Public Speaking for Personal Development Weekend

Friday, 5 September 2021, 18:30
Sunday, 8 September 2021, 16:00
Bourne Park
Exeter Park Road, Bournemouth BH2 5BD

An intensive weekend for young adults under 30 to improve confidence and public speaking skills.

What is the Public Speaking for Personal Development Weekend?

For a young person, often the hardest thing to do is to overcome your fears.

The adult world of work is daunting.

The expectations placed upon you can be formidable.

You need to spend these formative years not seeking security, but by testing your boundaries.

Everyone finds public speaking uncomfortable – if you don’t, you’re probably not doing it properly.

To practise public speaking is to practise overcoming your fears.

The process often reveals things to others about yourself that you can’t see.

By taking part in a group speaking exercise you can learn about how others see you from the way you express yourself.

If you’re in your 20s, the answer is often not more ‘education’ or ‘qualifications’: the answer is to look inwards and find out who you are and what you want from life.

Doing something scary like expressing yourself in front of an unfamiliar audience can help with that.

The ability to speak confidently is an essential skill for anyone wishing to make an impact on the world.

Even if you don’t want to be a leader, public speaking skills will still improve your ability to deal with life’s triumphs and disasters.

We give you a chance to practise in front of your peers and before a panel of experts, led by one of the most influential presentation trainers of the last 40 years.

Who is it aimed at?

The opposite of courage is not cowardice… The opposite to courage is… conformity.

Rollo May

The weekend will appeal to young people who want to be creative or pursue an unconventional career path.

Entrepreneurs, lawyers, journalists, campaigners, lecturers, TEDx speakers, trade unionists, politicians and preachers – all these roles require the ability to articulate your own ideas, rather than follow the ideas of others.

Public speaking forces you to think. Public speaking is a source of power. Public speaking can make you famous.

Our approach is to give you as much stage time as possible during the weekend.

By giving you a platform, you’ll work out for yourself where your strengths and vulnerablities lie.

We welcome delegates who do not have English as their first language.

How does it work?

During the weekend you will be asked to make at least three speeches. 

You will need to introduce yourself, explaining your background, your experiences and your values.

You will be invited to memorise and perform a famous poem or speech.

It can be by Martin Luther King, Shakespeare, any writer or leader who you admire. 

We’d just like to hear a 4- minute extract. 

Then you’ll be asked to prepare and deliver a short speech using the guidance we give you during the weekend.

You will get feedback on your performances from the workshop leaders, the previous graduates of the workshop and your fellow delegates.

This exercises will give you a chance to overcome any nerves, experiment with your public speaking style and work out where you need to make improvements.

Along the way you’ll get to know a group of people who share your interest in personal development and active citizenship.

What you will leave with

You will get a certificate to prove you took part in the weekend together with an evaluation sheet giving you recommendations for future improvement.

You will meet likeminded people who can help you develop your public speaking skills.

You will have an experience that you can talk about at job interviews.

You will automatically become a member of the European School of Rhetoric for one year, which wil give you access to other training and events.

The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that it is something we make and could just as easily make differently.

David Graeber 1961 – 2020

What do I have to do to enrol?

Please send a 200-word email to explaining what you would like to get out of this weekend, and why you think you would benefit from taking part.

We want to make sure you’ve got the right expectations of the workshop.

We will keeep you busy during the weekend, but you’ll have to organise an AirBnB or hotel room in Bournemouth for at least the Friday and Saturday nights. (You’ll be tired on the Sunday evening, so it might be worth booking a third night and enjoying a walk along the beach on Monday morning.)

If you would like to ask any questions, please give Brian Jenner a ring +44 7545 232980.

Before you register, there is a form to fill in covering confidentiality and health and safety during the weekend.

What’s the format?

We have 16 places for the weekend beginning Friday 3 September 2021.

How do I pay?

The cost for the weekend is £449 per person. You need to find accommodation separately, but we can make some suggestions if required.

You can request an invoice for payment, or if you prefer to pay by card you can register through Eventbrite.

You can ask for a refund up to one month before the workshop. If you can’t attend at the last minute, we’ll be happy to register you on the next one.

The Leaders

Dr Max Atkinson
Dr Max Atkinson

Max was a speechwriter for the late leader of the Liberal Democrats, Paddy Ashdown. He ran workshops for Ronald Reagan’s speechwriters and has been a prolific author on the subject of speechwriting and public speaking. After completing a PhD in Sociology at the University of Essex in 1969, Atkinson worked as a Lecturer at the University of Lancaster (1969–72) and the University of Manchester (1973–76) and was a Fellow of Wolfson College at Oxford University from 1976 to 1988. Atkinson also held a visiting professorship at Henley Management College for ten years and for shorter periods at other universities in Sweden, Austria and the United States.

Guy Doza
Guy Doza

Guy has a degree from Royal Holloway’s Centre for Oratory and Rhetoric and a PGCE from Homerton College, Cambridge. His research was focused on the application of classical rhetoric in modern speechwriting. He runs training courses for political writers in parliament. He has worked with a number of ministerial offices and trained Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green and SNP speechwriters.

As well as his political work he has also written for a range of private clients ranging from executives at BP to academics at leading universities.

Brian Jenner
Brian Jenner

Brian has been a professional speechwriter for over 20 years. Before that he worked at a journalist on the Daily Telegraph, Guardian and Daily Mail. He also worked in the marketing department of the City Law firm Ashursts. He is the founder of the UK Speechwriters’ Guild and the European Speechwriter Network. He studied French and German at Brasenose College, Oxford. He has been President of Grosvenor Square Speakers in London and Hallmark Speakers in Bournemouth.