1) The Greatest Literary Culture in the World Launched a Speechwriting Network Last Year
The French pay homage to their novelists, playwrights and intellectuals, but, up until last year, they cast a veil over their speechwriters. (Though they did make a brilliant feature film about about a speechwriter called Quai D’Orsay and one of their greatest plays is about a speechwriter, Cyrano de Bergerac)
In 2018 a speechwriter from Nantes launched La Guilde des Plumes – an association of French speechwriters. The European Speechwriter Network is keen to supercharge the new network by introducing the French to the European speechwriting community.
2) Fight the battle for 21st Century Humanism in English
In Renaissance Europe, the leading scholars of rhetoric moved between capitals using the lingua franca of the church, Latin. Characters like Erasmus, Juan Luis Vives and Rodolphus Agricola were not limited by national borders.
In C21st Europe, speechwriters are rediscovering Renaissance rhetorical principles and applying them to speeches, social media and video production.
Today English is the unifying language.
In recent years we’ve managed to visit the same capitals that produced those great scholars. We’ve been to Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Louvain, Brussels and Helsinki – this year it’s Paris.
3) Visit the Centre Culturel Irlandais
The Irish College in Paris is surrounded by the great educational institutions of France: the Sorbonne, the Lycée Louis Le Grand, the École Normale Supérieur the Campus Curie.
It serves as a residence for Irish students, writers and artists. It has a chapel, a library and a courtyard of outstanding beauty. We’ll be doing a tour as part of the conference.
See the video from the conference we held there last year.
We have a French speechwriter who worked for the Irish President on the programme as well as an Irish speechwriter working in the European Commission.
Speechwriting can be a lonely profession.
The most important thing at our conferences is to exchange experiences with other speechwriters. Usually at our conferences, at least 50% of the delegates have been before. So it’s half-reunion, half new intake.
The lunch breaks on the Thursday and Friday will be taken in local restaurants and the programme will allow plenty of time for getting to know other delegates.
We always get behind-the-scenes glimpses into Europe’s top institutions.
5) We’ll go to the Grande Mosquée de Paris
We all feel grief for the terrible things that have happened in Paris in recent years.
It feels good to do something conciliatory and constructive. On the Thursday evening, after pre-conference training, we’ll got to the Mosquée de Paris for a meal – you’ll be able to have tagines, baklavas and drink sweet mint tea.