Political Speech Writer Job Description, Career as a Political Speech Writer, Salary, Employment
Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job
Education and Training Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary $47,000 per year
Job Outlook Good
Basic Job Description
Political speech writers are often ghost writers who are responsible for the elaborate and professional speeches given by politicians. They can write speeches for political figures such as city council members, all the way through to mayors, governors or even the president or prime minister. Political figures are often good speakers, but not good writers, so they hire someone to write it for them. Political speech writers will sit down with the politician and make a record of everything that will have to be discussed in the speech. They will determine key issues that need to be discussed, how long they will discuss each topic, the order in which everything will be discussed, and how long the overall speech will be. They are responsible with writing it with a specific tone in mind, and making sure the politician is saying exactly what needs to be said.
Education and Training Requirements
Most speech writers are freelance writers who have a Bachelor’s degree in journalism with concentrations in communications, public relations or even speech writing if it is offered. Journalism students are almost always required to intern at a publication such as a newspaper or magazine in order to build their portfolio of clips and gain real-life writing experience.
Journalism students who aspire to be a speech writer can train by taking public speaking courses or speech writing courses to understand how the perfect speech is to be written. Speech writers can also look for internships with city council committees or local charities to help prepare speeches that will be made by public figures. To get a better understanding of the entire political system and how it works, political speech writers should take political science courses if they plan on writing for politicians.
Getting the Job
The ideal political speech writer will be an excellent writer with a degree in journalism or communications. They will be able to effectively communicate with high-end authority figures with confidence and be able to compile their thoughts into a well-spoken speech. Speech writers will be able to write a variety of speech styles. Some clients will want a word-for-word speech written, while others may just want an outline that touches on the topics they will discuss. Good speech writers will be able to write everything out so the speech giver can deliver the perfect speech.
Many speech writers build their clientele and display their work by creating a website to advertise their services. This gives the writer the opportunity to display samples of speech styles they’ve written, rates they charge for speech, the opportunity for clients to sit and have a meeting about the speech, and the option of offering complete confidentiality about who is writing the speech.
For a speech writer who wants to work for high-end politicians such as congressman or governors, working on a campaign trail is an excellent way to get exposure, get involved in politics and possibly offer up their services to politicians. Leaving any sort of positive mark in a campaign trail is an excellent way for a speech writer to get involved in the system and get their name out there.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
Most speech writers get in the field by working for local city council representatives. They can advance through word of mouth from one politician to another, or gradually move up in local government and gain more opportunities for speech writing.
Employment for political speech writers is not particularly on the rise or declining in necessity either. There are not many writers who are qualified to write professional political speeches, and it takes a very talented and professional person to successfully write political speeches for a full-time career. Most speech writers are freelance writers who also write for several other publications and do not depend solely on speeches to make a living.
Most political speech writers will also write for political organizations or political news outlets to keep up to date on current events and issues that may be covered in speeches. However, most of them work as a ghost writer for speeches and do not reveal to anyone that it is them writing for a political figure.
Working Conditions and Environment
Political speech writers spend most of their time compiling speeches before their deadline. When they are not putting a speech together, they are usually holding meetings with politicians to develop an outline for exactly how their speech will be.
Often times a political speech writer will be called last minute to compose a speech and will have to write a large or very important speech in a short amount of time with little to no room for error. Speech writers must be able to deliver speeches under intense pressure and in short periods of time.
Salary and Benefits
The average salary for a political speech writer is estimated at about $47,000 per year. Salaries for any type of writing job are extremely variable, as the salary depends on how many clients a writer can maintain and for whom they are writing speeches. Someone who works for a city or state government will make significantly less than someone who is working for the national government, writing speeches for congressmen or even the president of the United States.
Since most political speech writers are self-employed freelance writers, they are responsible for finding their own health insurance plans and insuring themselves instead of working as a full-time employee for someone who would provide a plan.
Where to Go for More Information
EZ Speech Writers
17 West Winter Park Street
Orlando, FL 32804
Public Relations Society of America
33 Maiden Lane, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10038
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