Communications Marketing Podcast Presenting

Making a Career Out of Speechwriting and Ghostwriting

Dear Enthusiasts of the Future,

Welcome back to Next Future Today, with your host, Dan Keldsen.

Welcome back to “Next Future Today,” the go-to podcast for career insights and forward-thinking ideas. I’m your host, Dan Keldsen, and in today’s episode titled “Making a Career Out of Speechwriting and Ghostwriting,” we dive into the often-overlooked world of professional writing that influences and shapes public discourse.

Joining me is the distinguished Michael Franklin, a seasoned speechwriter and ghostwriter, who also spearheads the organization Speechwriters of Color. This conversation illuminates the pathways for those looking to carve out a career in speechwriting, especially for individuals of color who are notably underrepresented in this field.

Michael opens up about the need for formal training and greater visibility for speechwriters of color and shares his initiatives like the launching of a fellowship program and the speechwriters of color conference aimed at providing hands-on experience and education on the differing roles of speechwriters.

We discuss the intricacies and challenges faced by those who ghostwrite, including issues of credit and recognition, during their negotiation processes. Michael also provides insight from his experience at the Gathering of the Ghost conference, shining a light on the diversity issues and identity crises within the profession.

In a field mistakenly limited to politics, Michael breaks down the barriers, explaining the transition potential between speechwriting and ghostwriting, and emphasizing a strong grasp of storytelling as a key skill. We also talk about how the terminology used to describe one’s work can greatly impact career opportunities for writers of color.

Adding layers to the discussion, we touch upon the contributions of political writers George Lakoff and Frank Luntz, and Michael hands out some valuable tools for framing and structuring speeches. He also recommends several resources for aspiring speechwriters to hone their craft, showcasing his organization’s success in fostering over 500 members and securing influential partnerships.

If you have ever been intrigued by the hidden architects of communication or if you’re looking for alternative career pathways in writing, this episode will leave you enlightened and inspired. Make sure to stay tuned till the end for Michael’s contact information and the exciting possibilities for future collaboration.

Now, let’s unravel the behind-the-scenes world of the words that move us, as we welcome Michael Franklin on “Next Future Today.”

Recommended reading:

Political Speechwriter’s Handbook

Sister Outsider and

Speaking While Female


00:00 Interview with Michael Franklin on speech writing.

04:53 Conference covered diversity and identity crisis issues.

06:33 Ghostwriters and speechwriters seek public recognition changes.

10:45 Encouraging people of color to claim their role.

15:00 Legal communications major emphasizes ability to explain law.

18:10 Focuses on framing and progressive democrat communication.

20:34 Structure Technique: Name villain, uplift victories, call to action.

25:51 Launching virtual writing program, hosting in-person conference.

29:19 Reach out to diverse speech writers for opportunities.

30:27 Seek opportunities, ask for help, diverse options.

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Dan Keldsen –

Next Future Today –

PlexiCam –

Michael Franklin –