“How do I get a job as a speechwriter?”
That’s the question Robert Lehrman’s students in his American University speechwriting class have on their minds.
The answer, and an extensive catalog of the elements of speechwriting, are contained in the textbook for his course: “The Political Speechwriter’s Companion: A Guide for Writers and Speakers” (CQPress 2009). It is an invaluable resource for writers and speakers in both the political and corporate worlds. The book is by far the most comprehensive and well-written guide to speechwriting I have read.
Lehrman has more than three decades of experience writing speeches. He has written for politicians, celebrities, nonprofits and corporate CEOs. He worked as chief speechwriter in the White House to Vice President Al Gore.
His writing career began as a novelist who studied with Kurt Vonnegut at the Iowa Writers Workshop. He still enjoys the balance between writing under his own name and putting words into the mouths of the powerful.
In an exclusive interview for Ragan.com he spoke about his love of speechwriting and shared lessons for novice and experienced speechwriters.