How to Become a Speech Writer
The art of writing in a convincing and alluring manner means you have what it takes to become quite the speech writer. While speech writing is the practice of creating public addresses, it’s also an act of messaging to the collective individuals listening and spurring them to action. It is a tool that rouses the spirit of the audience.
Being a speech writer is a great career option for freelance writers. Moreover, there is a lucrative market for it. Also, many of the famous speeches spoken by political officials were written by political speech writers.
You might have reservations about how lucrative speech writing can be with your level of education, but this post will ease up your doubts.
This post will explain the art of speech writing and serve as a step-by-step guide to becoming a successful speech writer.
Who Is a Speech Writer?
Before becoming a professional at speech writing, you need to know who a speech writer is. A speech writer is an individual assigned to create declarations that address talking points to an audience. In addition, speech writers work for a variety of people in different industries, such as:
- Corporate Executives
- Public figures
- Public Speakers
- Political aspirants and officials
- Specific individuals are required to give informal speeches
Speech Writer Job Description
A speech writer’s job description is the absolute concentration on communication. The role varies depending on the organization or employer who hires them. Still, it concerns the fulfillment of tasks that involves communication, such as:
- Press releases
- Media communications
- Public relations
- Memo prompts
- Official declarations
Speech writers also provide other services which aren’t listed above
What Are the Functions of Speech writers?
Speech writers are required to carry out these functions:
Comprehending the Designated Subject Theme
As a speech writer, you are in charge of comprehending the subject matter your employer has assigned to you. In addition, your role is to research the theme and curate a speech that fits.
Many speech writers spend time researching to achieve a degree of proficiency in their writing. This is why they need persuasive essays and critical thinking skills to be adept at their jobs.
Speech writers also carry out disputes with their writing. The purpose of this is to give a unique perspective to the idea of the subject theme. This micro-debate function improves the convincing nature of the speech.
An instance where this might be applicable is persuading people to donate to a cause at local charities. Speech writers have to learn and apply multiple contentions to a subject theme to produce the best solution to serve the audience. This act works for speech writers on the public relations front and in politics.
Composing Related Facts and Details
In planning and curating speeches, a speech writer should compose related information and facts aligning with the speaker’s subject theme. Moreover, the information shouldn’t just correspond to the main idea of the speech but also to the listeners.
For example, if a political aspirant addresses members of a specific community during a campaign, the speech should be composed to tailor to their political ideals. It’s all about catering to the audience because the audience’s reaction proves the acceptance of the idea.
Speech Writing Skills
A speech writer needs to possess specific skills that prove their qualification. Your career path can only progress if you have developed your skills. You will have to master these skills to be a good speech writer:
Writing and Revision
Firstly, you need to be proficient in the language. To be a speech writer, you must be a master at writing and revising. You can’t just write without being good at editing; it’s akin to buying a television without a TV remote. You must learn the skill of writing speeches to stand out.
Experienced writers have the perfect method of ensuring an ideal grammatical structure for every piece of writing. Fortunately, the best way to become a good writer is to write more simply.
Speech presentation and speech communication matter. They help provoke the response you want from the audience that listens to the speech. When you read popular lessons, you will develop an ear for learning the words that can rouse a crowd.
You can’t just write speeches without having verified information in your write-up. Writing and revising are good skills, but you must also know how to research the speech’s main idea. Successful speech writers perform this task at a high level.
As a speech writer, you’re expected to have the skill to carry out excellent research on every little detail and current event to make the speech appealing. A good example is when you have to write an address for public figures to make at a fundraiser event.
This event’s goal is to raise money to protect the environment. You will have to collect stats and figures on the damage to the environment and organize them in an order that will deliver the goal of awareness.
This is an essential skill; you need to act and think like a journalist. You need to know the way your speaker talks and delivers speeches. This skill can be acquired by doing what journalists do−directing interviews.
Conducting interviews is the most secure method of learning the speaker’s opinion on the subject theme. With an interview, the opportunity to tailor the speech according to the speaker’s preferences presents itself. It would help if you were an expert in communications to aid your inquisitions.
You have to ask open-ended and close ended-questions. Open-ended questions give a broader narrative on the topic and information on the speaker’s thought process.
Close-ended questions end with a yes or no answer. They aid in knowing facts to avoid and include.
Thinking like a journalist will certainly set you on the right path in your career as a speech writer.
How to Become A Speech Writer in 3 Steps
Most speech writers usually start as communications experts, perhaps in journalism, public relations specialists, technical writers, publications, political science, and other careers.
Their careers are usually different. The career paths of most speech writers are rarely linear. Maybe a proficiency in public speaking and political speech is a signal to pursue speechwriting full time.
Still, an aspiring speech writer has the right job prospects. To become one, you need to meet specific criteria. This step-by-step guide will help you become a speech writer:
Set your career goals
Firstly, you need better to understand your potential career as a speech writer. You will have to acquire information on the right connections to make, how to improve your writing, and the median salary.
Defined goals will ease your transition into speech writing. You can improve your skills quickly if you attend classes as well.
Seek a Bachelor’s degree
You can aid your career as a speech writer by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in English Language, Journalism, Communications, and other related fields. Having a high level of education, especially in communications or in courses related to this particular industry−a master’s degree is always favorable.
You might not start writing speeches, but the course of your career is usually dedicated to your degree. It would be best if you didn’t view schools as a means to an end but as a course to the job you would eventually end up in.
Acquiring an education in skills and work experience will ensure you are on the right part to landing a speech writer job.
Acquire Work Experience
You must acquire work experience to become a specialist as an aspiring speech writer. You can gain work experience as a communications expert, working in a public relations firm, learning from technical writers, and even journalism.
Freelance writers have the opportunity to write speeches for random people who need an address for an event. With the use of freelancing platforms, you can gain experience quickly.
Also, you can always volunteer as a speech writer in local government offices and public relations firms. Political speech writers can practice their crafts as there is always an opportunity for a speech at political events.
Politicians will always make a political speech, and it’s almost the perfect opportunity to gather experience.
Essential Tips in Speech Writing
Below are some writing tips to help you become a successful speech writer:
The use of Images
Imagery helps the audience paint out a description of the words. It is a powerful tool that gives life to the statements of the public speakers.
The symbolic value always stands out in speeches like JFK’s Remarks at the Dedication of the Aerospace Medical Health Center, “America has tossed its cap over the wall of space!;” or Ronald Reagan’s inaugural address, “But there are many mountains yet to climb. We will not rest until every American enjoys the fullness of freedom, dignity, and opportunity as our birthright.” You will have to be adept at communication to aid in your use of imagery.
Reiteration and Contrast
Reiteration and contrast are essential tools used by many speech writers to highlight critical points without sounding tedious. In addition, public speaking requires repetition to press on a specific theme. In Obama’s presidential acceptance speech of 2008, “Yes we can!” is repeated seven times.
Other tips that might help are:
- Get someone to read out your written speech
- Make sure your written speech is balanced
Aspiring speech writers always have a lot of questions. Here are some of the answers to the most frequently asked questions for those just getting started:
Do I need a political science degree to become a speech writer?
No, you don’t need a political science degree. Some politicians don’t even have a bachelor’s degree in the field. Nonetheless, it can be helpful as education always matters, but it is not necessary for your speech writing career.
What is the average salary of a speech writer?
A study by the bureau of labor statistics shows that the average salary of a speech writer is $65, 631 with a median salary of $85,950 in 2022. This is for full-time speech writers. It is different for freelance speech writers−they have a say on their time towards the work.
However, working in larger organizations can provide you with more benefits aside from your salary. The average salary tends to rely on economic factors. You need to have more experience, skills, and the right connections to increase your salary. However, the average wage being promising shows the job’s worth.
Does a high level of education matter in becoming a speech writer?
Yes, it does matter. It is beneficial to have the required education level to attract the best positions in the field. However, if you have work experience, it will push you to become a top salary earner.
The world will always need speech writers. This kind of career isn’t a job that will go into extinction. If you need a new job and are a good writer, why not dive into writing speeches.
Many politicians don’t have the skills to write their speeches; they need the education and experience of political speech writers to aid them. It is a hard job, but it is worth it.