A well-researched, well-written speech takes a full week to compose. Writers' rates vary, but prices just for the humor material range from $100 to $500 per double-spaced page.
There are two reference resources for speechwriters that are highly recommended. The Executive Speaker, Dayton, Ohio, is an invaluable monthly publication. It gives hints on speechwriting techniques with illustrations from dozens of important speeches delivered by business and government executives.
The dean of humor speechwriters is Robert Orben, former chief speechwriter for President Gerald Ford. Orben is a prolific author of over twenty books of advice and material for humor speechwriters; he also gives workshops all over the country. You'll see his byline frequently on material printed in the "Pepper and Salt" column in the Wall Street Journal, and his newsletter, called Orben's Current Comedy, is sold to hundreds of top speakers, disc jockeys, and newspapers.
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