How to become a speech writer

How to become a speech writer

Why become a speech writer?

If you’re reading this you probably already have some interest or fascination with the idea of becoming a speech writer. Perhaps you want to support your political party by providing strong material for local or national politicians. Perhaps you have something to say yourself and want to say it well, with force and power, or with gentleness and understanding. In any case there are many reasons to become a speech writer and yours only need be good enough for you.

Being a good writer in general logically encompasses being a good speech writer. The first thing that makes a good writer is practice. I recommend writing of all types including speech writing, and doing it many, many hours over many years in order to refine your talents. Get critiques of your material. Study grammar, spelling and usage thoroughly and practice what you learn.

Speech writing can be learned in college. Your local community college or a good correspondence school will have a course or courses in writing in general and speech writing in particular. Your local library is a free source of information on how to write speeches and where to attend workshops and seminars on the subject. Tell your local librarian just what you’re after and they will be glad to help.

Speech writing may be best learned in the actual practice not only of writing but giving the speeches you write. Audience reaction is a great way to tell where the strengths and weaknesses lay in any piece. It will also make you a better speech writer from the repeated practice of presenting what you have written. The writing and giving of speeches go hand in hand, it’s a point of view you don’t want to miss if you really want to improve. Where and how would you get practice as a speech writer? Try offering to teach Sunday school at your local congregation. Present your views on important issues at a town meeting.

Some of the ways to practice writing speeches include learning and practicing the forms or outlines that speeches can be written to. A topical speech may cover a particular topic and have a beginning, middle and end. On the other hand an extemporaneous speech is one spoken right off the top of your head, with very few notes for guidance. A textual speech will cover and discuss a certain piece of written text and seek to interpret or debate it. Outlines and discussions of the many types of speeches can be found in varied books.

To get the opportunity to write speeches you may want to learn to become an authority on one or many topics. Speak for free only long enough to gather interest and build a reputation as a great speech writer. Write for others to speak as soon as you are asked. Many people are able to speak well but not to write their own speeches. You can also check the same places that list other journalism and writing jobs; these are listed on the Internet, in books, magazines and other publications.

Do some research. Go out of your way to find successful speakers and interview them as to how they select speeches and hire speech writers. Do likewise with speech writers and ask them how they made it so big. A little flattery might open them up and give you an opportunity to learn something that isn’t in any book or on any website anywhere. Try to think like a speech writer, imitate any stereotypes you discover. Decide that you are a speech writer and when someone tells you that you aren’t find out why and if you feel they are right, make the needed changes. Be ready to fall flat on your face and get back up and eventually learn enough to succeed.

Try writing speeches for people running for very small positions like the president of a local club or some other position therein. Read famous speeches and dissect them in search of what makes them great. Read biographies of great speakers and speech writers. Learn the various recitations that can be spoken from poetry to story telling to what have you and realize all these can be the content of a speech writer’s offerings.

Most of all realize that your throat, mind and hands are the most important tools of your trade. Feed your mind with a solid diet of vocabulary, peace and harmony and sufficient bed rest and nutrition. Protect your vocal cords like a singer and learn all the tricks a singer knows, asking a singer yourself if you must. Care for your wrists, hands and fingers so that they can continue to tirelessly type, write or demonstrate in the air during orations.

Do some digging as to the pay scales of a professional speech writer and decide where you fit in.

Do some digging

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