Politicians have long been under fire from the public because very few of them write their own speeches. Instead, they hire ghostwriters and speech writers to do it for them, largely because they are good at speaking, but not at writing. Political speech writers can make a handsome living penning speeches for local (and not so local) politicians who don’t have anyone else to do it for them. But how does one become a political speech writer?
Learn Everything You Can
The first step toward becoming a political speech writer is to learn everything you can on the subject. Check out books, read articles on the Internet, and above all else: Listen to political speeches. Get a feel for the rhythm and cadence of a political speech as well as the ways in which these speeches are written. Some politicians prefer speeches to be written word-for-word while others just want a set of important topics to cover. That will depend on your clients’ needs.
Give Speeches Yourself
In addition to learn about political speech writing, you should also learn how to give speeches yourself. Find local venues where you can deliver speeches so that you can get the feel for how one is prepared and given. Even if you don’t want to give speeches in public, write political speeches for your friends and family and deliver them after dinner while everyone is sipping coffee. This will give you an insider’s view on how speech writing really works.
Build a Website
One of the best ways for future clients to find you is on the Internet, so build a website that tells people you are a political speech writer. Include samples of speeches you’ve written before, if applicable, and make sure to mention that you offer complete confidentiality. Politicians love the political limelight, but they won’t want to come under scrutiny for their speech writing practices.
Join Political Campaigns
Another way in which you can become a political speech writer is to join local political campaigns. Get involved in politics and show your support in other ways before approaching politicians about their speeches. If possible, select politicians who don’t already have full-time speech writers on staff so that you can maximize your potential to gain clients.
Write Other Speeches
Even if your true passion is to become a political speech writer, you might not be able to fully support yourself right away. To pick up the slack, write speeches for self-help gurus and business consultants. There’s a whole world of professionals who give speeches every week to different audiences, and those people offer the potential for a lucrative speech writing market.
Becoming a political speech writer might seem difficult at first, but once you prove yourself to be an honest, talented, professional speech writer, you won’t be able to fulfill the demand for your speeches. You will have to learn how to sell yourself and how to talk to politicians, but that comes with experience, so my best advice is to jump in feet first!