There are many benefits to having a freelance writing career, but perhaps the most rewarding is the ability to define your own hours, set your own pace, and be your own boss.
If you’re seeking this type of opportunity, it’s crucial to stand out from the crowd and prove to potential employers that you’re the best person for the job.
In this article, you’ll discover the skills necessary to land your first speech writing job, including how to write captivating introductions, how to develop and use effective metaphors, and much more.
More than anything else, being determined to succeed will put you ahead of the competition. You have to set your sights on a goal and aggressively pursue it, even if that means making some uncomfortable adjustments along the way. Having a clear goal in mind will also keep you focused and motivated, ensuring that you deliver quality content on time.
The catch is that you have to be aware of your own weaknesses. Noted author, speaker, and coach Jim Lally explains that there’s an important distinction to be made between knowing what you’re good at and being confident in your abilities. He argues that while knowledge is important, so is humility. He says, “If you think you’re perfect and don’t need any help, you’ll never be able to give useful advice to others or improve your own work. You need to realize that you’re not perfect, and that’s the best thing that could ever happen to you.”
Humility is something that will get you far in life. It doesn’t mean that you have to be weak or modest, but rather that you recognize your own mistakes and limits. Being determined yet humble will help you land that first speech writing job, and throughout your career, you’ll find that those qualities will serve you well.
Know Your Audience
One of the things that can make or break your efforts to write persuasive speeches is knowing your audience. This means identifying who you’re speaking to and what you’re trying to accomplish, as well as considering your audiences’ needs and interests. It’s important not to write for the sake of writing or aiming for the easy way out. You must write for an intended purpose and believe that your writing will be valuable and make a difference.
It’s essential that you establish clear and concise speaking objectives before you start your research, otherwise, you’ll struggle to produce content that is both meaningful and offers value. Even if you’ve never done so, establishing these speaking objectives will greatly influence the kind of content you produce. Simply put, having a purpose will make you a better author, and having good purposes makes you a better speaker. Knowing your audience will also keep you focused on the right kinds of persuasive arguments, enabling you to produce more effective material. This is especially crucial when dealing with sensitive topics or issues, where a single wrong word or sentence can lead to major backlash. For example, saying that refugees are causing an increase in violent crimes in Europe could lead to violent protests or even calls for a ban on immigration.
In order to write a good speech or article, you have to do in-depth research. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to write. You have to familiarize yourself with the topic in-depth, reading numerous material and speaking to experts, reviewing related cases, and gathering as much information as possible. However, it’s important to keep in mind that no amount of research can replace good, creative writing. With enough practice, you’ll become an expert at doing precisely that.
Once you have your topic and your audience mapped out, you’ll need to start setting up your words and constructing your argument. As an experienced writer and editor, you’ll discover that there are certain structures and approaches that prove to be more effective than others in terms of compelling the reader to take action or make a decision. More importantly, you’ll have to find your own approach and become comfortable with it, as each one will make your writing that little bit more special. For example, perhaps you decide that a comparison between France and Germany is the way to go, as this will allow you to highlight the differences between the two countries while also demonstrating how certain policies can lead to a more favorable outcome. You can’t simply copy and paste from another source. You have to find your own methods and styles and develop your own approaches. This will make all the difference in the world.
This is where you put the words on paper and bring them to life. One of the things that can make or break your efforts to convince others is the delivery. Indeed, this is where you prove and display your oratory skills. When it comes down to persuading an audience, you have to consider many factors, including your pacing, your use of gestures, and your facial expressions. With practice, you’ll become a much better speaker. In addition, you’ll find that your ability to engage an audience and hold their attention will greatly improve your writing output. As a rule of thumb, make sure that your language is simple, straight to the point, and easy to understand. You should also avoid using jargon and industry slang, as these will likely confuse your reader and pull them out of the story. Even if you’re writing for a peer group, you still have to consider the audience you’re addressing. This includes not using slang or jargon, as these are tools that some people may not understand.
Another thing to keep in mind when writing for an audience is the level of formality or informality of the content. For example, if you’re addressing a scientific conference, you would want to use technical terms and display a deep knowledge of the subject matter. On the other hand, if you’re writing for a general audience, you can use less formal language. Of course, you must not go the other way and use slang or jargon, as this will make you appear less intelligent. When speaking, it’s important and acceptable to use informal language, but when writing, you have to put the formalities back in.
Business Intelligence & Metaphors
In order to make your writing as effective and persuasive as possible, you have to consider leveraging both your business and literary intelligence. Now, business intelligence can simply be defined as the use of numbers, facts, and analysis to support a decision. From a marketing standpoint, using business intelligence can prove to be very effective, as this will enable you and your clients to identify key performance indicators and accurately interpret outcomes. In a similar fashion, when writing, you want to identify relevant numbers and incorporate this data into your story, as it will undoubtedly make your writing appear more authoritative and convincing. As a business person, you must be a skilled enough writer to create compelling narratives and integrate relevant numbers and facts in a way that makes sense for the reader. In order to create an effective business case, you must possess a formal education in business, marketing, or a related field. In addition, you must have had experience in working with businesses and marketing teams in a content creation role.
One of the primary things that will determine the success of your efforts is your ability to incorporate metaphors and make them work for you. When used effectively, metaphors can greatly enhance your writing, as they provide a unique perspective that enables you to present your ideas in a way that is easy for your audience to understand. Incorporating metaphors into your work will enable you to write more effectively and persuasively, as you are taking an already complex issue and simplifying it for the reader. In doing so, you are demonstrating your knowledge and enabling them to understand your ideas and logic, even if you’re discussing something that is entirely theoretical.
When using metaphors, consider the formality of the setting and tone of the discourse. In the case of a scholarly journal or legal brief, you would want to use a formal style and tone of voice, as this will appear more intelligent. On the other hand, if you’re writing for a general audience, you can use a colloquial style and tone of voice, as this will make your writing that little bit more accessible.
As a general rule, make sure to keep your metaphors simple and avoid using long or complex phrases, as this will make your writing that little bit uninteresting and less persuasive. In addition to this, you should also avoid overusing metaphors, as this will appear forced and contrived.