We speechwriters remember when demand for our services fell off the cliff. It was a perfect storm. Post-Enron many corporate leaders decided to maintain a low profile. Then came the severe recession post-9/11 when budgets no longer were there for executive communications. Both full time and contract speechwriters had to find something else to do. Manhattan agencies bluntly told me, "No one needs a speech."
Everything changes. Currently, there is increasing demand for our experience and skills. For example, here are full time jobs listed by David Murray who heads up VITAL SPEECHES OF THE DAY.
People want to get back together again. Agencies are being bombarded to plan and orchestrate special events. Also, the premier branding is to a "thought leader." Thought leaders are the ones at TED and the World Economic Forum. In addition, there is a surge of interest in oral tradition. At Columbia University Jeff Brodsky, an expert in oral history, has taped for audio and video interviews with politicians ranging from Chris Christie to Patrick Kennedy. The subject is their first campaigns. Brodsky's work has been covered in THE WASHINGTON POST.
The challenge for speechwriters is to help speakers establish their own unique voice. The peril is that there are so many compelling models out there, such as Marissa Mayer's and Christie's, that insecure speakers might not be willing to struggle to develop the exact right fit for a persona.