Handy tips for speechwriters

Most people hate writing and giving speeches for themselves. Can you image how difficult it is when you have to do it for someone else?

The role of the speechwriter is to motivate, inspire and reach an audience – through someone else. It’s takes a special skill to be able to make sure both the speaker and the audience are happy. The first important step is to know your speaker. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Get his/her voice inside your head. Mimic it
  • Capture their essence with your words.
  • Find the heart of their speaking style when they are talking conversationally. What is their sentence structure? What words do they like to use? Do they like to include personal references? Do they speak quickly? What do they tend to emphasize? Do they like to walk when they speak?
  • Record your conversation with them to get their instinctive, strongest, first key thoughts. Use some of the exact wording when you prepare their speech or remarks.

When you’re working for someone else, make sure you focus and plan the speech collaboratively as much as possible. Otherwise, you’ll be doing a lot of rewriting.

As a speech writer, your biggest challenge will be to guide the speaker. Your guiding principle for the speaker should always be:

Ask not what the speaker should say. 

Ask what the audience needs to hear.

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