How To Become a Political Speech Writer

Updated June 24, 2022

When looking for a career in politics, there are a variety of job titles to consider. If you happen to be a talented writer, you might want to pursue a career in political speech writing. With this career, you write all kinds of speeches for politicians to deliver. In this article, we explain how to become a political speechwriter and share what this interesting career entails.

Related: 12 Jobs in Politics

What is a political speechwriter?

A political speechwriter is someone who writes speeches for politicians to deliver to their audiences. Those in this interesting yet challenging position use their writing abilities to put a politician's main ideas and values into an eloquently written speech. When working as a political speechwriter, you write all kinds of speeches that resonate with a politician's primary audience. The goal of your speeches is to deliver a noteworthy yet sophisticated piece of public discourse.

Related: The Key To Successful Speech Writing

What does a political speechwriter do?

A political speechwriter is responsible for the following tasks:

  • Meet with politicians to learn their intentions, beliefs and values.

  • Research, write and edit speeches for conferences, commencements and other important political gatherings.

  • Write within the confines of tight deadlines and concise parameters.

  • Work with politicians to practice their talking points and written speeches.

  • Attend political events to gain insight and knowledge for speech writing.

How to become a political speechwriter

Follow these steps to become a political speechwriter:

1. Earn a degree

Earning a degree in a relevant area of study can prepare you for this competitive career. Consider earning a bachelor's degree in English, political science or a similar major. Essentially, you want to use your college years to develop your writing skills. Enroll in courses where you can enhance your speech writing skills along with your political knowledge.

You can also use your time as a college student to gain valuable experiences through internships, volunteering and student organizations. Try to align yourself with the type of politician you hope to write for. Show that you are someone who is politically active and understands this world.

Related: How to Pursue a Career in Politics

2. Involve yourself in politics

While there may be plenty of roles for writers to pursue, political speech writing is a narrow field. You need to show politicians and their staff that you are serious about this opportunity. Make an effort to read the news every day and keep yourself up to date on the latest political occurrences. Familiarize yourself with the names and values of politicians you hope to work with. Consider volunteering as a campaign staffer and help with elections. Along with having experiences to add to your resume, you are expanding your political knowledge and savvy.

3. Start making connections

Increase your chances of getting a political speechwriter job by meeting the right people. Becoming involved in the world of politics is an important part of learning about these job opportunities. Make an effort to attend political functions and networking events. Have business cards ready to hand out to people who want your contact information. Make sure to follow up with any new connections you make. Eventually, someone may be able to recommend you to a job or even act as a referral.

4. Produce writing samples

When applying for a political speech writing job, you can assume an employer is going to ask for writing samples. Even if you have no professional experience, you can still write spec speeches to show your writing skills. Create a portfolio with different types of writing. Include written speeches for different political events and situations.

Related: Guide to Submitting a Writing Sample

5. Apply for an entry-level position

While there is room for advancement in this career, you need to start at the very bottom. Once graduating college, focus on applying to internships or entry-level speech writing positions. Oftentimes, you'll start out in this career gathering research or editing the work of more experienced writers. Eventually, you'll be able to write your own speeches.

6. Advance your career

Building your career as a political speechwriter is all about gaining experience and making connections. When working as a junior staffer, make an effort to prove your worth as a speechwriter. When writing your speeches, make sure you are considering how an audience will respond to them. Consider any background research you may need to conduct to ensure you are writing a factual speech. Start advancing in this career by volunteering for bigger assignments and getting to know the politicians you hope to work with.

Political speechwriter skills

Here are some skills successful political speechwriters have:

  • Collaboration: Depending on who you write for, you may be working on a team of speechwriters, editors, public relations specialists and other political staffers. You may also need to meet with politicians to go over your work and learn their vision.

  • Communication: Along with writing sophisticated, passionate speeches, you need to consider how a politician will communicate your words to an audience. A skilled speechwriter has the verbal and written communication skills to know how their work will come off to a large group of people.

  • Personable: Breaking into this career is all about making the right connections. Being personable and getting along with others can help you network with the right people.

  • Professionalism: While you want to write speeches that leave a lasting impression, you need to ensure your writing is tactful. You are responsible for shaping the image of the politician you write for.

  • Research: A good portion of the role involves research. You need to know how to effectively use resources, such as online databases and libraries, to aid your research efforts.

Political speechwriter salary and job outlook

The national average salary for a writer is $61,373 per year. Your salary for this kind of role can vary based on your job title, level of experience, educational background, employer and geographical location. Common benefits for this profession include work-from-home flexibility, health insurance, life insurance and dental insurance.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for writers during the 2019 to 2029 period is on the decline at -2%. This is lower than the national average for all occupations, which is 4%.


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