Who is Hiring A Speech Writer?
Hiring a speech writer
is not a new phenomenon but the people who are getting in touch with us are changing almost yearly. You see, there was a time way back when hiring a speech writer was just for the the connected and loaded few who could afford to have their corporate and/or political speeches written for them. However, the internet has punted things forward and now the ability to have somebody else write that all important speech for you is not only at your finger tips, it's also much more affordable, too. Over the years it's overcome the perceived issue of finding somebody else to do what some may see as your job, and now it's seen as a natural extension of our increasingly tailor made world.
Stigma of old
It's interesting from the feedback I receive from clients to see just who's hiring a speech writer and why they're doing it. Most of the people I write for are extremely time poor and simply don't have the space in their lives to devote to researching and writing a speech. For the others it's just a case of this being so far removed from what they'd normally do in life that they don't know where to begin. Both groups did have one common feature but it's something that has very quickly become a thing of the past, and that's the stigma factor. Years ago any clients used to be vehemently protective of the fact that they'd got somebody else to write for them, as if it were something to be almost embarrassed about. But that's changed rapidly.
What was once considered a taboo is now seen as a reasonable and sensible thing to do. Recently I was contacted by a tree surgeon who spends his entire working life operating chainsaws in the middle of rural Norfolk. Nothing he has done or experienced up until this point has prepared him to write and deliver a speech, at the same time I have two chainsaws at home neither of which I have the first clue how to operate safely. That's why I decided to hire a tree surgeon and that's why a tree surgeon has decided to hire me. It just makes sense and that's the way more and more people are looking at it. It's not about dereliction of duty it's about sticking to what you're good at.
What to look for in speech writer
There are quite a few of us out there and as with all industries there are good and the not so good but in my view there are some basic features that you should think about. Firstly if anyone or any organisation is offering to write a completely bespoke speech for you with a fee that's suspiciously cheap then I'd avoid at all costs. Writing a completely unique speech takes a lot of time and effort, which can amount to quite a lot of man-hours and if somebody is saying they can offer that for around the price of a good night out, then something doesn't stack up. Speedy speech writing can only rely on templates and cliched jokes and you can quite comfortably find those yourself.
Also it's absolutely crucial if you're thinking about hiring a speech writer to chat to the person who's going to be writing it for you so that they can fully appreciate who you are and what you're about. If that facility isn't on offer then you should probably think again. However, if you do get to chat to the speech writer then ask them to fully commit to a timescale and method of working, but more importantly see if you get on. If you don't click with that person on the phone the chances are that using them as a speech writer isn't going to work out either. If you need the speech on a quick turnaround or have any other specific requirements, also make sure those are made clear in an email as well, because if things don't work out at least you can show that you made your position clear from the outset.
Tweaking the speech
Nearly every speech will need tweaking in some way, even if it's just to give it a more personal spin - no matter how talented the writer, you'll always be the best judge of exactly what's going to work for you. Again check with the writer what the fee includes; some writers have a limit of two edits to any speech they write, whilst I always promise to keep on editing for the initial fee until you're completely satisfied. Make sure you're clear about what's on offer and how much extra work is going to cost if it's required.
The whole point of hiring a speech writer is so that the weight of responsibility is reduced leaving you simply with the task of delivering it. so just as you would enjoy wearing that bespoke suit, revel in the fact that somebody has created a perfect speech for you, rehearse it and enjoy every moment of it.