Speechwriter—Power of the Pen!

Presidential election season makes one aware of the artistry of a speechwriter. A speechwriter is worth her/his weight in gold. Her/His objective is to make a speaker look worthy of votes, promotion, to be in the position they’re in, and so on. Great speeches elicit quotes that enable others to remember the speaker. “Ask not what you can do for your country…”, “When they go low, we go high,” “The American dream does not come to those who fall asleep,” a dynamic speechwriter has the ability to frame a moment in history. What does it take to become a speechwriter?

Slide1The 2016 presidential conventions have demonstrated the power of a skilled and knowledgeable political speechwriter and what happens when one, seemingly, fails. One speaker, accused of plagiarism, has been mocked and ridiculed. The next week the plagiarized speaker delivers another powerful and memorable speech reinforcing her oratory skills while the speaker from a week ago is shamed further.

As mentioned previously an effective speechwriter must accept that another is credited with their words.  A speechwriter must have an interest in the subject—politics, business, non-profits, youth, etc.,—work well with others, handle criticism, be timely, research, able to work under pressure, clearly understand the objectives and the abilities of the slated speaker. Although it is not carved in stone, that one must have a college degree, certainly one must possess a high English proficiency level. This is a profession for an individual who prefers to work in the background.

A speechwriter can be on staff or freelance. According to Lisa Dorword, President Obama’s head speechwriter makes $172,200 while the assistant speech writers make less $42,000. Large corporations probably employ full-time speechwriters while other companies may hire freelance speechwriters. One may charge per project or hour. One’s experience and effectiveness would determine the pay rate. Just as one would do when writing a speech, research can help determine how much to charge.

If one is pondering how s/he can improve the speech/delivery of speakers or composing and studying speeches this could be the ideal profession.  If a friend or relative is slated to present at an organization or club meeting ask if s/he would allow you to write or collaborate with her or him on the speech. Follow and practice your dream.

Staff Writer

Dorword, Lisa. http://work.chron.com/speechwriters-salary-7406.html


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