Moonlighting Idea: Community Speechwriter

    July 3, 2002

All sorts of people give speeches, not only politicians and executives of international conglomerates. Virtually every major life event involves some sort of speech. For example, toasts are offered at weddings, eulogies at funerals, roasts at retirement, anniversary, and company gatherings, and presentations at a variety of events. Everyone makes a speech sometime — which is why it is consistently ranked as the #1 fear.

If you have a way with words, and can turn mundane expressions into colorful and memorable ones, you can easily make a decent moonlight income writing for people in your community.

Advertise initially by posting flyers wherever people congregate: churches, schools, community bulletin boards, libraries, etc. Once you have a few speeches under your belt, word-of-mouth will provide you with an ample supply of referral customers.

Plan on spending an hour, or so, with each new client gathering background information, details, and anecdotes. Bring a tape recorder to the meeting so you can capture some of the client’s favorite sayings and verbal mannerisms. Have your questions written out before meeting with the client, but listen to each answer for opportunities to explore interesting “side roads”.

As a added value, you might offer to rehearse the speech with the client and offer tips for effective delivery. Plan on at least one “tweaking” after the client has read the speech to correct areas where the client stumbles during the reading.

Charge $15-20 per typewritten, double-spaced, 10-12 point type page, and $25-30 an hour for any research you need to do in addition to the initial interview. Do your first two or three speeches free, or better yet, do them in exchange for a testimonial and an agreement to refer prospective clients.

A great way to learn more about this moonlighting gig (and speech communication in general) is to sit in on a local Toastmaster International meeting. Ask a few questions; make a few friends. Visit the Toastmasters website to find a public meeting in your area.

Web Links: Dave’s Guide to Speechwriting

Speechwriting Books at

Coutesy of: Mike Morgan owns Bison Creek Author Services <>. He is the publisher of “The Moonlighting Parent Newsletter”, a free email newsletter sent biweekly, and the moderator of the “Article Post – Short Content” (AP-Shorts) publisher-author exchange. <>

Copyright 2002, Mike Morgan

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