Moonlighting Idea: Community SpeechwriterWritten by Mike Morgan
All sorts of people give speeches, not only politicians and executives of international conglomerates. Virtually every major life event involves some sort of speech. For example, toasts are offered at weddings, eulogies at funerals, roasts at retirement, anniversary, and company gatherings, and presentations at a variety of events. Everyone makes a speech sometime -- which is why it is consistently ranked as #1 fear.
If you have a way with words, and can turn mundane expressions into colorful and memorable ones, you can easily make a decent moonlight income writing for people in your community.
Advertise initially by posting flyers wherever people congregate: churches, schools, community bulletin boards, libraries, etc. Once you have a few speeches under your belt, word-of-mouth will provide you with an ample supply of referral customers.
Plan on spending an hour, or so, with each new client gathering background information, details, and anecdotes. Bring a tape recorder to meeting so you can capture some of client's favorite sayings and verbal mannerisms. Have your questions written out before meeting with client, but listen to each answer for opportunities to explore interesting "side roads".
PUT IT IN WRITING!Written by Rhoberta Shaler
Ever been asked to 'Put it in Writing.'? Sure, you have. Did you immediately go to your desk and effortlessly record your thoughts and suggestions? Or, perhaps, you struggled and anguished? For most folks, producing useful, credible and appropriate written communication requires careful thought. Those folks are wise. Written communication is an excellent opportunity to showcase your communication skills. Writing something down not only clarifies an issue, it tends to gives idea longevity, and, sometimes, a life of its own. Write carefully!
Written communication can be a double-edged sword, can't it? Well done, it can positively influence your career. Poorly, quickly or thoughtlessly done, it can work against you repeatedly. In a way, it IS written in stone. There it sits for everyone to see...and revisit.
Caution: Avoid putting negative information in writing! Absolutely do not put negative information in writing unless it is accurately supported by verifiable fact.
If you want or need to convey your opinion or perception, do so orally. Say it, rather than write it. Things have a tendency to be scrutinized much more closely when they are in writing. Folks look for inaccuracies and 'fodder for blame' in written communication. Written words scribed in heat of moment can sit in someone's files and become inadvertent weapons for years to come. A negative written communication can become a time bomb just waiting for wrong person to detonate it. In 'Getting Promoted', Harry E. Chambers says: "Enemies created in writing tend to have long life spans." Be careful.
There are a few basic guidelines to keep in mind before you put pen to paper or allow your fingers to touch those keys. Sure, important thing is message itself, however, how that message is conveyed is a message in itself! Grammar counts. Poor grammar detracts from message. You do not want anything to get in way of your important message, do you? Your computer may be a help as it suggests grammatical changes, but, it is not infallible. You need skills to catch errors. You know that your spell checker is limited otherwise it would not have left this poem intact: