How Speeches Are Written

Jens E. Kjeldsen, Amos Kiewe, Marie Lund, Jette Barnholdt Hansen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRhetoric, Politics and Society
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameRhetoric, Politics and Society
VolumePart F796
ISSN (Print)2947-5147
ISSN (Electronic)2947-5155

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Communication
  • Cultural Studies
  • Political Science and International Relations


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