From arachnophobia to claustrophobia, most of us fear something.  Snakes, bugs, dentists, heights; the list goes on and on.  But one fear stands out above all others – including death – and that’s the fear of public speaking…

The Speech is a life affirming new show, which aims to help individuals to overcome their fear and in this case it’s seemingly confident Dubliner David Wynne (36) who has a crippling fear of public speaking. David has only ever made one public speech in his life, and it was an unmitigated disaster, since that traumatic experience he has been petrified of public speaking.

With his best-friend’s wedding fast approaching and David being nominated with the Best-Man title, he knows he has to conquer his fear and make him proud.

David has a lot to learn in the art of public speaking; he must control his emotions, overcome his nerves, learn to address a room of people and perfect the craft of writing a killer speech all in just a few short weeks. Armed with determination to conquer his fear and his secret weapon in the form of celebrity speech coach George Hook, will he succeed?

George feels he has a lot of work to do before David has the confidence to stand up in a room of 160 people. During the next few weeks, the tasks George sets for David escalate in intensity: from a classroom of 40 ‘unintimidating’ eight-year-olds to a debate in Trinity’s Philosophical Society, will the cruel flashbacks from the first and last fateful speech he ever made continue to haunt him and undo all his hard work?

With additional help in confidence tips and breathing techniques from a voice coach, David’s skills are honed before he braces himself for the classic ting and tapping on the wine glass. The room will fall silent and hold their breath to see if his training has paid off and if he is able to deliver his homage to Stephen, his best friend in the world…

The Speech is a pilot show which airs on RTÉ One @ 6:30pm on Sunday the 22nd of December 2013.


For further press enquiries please contact: 

Karleen Smyth @ LHP on 01 – 497 0313 |


Notes to the Editor:

The Speech is an original format created by Tyrone Productions.

George Hook

Guiding David through this process is broadcaster and author George Hook.  A former rugby coach and expert debater, George is constantly asked to give all manner of speeches from sales conferences, to charity engagements MCing concerts as well as the more traditional after dinner speeches he is best known for.  He’s under no illusions as to how difficult this will be for David, but he feels if anyone can help David deliver, he can.  Even in his spare time he has been known to coach nervous friends and colleagues when they have a speech looming, and he prides himself on instilling confidence and helping them to give a worthy performance.

George Hook grew up in Cork and was educated in Presentation Brothers College, Cork and Rathmines College of Commerce, Dublin. George has had broad experience in his working life including his own catering business, where he specialised in location catering for the film industry for over 20 years, a business which failed. He coached rugby in both Ireland and America before embarking on a broadcasting career at at time when most would be thinking of retirement.

The Right Hook, his radio show on Newstalk, is a popular evening drive-time programme and he appears as a rugby pundit on RTÉ on a regular basis. In less than a decade, George Hook has become one of the biggest names in Irish media. His meteoric rise, at a time of life when he should perhaps be taking things a lot easier, is possibly without parallel in broadcasting history.

In 1997, he became a fixture on RTE’s television rugby panel with Tom Mc Gurk and Brent Pope and quickly established himself as a fearless but knowledgeable critic of the game. His humour, addiction to historical references and command of language propelled the rugby analyst to the realm of cult status.
“Hook’s emotive and highly personal style of broadcasting is seen as his biggest selling point. His style is avuncular and he also shows a refreshing ability to admit either being wrong or not knowing the answer” – Stephen McMahon of the Sunday Business Post. Through his exposure as a broadcaster George has become a familiar face on the Public Speaking circuit appearing at events for Blue Chip companies through to local rugby clubs and dozens of charities (at no fee) and continues to speak at events in Ireland, The UK and as far away as Hong Kong.

In 2009, he visited the impoverished Caribbean island nation of Haiti for the first time and was moved to tears by the plight of the poor people who lived there so much that he organised a recruitment drive to get volunteers to go there on a house-building week with the Charity Haven and has been back many times since. . He continues to this day with his work for Haiti as well as being the President of The Lord’s Taverners – a charity for disabled young people and those with special needs. Sport and recreation are essential to wellbeing and the ethos of the charity is to give ‘a sporting chance’ to those in need and with disabilities. This is achieved by focusing on two key areas and donating especially adapted minibuses and sports and recreational equipment.

This year he has made the best sellers list with his new book “This Is Rugby” whilst back 2005, he published an autobiography, “Time Added On” described his years involved in business and deals honestly with the failures in his life. This life, with its many business twists, human experiences and his re-incarnation as a broadcaster, highlights how perseverance can triumph over adversity.