European Festival of Political Rhetoric
Friday 6 November 2020
Friday 27 November 2020

Rhetoric is the art of influence, friendship and eloquence – Jay Heinrichs

We’re organising the 1st European Festival of Political Rhetoric from 6-27 November 2020.

The digital festival will include three weeks of events designed to promote the art and craft of effective political communication.

Over 22 days we will have the opportunity to log on to short debates, training sessions, networking events, film premières, book discussions and interviews to widen your knowledge of the art of writing and public speaking.

We’ll be covering judicial, deliberative and epidectic rhetoric, giving insights into how legal, political and social speeches work.

We urge anyone interested in education, creativity, citizenship, oratory, political participation, social mobility or intercultural communication to take part.

This cross-border event will enable us to share our experiences of the great tradition of European rhetoric championed by Erasmus to enrich our civic life.

Who is taking part?

Our previous conferences in Paris, Brussels, Helsinki, Amsterdam and Berlin have attracted speechwriters from four Prime Ministers’ offices, the European Commission, NATO, Airbus, BMW, IBM, the CBI, Orange, Deloitte, the United Nations, the European Investment Bank, Coca Cola as well as the Dutch, Danish and British civil service.

Our new event will involve collaboration with the UK Speechwriters’ Guild, the European Speechwriter Network, the Guilde des Plumes in France and the Death Horse Society in the Netherlands.

While the festival is predominantly in English, (there is at least one event in French and one in German), the techniques will be transferable to other languages.

The benefits

  • Understand how our European history and culture has been shaped by orators
  • Get insights into public speaking from experts and writers
  • Listen to the experiences of people working within Government
  • Learn about how to write speeches with top trainers and authors
  • Meet fellow professionals from the Europe and the rest of the world


Not all events will be hosted by the European Speechwriter Network, although they can all be accessed through this page. We will add new events and speakers as they are confirmed.

Friday 6 November

Saturday 7 November

Sunday 8 November

Monday 9 November

Tuesday 10 November

Wednesday 11 November

1500-1600 (UK Time) Making the Most of the Boom in Zoom

Log on to hear experienced speech coaches, Martin Shovel and Martha Leyton, give their views on the Zoom Boom. Then tell us your own stories and we’ll host a lively discussion on the perils and potentials of online presenting.

Thursday 12 November

1500 – 1630 (UK Time) The position of ‘speechwriter’ in European cultures

In Northern Europe there are hundreds of speechwriters, in Southern and Easter Europe they’re harder to find. Why is this? This will be a multilingual event with some English subtitles.

Friday 13 November

1100 – 1200 (UK time): Alan Barker talks to Lucinda Holdforth (Australia’s leading speechwriter)

Saturday 14 November

Sunday 15 November

Monday 16 November

Tuesday 17 November

Wednesday 18 November

1100 – 1300 (UK time): Session 1: Speeches and Speechwriting – The American Way with Mike Long, 

Stories, Facts, Confidence: A Methodical Approach to the American way of Speeches and Speechwriting

Thursday 19 November

Friday 20 November

1100 – 1300 (UK time) Session 2: Speeches and Speechwriting – The American Way with Mike Long, 

Stories, Facts, Confidence: A Methodical Approach to the American way of Speeches and Speechwriting

Saturday 21 November

Sunday 22 November

Monday 23 November

Tuesday 24 November

Wednesday 25 November

Thursday 26 November

Friday  27 November

1500-1700: (UK time) The Biggest Gathering of Mayoral Speechwriters in the World Ever!

The ups and downs, the triumphs and disasters. Hear about the work of the speechwriters of City Hall.

What you will learn and leave with

  • A better understanding of how to write and structure speeches
  • Insights into the different rhetorical traditions of European countries
  • Tips for speaking to different audiences
  • Strategies for dealing with communication problems
  • New contacts, ideas and perspectives


We will announce speakers as they are confirmed.

More speakers to be announced in the coming days. While we do our best to make sure all speakers on the programme will appear on the day, we cannot be responsible for any unforeseen cancellations.

Join our Network

Membership of the European School of Rhetoric entitles you to discounts on events.

You can follow the European School of Rhetoric on Twitter @EUSpeechwriters