How do I Become a Speechwriter?

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  • Written By: Vicki Hogue-Davies
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2018
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Not surprisingly, the basic foundation for a person wanting to become a speechwriter is strong writing skills. Creativity is also important to become a speechwriter. Professional speechwriters come from a variety of educational backgrounds. Some typical areas of study include speech communications, mass communications, English, and political science. At least a four-year college degree is beneficial and is often expected.

As writing professions go, speechwriting is usually considered at the higher end. To gain the experience necessary to get to that level, taking every opportunity to practice the craft of writing in all its forms is a good idea. Writing articles for school newspapers provides an early grounding in the writing field, while also developing research skills. Strong research skills are important in that they help writers find the information that adds authority and color to speeches.

Seminars, workshops, and college courses that focus specifically on speechwriting are good ways for a person with writing skills to learn to become a speechwriter. Reading books on the subject that offer speechwriting tips and discuss standard speech formats is helpful. Giving speeches will teach flow and rhythm. Organizations like Toastmasters International and others can be good sources for developing speaking and speechwriting skills. Volunteering to write speeches for non-profits and local government officials can provide both experience and samples when starting out.


Speechwriters work for politicians, corporate executives, and other professionals across the employment spectrum. Every person a speech is written for is an individual, and speechwriters, like ghostwriters, should be able to write in a variety of voices. Good interviewing and listening skills are important in getting to know the personality of a speaker. Patience and a people-oriented personality can also be of benefit when seeking to become a speechwriter. Often speeches are reviewed and reworked many times.

Sometimes speechwriters work directly as employees of organizations. They may work in corporate communications departments or for government public affairs offices. Many people who write speeches in these organizations have earned their speechwriting credentials by consistently demonstrating superior writing, editing, and communications skills. Even so, they may also be required to write other forms of media for their organizations.

Freelance speechwriters may also take on other writing work. This is often especially true when starting out in the field. After establishing proven track records in speechwriting and gaining clients, freelancers may find that they can choose to focus more on speeches and less on other types of writing.



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