Presidential speechwriterSpeechwriting – An Address to the United Nations

I spent 10 days polishing and streamlining the Prime Minister’s speech to the United Nations in 2003 and working on the delivery.

On his return to Sri Lanka, The Prime Minister took over 8 hours to complete the 30 km drive from Bandaranaike International Airport to the capital Colombo due to the crowds who had come out to greet him.

According to www.globalsecurity.org:

“Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has returned to a hero’s welcome in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. Tens of thousands lined the streets outside the airport to celebrate the return of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Swarmed by officials and supporters at the airport…”

Speechwriting is always reasonably high pressure because it is often forgotten about by the person giving the speech until very late in the day and then they panic and pass the pressure on to the person selected to write the speech. This man was different. He understands the need for good speechwriting and for an external speechwriter and gave me personal time as his speechwriter to ‘get into his head’ so that I was able to do my job of speechwriting for him effectively.

Because we had never met, he gave me full access to most of his meetings in the 10 days we were in New York together. This helped me understand his way of speaking and his preferred vocabulary.

He also understood that having a speechwriter who ‘gets it’ is still not enough. He allocated time to practice his speech with me. It was always late at night in his corner suite after all his meetings were finished but it was valuable time that was essential for the success of his speech.

I have been working with Peter and benefiting from his knowledge and skills for nearly 10 years. He has helped me with general communication skills, presentations and speeches at all the key stages in my career – all of which have been pivotal to my personal professional development which has brought me to a senior managernent level within a German, M-DAX listed PLC. Although we have often worked face to face, he is always available on the phone and by email and is always happy to work evenings or weekends – often at very short notice – which is exactly when I need him!

I can wholeheartedly and without reservation recommend him to anyone who takes their professional and personal development seriously.

Group Company Secretary - German PLC

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