Ragan Speechwriters Conference

Unlike the last two years at this time, I will not be able to attend the Ragan Speechwriters Conference in Washington, DC. This due to a conflict with the National Speakers Association conference here in San Francisco which starts tomorrow.

I was intrigued to read this report that highlights some of the concerns and opinions of attendees this year. Asked why they are involved in speechwriting:

  • 4% of speechwriters are in it for the money
  • 14% simply want to add speechwriting as another skill set on the résumé
  • 27% do speechwriting simply because they’re given the assignment
  • 55% are interested in speechwriting because it’s “close to the power in the organization, a chance to make a difference.”

To find a speechwriter: Look everywhere. While “executive communications” is the department in which Speechwriters Conference attenders most commonly reside, 67% of speechwriters come from elsewhere in the organization—internal communication, PR or media relations, corporate communication, or somewhere else.

Finally, an interesting sidebar:

We asked Speechwriters Conference attendees to vote for the major U.S. presidential candidate who gave the best speeches, and Barack Obama won in a landslide, garnering 83% of the vote. Hillary Clinton got 9% and Mike Huckabee got 5%, Mitt Romney picking up 2% and John Edwards getting 1%.

John McCain, not insignificantly, received not a single speechwriter’s vote as the leading rhetorician.

This seems to imply that there might be competition for speechwriting jobs the further to the right of the political spectrum you go; until one reaches the current Office of the President where there seems to be a total absence of writing talent (sorry, cheap shot!). Or is it just the case that this profession, like the media in general, is full of pinko commie sympathizers?

So I wish all attendees at this years Speechwriters Conference good luck and a great conference. I look forward to reading your newsletter updates and blog reports.

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At the risk of offending my friend David Murray, you need to see Obama with and without a telepromptor. It’s like two entirely different people.

Public Speaking Blogosphere: Week in Review [2008-02-16]…

Happy Valentines Week! Once again this Saturday, we scan the best public speaking articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.
Just a few of the topics featured this week are:

visual aids;
dealing with difficult audiences;
handing a Q&amp…

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