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on 14 October 2010
This is an excellent guide for the beginner (like me) or for the more experienced speech writer. It is designed for those writing for others as well as for those writing for their own delivery. All those clever tricks of the speech-making trade are revealed with compelling examples. I have found it extremely helpful, abundantly readable and altogether the best book I've bought all year. I listen to speeches differently already and I hope I will write them more effectively too. The proof of the pudding will be demonstrated in the next speech I deliver.
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on 18 April 2011
This is easily the best book I've read about speechwriting. It's such an enjoyable read and there's so much information - it's a proper bible for anyone who wants to sharpen their rhetorical skills. And it's all set out in a nice clear, logical structure, so you can quickly find anything you might want to refer back to.

Simon Lancaster has tons of experience writing speeches for senior politicians, celebrities and captains of industry. Whatever your own level of expertise you'll find plenty of useful, and often funny, insights here.

All the tricks of the trade are explained (of course) and illustrated with lively examples from speeches ancient and modern. But what sets it apart from so many other guides is the acknowledgement that a successful speech often depends as much on the quality of relationships - between writer, speaker and audience - and the clarity of purpose, as it does on persuasive techniques.

For this reason I'd recommend 'Speechwriting' to speakers as well as speechwriters - and indeed to anyone with an interest in the psychology of communicating to a wide audience.
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on 9 September 2015
Over the last two years I have really studied the art of public speaking as I wanted my message to have the fullest impact to the people I serve. I have read many books on public speaking including TEDtalks material, the lost art of the great speech by Richard Dowis, Reading for preaching by Plantinga, Public speaking (Sarah Lloyd) and much more. Most (not all) of the material has been a pleasure to read and I have improved no end. 9 days ago I bought 'Speech writing, the expert guide', and I could not put it down. It is by far one of the most useful books I have read. I am looking forward to using the wisdom found within its pages. If I could recommed one book on public speaking, it is this one.
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on 13 December 2010
First of all, this book was a joy to read. Simon Lancaster writes with a clarity and humour that demonstrates his knowledge and passion for the (dark?) art of rhetoric. Drawing on a huge range of sources from ancient Greece to modern research, he covers everything from planning the structure of your speech to developing sound bites and memorable lines. For those simply looking to craft the occsaional after dinner speech, it may not for you, but if you wish to gain a greater understanding of rhetoric and how to write a speech for you or others, you could do (and I have done) a lot worse.
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on 18 February 2015
This is by far the best speechwriting book that I have come across. Time and time again I have found myself going back to the book, to refresh myself with the ideas and tips in it.

As well as being useful with regards to speechwriting techniques, the book is also written in an engaging and entertaining manner.

Highly recommended!
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on 16 August 2016
Gives you practical guidelines on the format and speech strategy, use of metaphor etc. As well ... a good insight into the art of persuasion, when it comes to communicating poorly thought out arguments to masses. Quite entertaining.
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on 16 May 2013
I needed a good guide on Speechwriting and fast. It didn't disappoint. Haven't got through it all yet but it's got some great advice.
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on 14 April 2011
This book was recommended to me by a colleague and it quickly had me turning the pages. Its author, Simon Lancaster, has done to speechwriting what the BBC's Professor Brian Cox has done for physics. He brings the subject alive, makes it ever so slightly sexy, and has a passion for his craft that sings out from the pages - all achieved while being geekily knowledgeable about his subject (in the best possible way).

By far and away the best guide I have read, although Peggy Noonan's should still be a bible for all speechwriters. It gives great examples, explains the psychology and science behind the art, and is entertaining all the way. Definately worth considering.
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on 23 November 2010
This book is written by a professional speechwriter, and to give him credit Simon Lancaster has stuck to what he knows. This is a very good book about writing speeches for politicians and big-hitters in corporate life. As such it works through the business of analysing the audience and working out the message. The book goes on to develop the delivery of this message using rhetoric based on a classical Greek model, and it's all very good and very accessible (by which I mean it's well written).The only reason that I say but, is that it is all about writing speeches. However, I'd guess that most people looking to buy a book in this area aren't budding professional speech writers. I'd guess that they are either people who are trying to work out how to wield more influence in the things that they say at work or people who have got to make social speeches (weddings, introductions, votes of thanks etc.).
If you're looking for a book that helps you to write your own speeches (or just presentations to everyday meetings), and deliver them, and get your message across, then I'd go for "Lend me your ears" by Max Atkinson.
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