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  • Holly Blum, The Word Whisperer

Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty Getting Help With Your Speech

So many people tell me that they feel guilty hiring me because they should be able to write their speech themselves. And yes, while I’m sure that they are capable of writing their speech, having help shouldn’t cause shame or embarrassment. After all, how many people hire a party planner instead of overseeing all the details themselves? How many people hire professional photographers and videographers instead of asking a friend to capture the event? How many people hire a hair stylist and make-up artist instead of doing their own hair and make-up?

It boils down to the fact that most people rely on professionals to make sure that every aspect of their celebratory event is top-notch. And with nearly three-quarters of Americans experiencing speech anxiety, turning to a professional speechwriter for help crafting a speech or toast makes a lot of sense. Many of my clients tell me simply knowing that their speech is written by a professional makes them feel more comfortable and confident. And if that’s not enough to set your mind at ease, consider this:

I don’t make anything up. Every speech I write is based on an in-depth interview where you tell me the types of things you want to say. You share memories, anecdotes, ideas, photos and anything that helps me get a better feel for who you area and who the guest of honor is. I don’t make up stories to help you get your point across. Your final speech includes only the information you share with me.

It’s your words. During the interview I pay attention to how you talk, what expressions you use and even how you intonate. My goal is to write a speech in your voice so that it sounds like something you would have written yourself. So what if you didn’t actually write it? It’s still your words.

It’s about the framework. One of the biggest challenges people face is framing out the speech—coming up with a structure that grabs the attention of the audience. I love coming up with a theme that captures your personality and tells a compelling story. This organizational piece is key. Without a sound structure, your speech can become more stream of consciousness than fine-tuned storytelling.

Let it flow. Most people have a good sense of what they want to say, but struggle with putting it all together. How the speech flows is sometimes more important than the actual material. By focusing on transitional statements I can make sure that each story, anecdote and thought makes sense and resonates with the crowd.

You’re not the only one. Think about all the celebrities, politicians and CEOs who have their speechwriters on speed dial. They know how important it is that each speech be cohesive and polished. I’d be surprised if they didn’t call on their speechwriters for their personal life as well. And if they can get help for their next wedding toast, why can’t you?

If you’re feeling apprehensive about your next speech consider giving me a call to discuss how I work. Rest assured that everything we discuss is confidential. Instead of feeling embarrassed or guilty, you can feel secure in knowing that I’ll do whatever it takes for you to deliver a speech to remember.

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