Capture your orator’s meaning and cadence through familiarity and a few essential guidelines
Veteran speechwriter Hal Gordon says that speechwriters need to know three things—the speaker, the audience, and the subject. Knowing the speaker means, among other things, being aware of how they speak: How they form their words and their cadence when they address an audience.
If a writer can do this, then he or she has captured the speaker’s “voice.” The speech sounds like it is the speaker’s own, not the words of a professional writer. This is a difficult challenge for many.
True professionals are justifiably proud of their ability to write in a speaker’s voice.
Ted Sorensen: JFK’s Counselor
Ted Sorensen, JFK’s speechwriter and counselor, declined to write speeches for anyone else after he left the White House. He states that he could not write for “a stranger calling me up on the phone.”