How Speeches Are Written

  • Jens E. KjeldsenEmail author
  • Amos Kiewe
  • Marie Lund
  • Jette Barnholdt Hansen
Part of the Rhetoric, Politics and Society book series (RPS)


This chapter describes how speechwriting is carried out in organizations. We describe the phases and organization of speechwriting in governments and ministries and discuss the consequences of institutional writing. We provide three case studies that illuminate such speechwriting processes: Firstly, the writing of the government declaration for the German Bundeskanzler, which is delivered once a year. Secondly, the writing of a speech for a Danish government minister, involving an extensive, bureaucratic process of revision and approval. Thirdly, speechwriting for US presidents, where process and organization differ depending on the president. Finally, we categorize different forms of collaboration in speechwriting. Among these are: the counselor, the group, the line, and the hired gun. We also distinguish between the speechwriter as writer and the speechwriter as editor.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jens E. Kjeldsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amos Kiewe
    • 2
  • Marie Lund
    • 3
  • Jette Barnholdt Hansen
  1. 1.Department of Information Science and Media StudiesUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Department of Communication and Rhetorical StudiesSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  3. 3.School of Communication and CultureAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

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