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.

A masters at the College of Europe, the most prestigious higher education institution specialized in European studies, had been my objective ever since doing an internship in Brussels during my first year of University.

Having to face roughly 4000 other applicants from all over Europe for 370 places, I knew that my 2.1 in International Relations from Royal Holloway was not sufficient to beat the competition and that I had to go the extra mile.

For this reason, I contacted Peter, who used his experience to help me draft my CV, my personal statement and to refine my interview skills.

When I finally got the letter confirming my place at the College, I knew that Peter’s professional touch on my application and his impact on my interview skills had been fundamental to my success. I truly cannot thank him enough and I would strongly recommend anyone in my position to take full advantage of his services.

Edoardo Troina - MA Candidate, CollegeEurope - Natolin

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