Writing speeches is an art. There is just something exhilarating about stringing words together in a way that tells a story, inspires others, and ultimately has the ability to change lives.
Yes, as a speech writer, you are given the power! Just think about it: Speeches have the ability to cross generations, impact nations, and create marked societal change. If you choose to be a speech writer, this is exactly what you can do.
To really understand the weight that speeches have, you will need to apply it to a given context. For example, creating a speech about a soccer game and presenting it in parliament makes little to no sense.
This is why any speech you create needs to be applicable, of high quality, and able to stir emotions in your audience. If speeches written by you can create emotions, why not, right?
As a speech writer, you are providing a platform for your customer to change the narrative, memorialize a specific achievement, and even shape the future.
Your talent for wording the perfect speech can be used to invigorate the minds of the young and spark change in the minds of the old. Even though you wrote a spectacular script, it is all about the delivery!
The Impact of Speech Writers
When we look at how words are spoken in a public setting, it is understood that one must have already written a spectacular script.
With that being said, the word choice needs to be considered, ratified, and crafted together in such a way that it suits both the message you want to portray and the audience your customer is trying to reach.
Think of the famous Martin Luther King speech that started with, "I have a dream ..." You didn't have to be present to understand the impact that speech had not only in the United States of America, but around the world!
Former President Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, and John F. Kennedy performed public speaking on a level that could only have been achieved with perfectly written speeches.
Do you think they wrote those speeches on their own? Most likely not! Actually, only Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King wrote their own speeches. You can't expect all of them to have written their own speeches, right?
Reagan and Kennedy, given their positions in society, probably had professional speech writers assist them in creating the perfect presentation. This is how speeches delivered remain memorable and impactful!
One needs to remember that speech writing isn't based on how many words you have or the degree of humor it contains. It is about writing in a way that, when delivered with the correct tone, eye contact, speaking style, and finesse, emotions are roused in those listening.
Just think of the perfect wedding or graduation speech, one that is short and sweet, with not too much detail, the perfect amount of humor, but still with sufficient seriousness.
The Duties of a Freelance Speech Writer When Writing Speeches
Becoming a professional speechwriter means that you are not confined to a specific niche. If you enjoy creative writing, have a knack for writing persuasive speeches, and can relay facts in a simply written manner, then you need to become a freelance speech writer!
Speech writing is more than using words within the persuasive speech domain. It is the most vital form of communication for either one or a few thousand individuals. Think about how you would write the perfect speech, and imagine thousands of people hearing it!
Yes, you may not be great at public speaking, and that's okay. At the end of the day, you may not have written the speech for yourself. But you want your customer to know that your writing style is of such a high standard and that your writing is absolutely flawless.
There are so many different communication duties where speech writing is required. All of these required speeches can be written by you. A few of these include
Writing vital speeches for crisis management.
Delivering a great speech as part of internal business communications.
Applying your mastery of the English language for social media and marketing purposes.
Adding on to the above, you may find yourself in the position to construct speeches about someone's personal life, their experiences with a specific product, or even why New York is better than Washington.
With this in mind, let's break down a few specific duties that are involved in writing the perfect speech.
Writing and Editing the Speech
Each speechwriter should be good at and feel comfortable with writing and editing. You don't need a bachelor's degree to write a perfect speech.
Luckily, there is a vast array of free resources on the internet to assist you in honing in on your craft and improving your writing and editing abilities.
Choosing the perfect words is a process. Written words might sound completely different when said aloud.
This is why it is important for the speaker to run through the speech after it is completed so that specific points may be edited if need be. Remember, the first draft isn't necessarily the best draft.
You want to make sure that your word choice elicits the desired response from the audience. Do you want them to leave so touched that their life does a complete 180 degrees?
Or do you want them to have a paradigm shift that encourages them to put more effort into their coursework and education? You provide the platform for the speaker's standing ovation.
As you start to become more comfortable with your craft as a speech writer, you'll be able to enhance the message of the speech through the use of powerful words and phrases.
An important factor to consider when writing a speech is making sure the written word comes full circle. If you posed a question at the beginning of the speech, make sure that that audience understands what the answer is, and the meaning of the answer by the end of the speech.
Researching Facts as a Professional Speechwriter
Speech writing and editing are only part of the battle. Where you really leave a person wanting more is by grounding your message in substantiated facts through in-depth research of the subject.
One who has written a speech in two minutes will easily be trumped by one that wrote a speech over a few hours. The extra time allows you to do some well-substantiated research and add some statistics.
The first type of facts that you want to investigate will be those that will support the message you want to convey.
A fantastic example of research was Peter Robinson, one of the speech writers for Ronald Reagan, who actually spent some time in Berlin before the infamous speech "Tear Down This Wall" was written in 1987.
Great speeches are based on finding all the facts possible. So, to be a freelance speech writer, you need to know how to research well, which databases to use, and which databases just provide biased information.
The Art of Conducting Interviews
Research isn't just hopping on the internet and doing a quick Google search. Real and in-depth research involves combining lived experiences with the content you've researched. This is exactly how motivational speakers are able to connect with their intended audience.
However, becoming the perfect speech writer will require you to ask two different kinds of questions. These are fact-finding questions and open-ended questions.
Now your fact-finding questions are those that allow you to gather specific details about the person you are interviewing. Some of these examples include information about their academic history, work experience, and the types of projects they are interested in.
The next type of question is an open-ended question. This question type enables you to obtain a broader answer to a seemingly confined concept. When these questions are asked, typically the interviewee will provide more in-depth information on the requested topic.
Consider it their way of adding color and detail to the subject matter. You may even get a relevant story from them that changes your critical thinking processes!
Now, if you are writing a speech for someone specific and they are supplying you with this information, their answers will also give you insight as to their speaking style as well as their personality.
Written speeches need to have bits of the speaker's personality in them. It is what grips the audience and forces them to continue listening to you.
Steps to Becoming a Professional Speech Writer
Becoming a part of the elite group of speech writers is more than combining the effects of persuasive speech with public speaking. Believe it or not, there is quite a large amount of studying and recommended work experience that is necessary for you to do should you want to enter the field of speech writing.
Many well-known speech writers started their careers as either communication specialists, experts within a particular industry, or community leaders with a passion for public relations. Couple this with their flair for writing, and they became the perfect speech writers!
To become a successful speech writer you will not only need to focus on the educational requirements and work experience. You will also need to develop some of your soft skills. But do not fret. Even though the course each speech writer takes is different, we will make sure to cover all of this!
The Educational Requirements for Any Freelance Speech Writer
Now, although speech writers may benefit from either a bachelor degree in English, journalism, or communications, it is more important that you tackle courses that improve your creative writing style.
What we are referring to here is that you need to be on your way to becoming a professional writer in order to be a professional speechwriter.
For example, you'll need to understand debate techniques, what is meant by rhetorical devices, and how you can use a relevant anecdote to compile a powerful yet effective speech.
But, in addition to writing a good speech, you need to make sure that your speech's topic has been fleshed out to its maximum point. This is how all professional speechwriters started their careers.
However, if you are planning on being very niche-specific, you may find that taking a few minor courses in history or political science would be beneficial.
Becoming a speechwriter is a process and will require an immense amount of practice. You may even be required to read a few short stories to gain a better understanding of a concept. Your journey to a new life begins, and it all starts with writing a single sentence.
The Recommended Work Experience for an Aspiring Professional Speech Writer
Given your level of expertise on the subject, your speech writing becomes even more powerful. For example, if you prefer writing speeches within the academic realm, your knowledge within a specific field, especially when needed to create persuasive speeches, will provide you with an important sense of authority in your job.
But to start gaining this level of expertise, you need to start immersing yourself in the field of literature. Joining our team of esteemed ghostwriters or moving into a job involving journalism are perfect ways to establish the best possible foundation in speech writing.
After all, speechwriters for Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy were either journalist or ghostwriters, or immersed themselves in other fields of literature, such as law.
With regards to the recommended work, it is as simple as finding someone who needs a speech written and writing it for them! But, why do it for free? Join The Urban Writers to practice the process of becoming the best speechwriter.
You'll even be able to interact with other freelancers who can help you write in the correct tone and insert the correct amount of humor to spice up your speech!
What Skills Do You Need as a Speech Writer
As a speech writer you will need to have a great grasp of the English language. Over and above this, you will need to understand how to visualize how you want your customer's speech to be delivered.
For this, you need to be able to read the character of a person as well as know what type of speaker they are.
Over and above your speechwriting prowess, you need to know how to provide a service. This means understanding how to interact with a customer as a freelancer.
This may include introducing yourself, explaining why you are the right person for the project, as well as the aims and benefits you hope to provide them with through writing their speech.
Lastly, you need to know how to conduct research. When customers hire a speechwriter, they are also hiring your ability to research related facts to their overarching theme.
Remember, statistics and facts weigh more and save time. Rather have the spoken words contain facts than have them babble on without substantiated content!
Different Types of Speech Writing
A speechwriter does not need to write any and all types of speeches that a customer requests them to write. Yes, we suggest you do this if you want to gain experience. However, the more jobs you take, the more types of speechwriting you will interact with. This is how you learn your craft!
Let's jump into some of the more common types of speechwriting that you'll most likely interact with.
Informative Speech Writing
These types of speechwriters focus on providing a service that explains objectives, a concept, or the context within which a speaker will speak to an audience about a social movement.
An example is a CEO who may hire a speechwriter to write a speech for them based on details specific to a shareholder event.
Persuasive Speech Writing
Persuasive speeches are where you want to provide the speaker with content that convinces the audience to either support a specific idea or be a part of taking action.
Within this form of speechwriting, you will include both open- and closed-ended statements, use rhetorical devices, and allow the speaker to use specific tones present in the script that you wrote.
Motivational Speech Writing
With these types of speeches, your main goal is to engineer a specific form of change. You want to elicit emotions in your audience!
You want the audience to recognize an obstacle and then provide them with the opportunity to overcome it. Think of it as a type of service delivery where you encourage them to change!
Ronald Reagan was a huge fan of requesting this form of speechwriting. Even though he wrote down some notes for them, he had his team of speechwriters write his speeches for him.
Demonstrative Speech Writing
Here you will most likely write speeches for experts in their field. This will mean you need to be an expert in the field too!
You will need to practice sound research with this type of speechwriting, especially when the aim of the speaker is to influence their audience to attain different domains of knowledge for themselves.
How Much Does a Speech Writer Earn?
There are quite a few different factors that will affect the salary you earn as a speechwriter. A few of these include the type of client you are writing for, the amount of professional experience that you have, and even the complexity of the topic that you are writing about.
How Much Do Political Speech Writers Make
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), speech writers earned a salary of approximately $63,200 in 2019. However, depending on the job market, economic conditions, and a company's willingness to hire speechwriters, this amount will fluctuate.
Speech writing is an art form. But, if you have a knack for research and understand the intricacies of grammatical syntax, then becoming a speech writer is the next career jump that you have been looking for!
Get ready to join a team of freelancers that care about your personal and professional development. Join The Urban Writers today!