How does one become a speechwriter?
Nobody is born a speechwriter. Take me for example. I was born in Hanover, the capital of Lower Saxony, but grew up in countryside, in the province of Westphalia.
I did an apprenticeship as a bank clerk at a time when this job was still highly regarded. After some years in this position, dressed appropriately in a suit and tie, it became clear to me that words attracted me more than interest rates, that stories were more exciting than Economics.
For this reason, there was no other option for me but to study Humanities, more specificially Recent History, Journalism and Politics, at the University of Münster. There, I successfully completed my doctorate on an historical theme called “Westarbeit der SED im Bezirk Halle und in Nordrhein-Westfalen”.
My way to becoming a speechwriter was via various positions in politics and the private sector: At the Mittelstands- und Wirtschaftsvereinigung of the Christian Democratic Union of North Rhine-Westphalia in Dusseldorf, I was chiefly engaged in matters of press and public relations, as well as being the Press Officer for the airline Eurowings in Dortmund.
In the Thuringian State Office in Erfurt, I wrote speeches and other texts for the then first ministers of Thuringia Prof. Dr. Bernhard Vogel and Dieter Althaus for a number of years.
After returning to the West I began working for the Evonik Industries AG, Essen, in the Board Office.