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Speech Writer: Career Profile and Educational Requirements

A speech writer prepares speeches for others and works for large companies, public figures or governmental offices. Speech writers often deal with daunting deadlines, and some workers may have to travel frequently to write for clients. The majority of employers prefer applicants who hold a bachelor's degree related to communications or public relations.

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Speech Writer Career Profile

Job Duties

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), speech writers work mainly in the public relations industry (www.bls.gov). Speech writers research multiple topics, such as major political issues and demographic trends, and use that research to write speeches that focus on specific topics to engage audiences. Since speech writers draft speeches specifically for certain clients, they often spend time with them to understand how they think and speak to re-create their distinct voice within the written speech.

Job Outlook

Within the public relations industry, the BLS predicted that more positions will open up as businesses and public figures continue to focus on improving their public reputations. Between 2010 and 2020, the BLS forecasted that job growth rates for public relations specialists, including speech writers, would increase by 23%. With more industries utilizing networking and social media platforms, speech writers who specialize in producing speeches for Internet broadcasting may be more likely to find regular employment.

Speech Writer Educational Requirements

Potential Degree Programs

Information from the BLS indicated that most employers preferred speech writer job candidates who held the minimum of a bachelor's degree in a related field. Several degree programs can help individuals become speech writers, including speech communications, public relations, marketing, journalism or English. Individuals who want to write speeches in a particular field may consider a double major or taking on a minor. For example, students who want to become political speech writers may choose to major in both political science and speech communications.

Speech Writing Coursework

Although each major provides different training for speech writing, most programs start off by training students about the basic elements, including research methodologies, writing for a specific audience, conveying an intended message and writing for others. Additional coursework in an undergraduate speech communications program might include argumentation and debate, persuasive speeches, speech writing for mass media and group communication. Several degree programs require students to participate in internship programs, allowing students to gain real-world experience working with a team of professional speech writers.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics