Here's a not-at-all definitive - but hopefully useful - guide to speechwriting rates. (Written from the perspective of a freelance speechwriter working in the UK.)
Some speechwriters stick to a set fee. This is often based on a price-per-minute of your speech. But others are prepared to negotiate over price; I prefer to build a bit of flexibility into my pricing, so that I can adjust my fees to reflect the requirements of the job.
As you can probably imagine, rates vary enormously, so I've run through some typical speechwriting jobs and quoted some of the likely ranges in price. In some cases, I've also indicated what I've charged for specific jobs.
What’s the cost of a wedding speech?
Every speechwriter I know charges considerably less for social speeches and wedding speeches. Partly that’s because you (the client) do some of the work – we take your stories and anecdotes and craft them into a speech that sounds like you could have written it. I’ve seen prices quoted in the region of £150 - £500 for a 7 minute wedding speech, or social occasion speech.
If you do get a quote at the lower end of the price scale, just make sure you still get:
- A full interview (so the speechwriter can nail your tone of voice)
- The extra reassurance of a redraft, just in case the first draft needs a tweak or two
How much for a business speech?
Business speeches cost more. The extra cost covers a lot of extra work researching: the event, the audience, the topic and / or product. Your speechwriter will then craft a draft that matches your requirements, and take on any additional edits and refinements to fine-tune the speech at second draft.
If you're looking for a strong sales focus that will probably incur a higher project fee. After all, if you're looking for a professionally written speech that helps you promote your products and services better, it’s fair to expect to pay for your speechwriter’s sales nous as well as their writing credentials.
So what should you pay for a keynote, product launch or conference speech? An experienced speechwriter will probably charge somewhere in the region of £80 - £150 per minute of your speech.
At the time of writing, I’ve just charged £1800 for a 20-minute business speech. (There was a lot of research involved.)
What does a political speech cost?
The political process eats up speeches, so there are plenty of speechwriters who offer political speeches as part of their portfolio of services. Like corporate speeches, political speeches tend to be heavily reliant on good research. It all takes time. And that time needs to be paid for.
Perhaps you’ll decide that you don’t want a generalist speechwriter, you want a specialist. As you might expect, a specialist political speechwriter will charge a lot more. And rightly so. You’ll be paying for their political insight and understanding, as well as their writing skills.
If you hire a generalist, you can probably expect to pay similar rates as you'd pay for corporate speeches. But a true political specialist will inevitably charge more. (Unless they like you and your politics of course!)
I’ve just quoted £1125 for a 15 minute political speech.
(If you have the time to write your own political speech, here are some practical tips for political speeches inspired by the business world.)
Money off for charity speeches
I discount the cost of fundraising and charity speeches. I suspect a lot of other speechwriters do too. So, if you’d like to discuss some discounts, get in touch and we'll try and sort somethign out.
While I’m afraid I can’t work for nothing, I do try and make charity speeches as affordable as I possibly can.
Need a price for your next speech?
Give me a call on 0115 8284986, or put down some details on the UK Speechwriter contact form and we can talk over price, timescale and process.
(Please note: The guide prices I‘ve provided here are for information only.)