Speechwriting

Whether it's a big celebration, a film scene or a political event: almost everyone knows the feeling of being moved by a speech. But many of them were not written by the person who gives the speech. After all, writing a successful speech is not that easy. It must not only meet certain criteria in terms of content, form and style, but also be perfectly adapted to the speaker and the speech situation. Politicians, interest groups or larger companies that regularly make public appearances therefore employ permanent speechwriters who are familiar with the style and ideas of their clients and can reliably put them into words. In addition to such salaried writers, there are also many who are self-employed and can be booked for specific occasions.

Since speechwriters do their work behind the scenes, it is especially difficult for such freelance writers to make a name for themselves and actively acquire new assignments. More than in any other field, it is therefore important for newcomers to establish contacts at an early stage in order to obtain their own assignments or job offers. Depending on the field you want to write for, it may therefore be advisable to go to relevant events such as company receptions, specialist conferences or political events. Contacts with the professional association or attending meetings of public speaking clubs can also be beneficial. In larger teams of speechwriters, internships are also possible during your studies.

The “ghostwriting agencies” that can be found on the market, which specialize in the placement of speechwriters, on the other hand, are usually geared towards the academic field and provide writers for the creation of academic texts by third parties (term papers, dissertations, reports, etc.), which is often viewed critically. Ghostwriters are also used in the cultural sector, e.g. for writing novels or “autobiographies”.

Although there are some specific, mostly paid continuing education courses for speechwriters, the job title is not protected and an entry into this sector with appropriate writing experience is possible without additional training. Since the market for dedicated speechwriters is limited, however, a detour via related professions, e.g. as a journalist, copywriter or PR manager in an agency, might also make sense.

Simone Prühl

Simone Prühl

works as a speechwriter for the Federal Ministry for Labor and Social Affairs

Typical tasks

Possible places of employment

Sources and further information on the profession