Simon Lancaster has written many articles for the national press on leadership and communication. Here’s a selection…
A way with words – the spin doctors behind the speeches
There’s one job in politics where youth and talent are more valuable than
experience, loyal allies or even the right surname.
Review: ‘Winning Minds’ by Simon Lancaster
5 August, 2015
It is readable, engaging and helpful. I wish I had read it before I was put in charge of people.
Recipe for the perfect conference speech
5 October, 2015
Writing a leader’s speech isn’t easy, but there are some rules to make it breezy. And remember: if it rhymes, it chimes.
David Cameron speech bingo
10 October, 2012
I start with asyndeton. Short sentences. Bundled together. In groups of three. Sounds breathless. Urgent. Hyperventilating. No conjunctions. Wonky grammar.
We love playground politics
28 August, 2012
Tim Yeo, a senior Conservative MP, has scored an absolute blinder by asking the prime minister to prove whether he is a “man or a mouse” on the building of a third runway at Heathrow….
Use cliches til the cows come home
12 March, 2012
In his famous essay Politics and the English Language, George Orwell decreed that writers should “never use a metaphor … [they] are accustomed to seeing in print”…
Delivering a speech with help from Cicero, Churchill and Bob the Builder
20 November, 2010
Publicly, Margaret Thatcher was dismissive of rhetoric. ‘If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman,’ she once famously pronounced…
What David Cameron could learn from Lincoln
23 January, 2013
When David Cameron watches Lincoln, he’ll probably reflect on how much he and America’s 16thpresident have in common: both lead in tumultuous times; both were forced into unholy political alliances…
Speechwriting: Take centre stage
August 15, 2008
Often overlooked by PR people more focused on the new frontier of digital, the ancient art of speechwriting still has the ability to affect a company’s share price and make or break a career.
Health Service Journal
Put NHS car metaphors on the scrapheap
18 December, 2012
The metaphor-heavy language of the NHS managers can be helpful for them, but Simon Lancaster argues it has a damaging affect on the behaviour of the organisation’s wider workforce.
Communication is all in the mind
21 September, 2014
Good communication skills are essential for school leaders. Most will be adept at making themselves understood, particularly one-to-one or in small groups.
The single, brilliant idea
06 February, 2010
We are here to learn about speeches – how to write them, how to give them. We have been guided through the verbal tricks that make a speech fly: contradictions…
Why David Cameron is ‘trigger’ happy on the EU
09 May, 2016
There can be no doubt about the Prime Minister’s weasel word of choice in the EU referendum
How Dan Jarvis’ big speech sounded like an early David Cameron number
11 March, 2016
There are extraordinary similarities between the Labour MP’s address this week and the Conservative leader’s 2009 party conference speech.
The language of the jungle has no place in the refugee crisis
04 March, 2016
We should face up to the reality of what is going on in Calais – and stop the widespread use of a term that dehumanises migrants.
The lady is not for turning… 35 years on
10 October, 2015
The myth and metaphors of Margaret Thatcher 35 years after her most famous speech.
How we really pick our leaders
24 June, 2015
Harriet Harman and Labour should take note: the same leaders we’d have been attracted to 30,000 years ago are the leaders we are attracted to today.
No we can’t
07 November, 2012
If there is anyone out there who still believes in the American dream, who still believe that America can change, who still believes that America can pick itself up…
Kony 2012 or Phoney 2012
05 June, 2012
It always struck me as ironic that Pete Townshend, composer of the anti-authoritarian rock anthem Won’t Get Fooled Again, emerged as one of the most…
Who’s the best political orator today?
13 April, 2012
Six years ago, a Birmingham surgeon called Bruce Keogh convinced his surgical colleagues to publish their mortality rates on the internet.
Friends, Romans, Commoners
05 December, 2011
The real tragedy of Gordon Brown’s career lay in his mistaken belief that stealing the keys to Downing Street would give him Blair’s power.
Talk is cheap
27 September, 2011
Come on then. Let’s just have done with it. Let’s scrap the party leaders’ conference speeches completely and get Piers Morgan in to do a series of fawning, tell-all interviews instead.