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15 Oct 2023

The Art of Speechwriting - 2023 Fall Edition

3 Weeks
Programme Area
Peace Security and Diplomacy, Multilateral Diplomacy
Event Focal Point Email
Contact Number
+41 (0) 22 917 8810
Public – by registration
Mode of Delivery
Multilateral Diplomacy
Data Protection and Privacy
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Throughout history, the speech has been one of the most powerful forms of communication. Technological, social and economic changes have enhanced that power. As digital communication has increased, speeches have had to become more authentic and honest. 

This online course gives you the essential principles of the art and craft of speechwriting. After first defining why speeches matter, the course looks at the three golden principles of speechwriting, before moving on to how to make the content memorable and engaging. It then focuses on honing the participants writing and editing skills with specific exercises on hooking your audience and crafting media sound bites and quotes. Finally, it examines how to deliver a speech with confidence and conviction. 

At the end of this course, participants should be able to:
• Identify the elements of a good speech as well as the 3 golden principles;
• Apply principles of effective writing;
• Manage the audience's attention span throughout the speech;
• Get your message across to the media and on social media;
• Appraise the principles of effective delivery and recognise the importance of non-verbal communication.

The course will include the following topics:

Module 1: The art of speechwriting 

  • Lesson 1: Why do speeches matter?
  • Lesson 2: The 3 golden principles
  • Lesson 3: Messaging
  • Lesson 4: Structuring content
  • Lesson 5: Rhetorical techniques
  • Lesson 6: Storytelling

Module 2: The craft of speechwriting

  • Lesson 1: Roles and challenges of the writer
  • Lesson 2: The writing process 
  • Lesson 3: Powerful writing 
  • Lesson 4: Crafting sound-bites and quotes

Module 3: Delivering the speech 

  • Lesson 1: Remembering your speech
  • Lesson 2: Managing nerves and building confidence
  • Lesson 3: Using the visual, verbal and vocal channels
  • Lesson 4: Being present - applying improvisational techniques

e-Learning: The course is internet-based, moderated by a senior international expert, asynchronous, and places emphasis on online discussions and self-paced learning. The participants will be primarily responsible for their own learning over the three-week span of the course. The course will consist of the following components:

Compulsory and optional reading material, intended to teach the basic concepts and principles of the lesson's subject-matter;
External links to additional books, articles, documents, and websites related to the lessons;
Quizzes and case studies at the end of each module. To be eligible for the course certificate, a passing grade of 80% on both quizzes and case studies is required;
A Community Discussion Board will be available for participants to post questions or comments visible to the instructor and other participants. This discussion board will be moderated by the course director and UNITAR;

Estimated learning time: 24 hours.
Participants will be eligible to receive a certificate of completion after the successful completion of the course.

The course targets junior to senior-level governmental officials as well as staff of intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. It also targets entry-level and mid-career diplomats and private and public sector specialists. Postgraduate students are also encouraged to apply. 

We highly recommend credit card payments.

Registration will be closed as soon as the course is full and your place will be secured once your payment is confirmed.

For more information, please consult the UNITAR Multilateral Diplomacy Programme website or contact mdp-elearning [at] (mdp-elearning[at]unitar[dot]org) 

General Requirements

-Good command of the English language.

Technical Requirements

UNITAR recommends the following as a minimum in hardware and software to take our e-Learning courses. Please consult your Network Administrator or Systems person to ensure that you have the following:

-Platform: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP or superior; MacOS 9 or MacOS X; Linux
-Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, 1 GB of free disk space

Adobe Acrobat Reader 
Adobe Flash Player 
Microsoft Office (Windows or Mac) or Open Office 

Browser: Internet Explorer 7 or higher ; it works better with Firefox 3.6 or higher
Note that JavaScript, Cookies and Pop-ups must be enabled