In February of 2005 I gave a speech at a national speechwriters conference in Washington, D.C., sponsored by Lawrence Ragan Communications, Inc. In the speech, I offered a few words on how I view the speechwriter's craft. If you want to know what I would be like to work with, this will give you the general idea.
Say that you're at a party, and you meet someone new. In the course of getting acquainted, you mention that you're a speechwriter. How does the other person react?
My own experience is that other person asks you two questions: one rather trivial, and the other rather profound. The first, the trivial one, is, "Have you written for anyone famous?" The second, the profound question, is, "How do you do it?"
That's a very good question indeed. How do we do it? How do we get inside the skins of the people we do our executive speech writing for? How do we subordinate our own egos and our own styles to theirs?
I like to say that a successful speech for a freelance speechwriter depends on the three "knows": Know the speaker, know the audience, and know the subject.
You have to know all three thoroughly. But in writing the speech, you have to do more than know. You have to be. Figuratively, you have to become the person you're writing for. In your imagination, you are standing at the podium. You are looking out at the audience, gauging their reaction to what you have to say. In a very real sense you're not writing the speech you're giving it.
You're drawing on your speaker's life experience and knowledge base, but you're also drawing on your own.
I don't think it's far-fetched to compare speechwriting to method acting. You're analyzing a character, your speaker, and learning what makes that character tick, so you can bring that character to life before an audience.
In the process, you're also delving deeply inside yourself. You're bringing your own intelligence and emotions into play, so that as you write the speech you can write with real sympathy and passion.
Edward G. Robinson, a great actor who played good guys as well as gangsters, and played both superbly, once summed up his approach to his own craft in these words: "Nothing human is foreign to us."
It's the same for speechwriters.
To learn more about how Hal Gordon can serve you as a speech writer Texas executives, Fortune 500 CEOs, and national leaders have already been utilizing for years, contact him today.