Interview with: Lawrence Bernstein
Company Name: Great Speech Writing
What does Great Speech Writing do?
Great Speech Writing provides speeches and presentations for weddings, international conferences, high-profile events, think tanks, dinners and a wide-range of social occasions. Our sole focus is to help clients write and deliver a speech that we would be proud to give ourselves.
How did the business start and how long has it been going?
I worked in the City wondering if this was all there was to professional life. I had always loved writing and found myself spending my summer weekends writing groom and best man speeches for friends and family. In 2005 I put a single classified ad in Private Eye offering my services as a speech writer. This attracted some interest so I decided to place a second ad. Within two years interest had grown so fast that I decided to take the plunge and develop a full-time speech writing business.
I now manage a small team of writers from my office in Highgate, and split my time between running the business and writing.
Great Speech Writing now has private and business clients based all over the world. They range from senior people in the private and public sectors giving high profile speeches, presentations and pitches, to best men, fathers of the bride and nervous grooms worried about their wedding speeches.
Who works at Great Speech Writing?
- Lawrence Bernstein – Founder and Director
- Dolan Cummings – Senior Speech Writer
- Anna Quayle – Office Manager
- Hugo Simpson – Senior Trainer
What is your background and how are you qualified to create speeches for others?
After graduating in History from Peterhouse, Cambridge, I spent ten years in and around the City creating brand and marketing strategies for banks and wealth managers. Writing remained my passion, and wherever possible I wrote, gave and listened to speeches and presentations.
What services can you provide for weddings?
We have written (discreetly!) hundreds of wedding speeches for clients around the world. The majority have been for the three traditional male speakers: the groom, best man and father of the bride, but we have also written for brides, bridesmaids, mothers of the bride, fathers of the groom and MCs. Some clients send us a draft to look at and comment on, the majority ask us to draw information from them and write their speech from scratch.
The key to every successful speech we have written has been its originality. Each starts with a blank piece of paper and absolutely no recourse to our previous speeches or (horror of horrors) cutting-and-pasting from the internet.
So, not only can you create the whole speech, you provide an advisory service too?
We can edit a draft, write your speech from scratch or indeed just offer advice. We never charge for a phone call or for looking at your speech. Our website also has a wealth of free tips and advice both on creating and delivering your wedding speech.
What are the costs involved for you to create a wedding speech for a groom / best man / father of the bride?
Click here for a guide price on three typical ways we can help you create a 7-10 minute wedding speech.
We don’t charge a penny until you have seen a first draft and want to move forward. We’re also happy to discuss your requirements that don’t quite fit within these examples.
Why should someone use your services for their wedding speech?
It is the speeches that are remembered by the wedding guests when all the other things (flowers, food, Champagne and wedding dress) are forgotten. Far too often the speeches are remembered for the wrong reasons; Great Speech Writing guarantees you a truly original and bespoke speech that is remembered for all the right reasons.
What is the most bizarre thing you have been asked to include in a speech?
I’d love to tell you but client confidentiality prevents me from divulging any details, however bizarre!
Have you ever had to make a best man speech and, if so, did you feel more pressure because of your job?
Many times, along with a groom’s speech, and yes, the pressure of being a professional speech writer doesn’t make it any easier!
How does your service work? Do you have to meet with the client? What is the process involved?
The service includes face to face or phone meetings with the speech writer, a first draft delivered within 10 days, followed by editing and coaching as required. We also type set the speech onto presentation cards to ensure your delivery is made as easy as possible.
Alternatively, if you’ve written a first draft yourself, we will edit it to improve delivery ensuring it includes all required wedding etiquette and must haves.
What sets Great Speech Writing apart from other companies that provide wedding speeches?
Unlike other services, Great Speech Writing creates bespoke speeches, tailored to each clients’ needs, ensuring that every word we write is completely original and relevant to its audience. You won’t find a more personal speech writing service anywhere else.
Random question… What would be your dream car?
One that doesn’t give me back ache!