-line and I’ll make suggestions on how you can improve your content and style using examples from my 20 year career in speechwriting. Intense, focused and fun.
Cost for analysis and two tutorials with Brian Jenner £750
Most people write essays, not speeches, because that’s how we’re all trained at university. A speechwriter can very quickly ‘supercharge’ a speech. An accountant at a London firm drafted a speech based on a 20,000-word report which was about to be published. It was my job to rewrite the speech adding the pleasantries and translating the dry examples into something more colourful for the audience, which didn’t have English as a first language. It took one day.
£150 per hour
Best Man Speech
I have written over 100 best man speeches since 1999.
Father of the Bride Speech
British dads find it very difficult to find appropriate material for their daughter’s wedding. It’s a tricky mix of humour and emotion. My favourite story, which I drew out of a client, was how he felt when he dropped his daughter off to university for the first time. Driving home he had to stop on the hard shoulder of the motorway to shed a tear.
I was invited to The Hague to speak to the Dutch Government Speechwriter network about my work as a speechwriter and how I founded the European Speechwriter Network. I was also invited to Wellington College in Berkshire to speak to sixth formers about my work. In 2014, I spoke to students at Regent’s Park College, Oxford on entrepreneurship.
Need someone to talk through your strategy with you? A CEO sent me a script which focused a lot on her personal story of success. It made little mention of the efforts of her employees. When you’re busy, it’s easy to forget the fundamentals. We had a meeting and I spelt out some alternative structures and styles. Most of them can be found in books, but I made it personal. The result was she went away and wrote a totally different speech.
£150 per hour & travel expenses