Speechwriters Conference Report

Emmanuel College, Cambridge. I live-sketched the conference speakers, as much as anything to practice my illustrated reportage.

Also because I’m just generally interested in the body language of oratory.

I posted the pics immediately on Twitter.

I was sitting in the back row, and assumed I was not being watched, but after I finished the last drawing, of Max Atkinson, the woman beside me asked how I did them.

I explained that I start with a rapid pen sketch in my notebook, and add colour on my iPhone photos app – marker pens are a bit heavy to carry everywhere, and the coloured pencils I have don’t produce such brilliant saturated colour.

Here is the original sketch of Max, just as it remains in my sketchbook:

In the afternoon, for speechwriters to experience the “standing in front of an audience” bit of their clients’ work, I ran an hour-long impro session.