BU graduate speechwriter for Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister

Posted on Tuesday, September 25 2012

A Bournemouth University Master’s graduate now writes speeches for the Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Suzanne Wood, who is from the Caribbean country, came to Bournemouth in 1998, to do a Master’s degree in Marketing Communications.

She has been writing speeches for Kamle Persad-Bissessar, the first ever female Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, since July 2010.

Suzanne, 48, who worked in corporate communications before taking up the post, said: “I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be doing what I do now and end up writing for the Prime Minister.

“It is constantly challenging me and testing my skills, as you have to be able to write about all types of different subjects, depending on what she is going to be speaking about.”

Speeches that Suzanne wrote for the Prime Minister that stand out for her include the opening and closing speeches for the Caribbean Investment Forum, which took place on the island in 2011 and 2012, and speeches the Prime Minister made while on a state visit to India.

“When I was writing the closing remarks, I was literally on one side, listening with on ear to what was going on and writing the speech,” she said.

“Then the Prime Minister said she wanted something a bit lighter, so I had about half an hour to break it down and change it.”

She added: “I think my Master’s at Bournemouth University helped me in terms of dealing with a lot of businesses, and communication and PR.”

Suzanne was one of the delegates from around the world who attended the sixth annual UK Speechwriter’s Guild Conference, which took place on Thursday and Friday and was organised with help from Bournemouth University’s Media School.

The conference, which took place at BU’s Executive Business Centre, featured talks about whether Hitler’s speeches were pure evil or cunningly crafted, and how to write for the United Nations.

Delegates came from countries including Turkey, Australia and Singapore, with speakers including Charles Cowling, the editor of the Good Funeral Guide, and Piers Letcher, who has written speeches for Nelson Mandela.

Organiser Brian Jenner said that the conference had been a success.

“This is the fourth year we have run a conference in Bournemouth for international speechwriters and we have people coming from all over the world,” he said.

“Hopefully we have this eclectic range of speakers taking about different strengths that you need to be a good speechwriter, which is a very specialist skill.”

He added: “I have been working with The Media School and they have helped me to put this on and it has been a good partnership.

“We have gradually got more and more delegates each year and it is constantly growing.”