Become a better speaker in 30 days

Learn to speak with confidence, and impact

Virtually anybody who ever made an impact in the world did so by appearing in front of others and sharing ideas.

But public speaking fills many people with terror. This holds back the individual, and deprives the world of something wonderful.

Learning rhetoric is like giving yourself a handrail to hold onto as you step into the spotlight.

Over 30 days, you’ll learn the essentials of rhetoric, and theatrical improvisation, with opportunities to practice your skills in a private group.

Who Is This For?

  • If you dread making presentations for work, you’ll learn to overcome that.
  • If you’re self employed, you’ll acquire confidence sharing your work with a wider audience.
  • If you’re a speechwriter, but rarely give speeches yourself, you’ll come to understand what your clients are going through.
  • If you give some kinds of talks already, you’ll extend your repertoire.
  • And in this age of Zoom, you’ll pick up techniques to make online talks work for you.
"I’ve hated public speaking all my life and I suspect it’s held me back both professionally & socially at key points - will watch out for what’s coming with much interest." - email to organisers, October 2020

Five Steps You’ll Take

Like the great masters of rhetoric, going back to Aristotle and Cicero, you’ll learn to break down the task of public speaking into five parts:

  1. Invention, or discovery (in which you work out carefully what you want to say to a particular audience)
  2. Arrangement (decide how best to structure your material)
  3. Style (polish it up)
  4. Memory (strategies for remembering what you want to say)
  5. Delivery (including what to do if it goes “wrong”, with lots of useful insights here from theatrical impro)

What’s Included

The Festival will include some free and paid events for a wider audience, but this paid training includes:

✅ The full Festival of Rhetoric Training Programme

✅ Access to ongoing support in a Private LinkedIn Group

✅ Five Modules of three lessons each, taking you through the traditional Canons of Rhetoric: Invention, Arrangement, Style, Memory, Delivery

✅ Five Live Zoom Trainings with John-Paul Flintoff and Brian Jenner

✅ Interviews With Experts in Rhetoric, Speechwriting, Journalism, Event Planning, Preaching, Litigation, Politics, Theatrical Impro, Sales, Activism and Motivational Speaking – some live, some pre-recorded

✅ Case Studies including beginners who overcame their own fears and started public speaking

✅ Transcripts and audio files of recorded sessions

✅ Money Back Guarantee
We aim to over-deliver but if you are not satisfied, for any reason, we’ll give you a full refund

Time Commitment

The course involves a fresh challenge every 48 hours, of which:

  • Six are 90 minute Zoom calls
  • Nine are bits of homework that take between a few moments and an hour
  • Total: up to 18 hours, spread more or less evenly over the month

PLUS live and pre-recorded videos every other day. Some will almost certainly be useful to everybody, others perhaps less so.

If your time is short, the core 18 hours is most important.

About Us

This Festival of Rhetoric is the first of its kind, a partnership between John-Paul Flintoff and Brian Jenner.

John-Paul is the author of six books, including How To Change The World (published in 16 languages) and the forthcoming A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech.

Brian is a winner of the Cicero Award. As founder of the European School of Rhetoric and Public Performance, and of the European Speechwriters Network, he has run successful international conferences over several years.

Working Online: What People Say

We have been asked if participants “have to” perform in front of each other on Zoom. To be clear: nobody has to do anything. But we confidently expect that as the course comes towards focusing on Delivery, participants will feel confident in each other, and will want to perform.

Early in lockdown, John-Paul ran an intensive week-long online course for writers (in partnership with another tutor, author Elise Valmorbida). The following feedback gives a sense of what is possible in an online group.

It’s taken from the last day of the course – after the morning session, then after the whole course ended that evening.

If you look at the timestamp, you’ll see it came in rapid flurries of enthusiasm, delivered into the chat box while we Zoomed:

12:58:05 JC: companionship. deadlines. looking outside the box.
12:58:06 C: permission and freedom to express myself
12:58:17 RC: I’ve enjoyed hearing everyone’s ideas and stories
12:58:42 JC: the big hearts. the shared fear. the camaraderie.
12:58:47 NW: Writing away from the computer. Letting my hair down a bit and breaking some rules. Being more experimental. Learning from everyone.
12:58:50 ST: i’ve loved spending time with writers and hearing about how they fashion their craft. the exercises have added another dimension, in fact several, to my one dimension first attempts
12:58:53 C: the melting pot of ideas and talents
12:58:54 RC: I’m taking away a shape or structure for what I’m doing and found my voice. The first - I wanted, the second I’m delighted with. Thanks everyone
12:58:55 L: The group have been brilliant and there are so many more conversations I’m looking forward to having. In terms of my work I’ve really taken away the support and expectations that this project will be resolved.
12:58:56 HM: My flame has been rekindled in what I hope is a sustainable way. Not to take it all so seriously and place the passion at the heart. And it's all down to you guys so thank you xx
12:58:56 LGS: I’ve enjoyed listening to other people’s stories immensely.
12:58:58 VB: I've loved the support. Its made me feel like a writer as opposed to the imposter that sits here most days. 
12:59:12 LT: I now know exactly who I am as a writer, with an arsenal of new tools to execute what I now know I want to write. Thank you, Thank you.
12:59:16 JJ: I have enjoyed the Structure of the week as it's forced me to come out here and do this stuff.
12:59:16 Sarah: Most of all, receiving positive comments when I thought I might not be able to do this
12:59:25 G: Great exercises, helped me approach from different directions and without having the time to sit there thinking how am I going to write this
12:59:28 HM: Totes emosh
12:59:53 ST: its been fab; thanks everyone and esp JP and Elise for your generosity
13:01:05 DC: So many things to choose from about everything I have enjoyed, but just being part of the group on equal terms has been really important. The other thing on a technical learning level has been the exercises - looking at writing from so many different perspectives and ways of approaching the writing and such supportive tutors - brilliant. All fab, thank you
[...LATER THAT DAY...]
20:57:06 NW: think we all need to go and lie down! ace stuff.
20:57:30 LT: JP and Elise. Soak it up. You guys, you were the catalyst for all of this
20:57:41 LT: Transformation. Miraculous.
20:58:20 NW: I started Monday in such a weird way - not prepared and almost resentful, coming in after the kids. its been a great week thank you all x
21:00:14 VB: Weirdly, despite being deaf I think I have heard more and been able to take part more this way on zoom than in a more conventional setting
21:00:46 VB: The chat box is such a big help.
21:01:17 L: yes, me too VB - having things online and notes on. chat and email mean I’ve got more than I would have been able to do i think.
21:02:52 LT: Something different and makes if more accessible, geographically, financially.
21:03:32 NW: i have really loved all the extra resources via email too - thank you for those
21:03:36 L: maybe there’s something about us being in our safe spaces too!
21:04:33 LGS: There’s a real, palpable sense of community, despite never having met…
21:04:58 L: definitely, a real group!

What Is It Worth To Be A Confident Speaker?

In my own case, shifting from being "just" a writer to being a confident speaker too meant an entirely new career, with lots of opportunities. It's been priceless.

I had been very happy as a journalist, on prestigious titles (award-winning writer on the Financial Times magazine, then the Sunday Times) but the industry was torn apart by digital media, and the future looked bleak.

I found that I was able to give talks that people enjoyed, with laughter and solemn nods (at the right moments). From there, I started teaching people, and that led to be being invited to write a book that was published in 16 languages, and do TEDx talks in three countries. (The book's called How To Change The World.)

As a journalist I had interviewed amazing people who did interesting things, and now I was being interviewed by journalists, not just here in the UK but in other countries too (once, to my astonishment, by about 20 of them altogether in Mexico).
I simply couldn't have imagined that any of these opportunities would come my way.

The key thing is: what might confident speaking mean for you?
- John-Paul Flintoff

Your Commitment

Because of the highly interactive nature of this opportunity, we’ve had to limit numbers, so please don’t take long deciding if this is for you.

We’re opening registration early on Friday 30 October, and closing it at 9am on Sunday 1 November, so we can get started right away.

To encourage you to register early, we’re offering a FREE 30-minute one-to-one session to the first 10 people who sign up.

Sorry, Registration is closed now.

If you have any questions, please send an email