Speechwriting and host's scripts

There are plenty of tips on how to write a good script in one of our blog posts. We always try to capture the individual character of the speaker in the way we write, as well as some tangible details from their lives. Audiences listen and respond to speakers better if they can understand who they are, their values and how these were formed.

Scroll down for case studies;


Telefonica UK awards Rob Brydon

The challenge:

"Can a corporate awards ceremony really be as entertaining as a TV comedy show?"

The brief: Telefonica UK (O2) were preparing for their annual awards ceremony. For the second successive year, it was to be hosted by the one and only Rob Brydon. Our job was to make sure we used his talents to the full.

The solution: After YouTubing numerous episodes of Would I Lie to You? we penned our script in Brydon’s trademark style. That’s half self-deprecating, half-braggart and very knowing. We poked fun at O2’s good-natured CEO, the event and at the Welshman himself. We also devised witty links between awards. All this added a fresh sense of fun to proceedings - in true Brydon style.

The writing:

"Now, you all probably just see me as a plain old actor, stand-up comic, impressionist, quiz show host, compere and surprisingly prolific voice-over artist…but I’m actually a terrific salesman too. Oh yes! I could sell salt to a slug. But alas, only Telefonica UK employees are eligible for this next special accolade."

The result: Alas, we weren't invited to the event -- but the reaction on Twitter was great.

The credits: Copywriter agency: Barnaby Benson Ltd, London. Copywriter: Joseph Richardson. Brand agency: Sledge. Client: Telefonica UK (O2).

Top 4 accountancy firm

The challenge:

"How do you help a new Chief Executive win over his colleagues?"

The brief: The new head partner one the top four accountancy firms had to make his first speech to fellow partners. The predecessor had been highly successful and was immensely popular. This was an all important maiden turn. A draft existed. We were invited to review it and make suggestions for how it could be improved.

The solution: We built confidence by pointing out what was working in the script before suggesting where we had some ideas for changes. Although we had only twenty minutes to interview the speaker over the phone, we discovered some experiences from their life that illustrated the behavioral changes they were seeking from their audience.

The writing:

"The trouble with being shy is – and I learnt this at school a long time ago – it can stop you asking out that girl you like. She might have quite liked me. I had a lot more hair back then – and it was curly! But seriously, there are clients out there – blue chip clients – we can win because they will love us once they get to know us. But to get their attention… to get them to listen to us… well… we have to have the self-belief that we are the best."

The result: as you’d expect from a company whose business is analysis, scrutiny and measurement, top four accountancy firms have a thorough audience feedback measurement system. The response to the conference speech was overwhelmingly positive.

The credits: Copywriter agency: Barnaby Benson London. Copywriter: Barnaby Benson. Brand Agency: Brands at Work. Client: Deloitte

Boehringer Ingelheim

The challenge:

"How does a host maintain a conference’s momentum?"

The brief: The host propels the event. They set up the speakers so the audience is eager to hear what they have to say. And they pick the audience back up if their enthusiasm begins to wane. Aware of this, pharma giants Boehringer Ingelheim put a charismatic actor on hosting duties. Our job was to give him a script that matched his persona. It had to excite and entertain - while staying on message - and re-energise everyone after each presentation.

The solution: First, we needed to understand what made the company and its internal audience tick. The sales team’s culture was humorous and fun-loving, but highly competitive and ambitious. So we peppered the script with warm jokes and some good-natured ribbing. This was a content-heavy, informative event. So we made the host the respite: links were light-hearted and any housekeeping was addressed in an entertaining way.

The writing:

Please wear your badge at all times. If you’re not wearing your badge, security won’t let you into the venue…you’ll miss out on the speakers and you’ll have to walk the streets all day like a tourist looking at old buildings and buying stuff you don’t need. Vienna is lovely but, as Bruno might say, it is so 19th century. Ya? The zeitgeist is in this room. I can feel it. This is where the action is, believe me.

The result: A successful conference, a content client and subsequent repeat business.

The credits: copywriter agency: Barnaby Benson London. Copywriter: Barnaby Benson. Brand Agency: Catherine Turner. Client: Boehringer Ingelheim.

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