Different levels of professionalism

One significant difference between the German and the English speaking culture is the level of professionalism. Especially in the US, speakers leave nothing to chance. It is quite common to hire a professional speechwriter to draft a speech, whether that speech will be delivered at a professional or a private occasion.

By contrast, Germans are much more hesitant to ask for help when it comes to preparing a speech. Having another person write one’s speech has the stigma attached to it of: Is s/he not able to write the speech for him/her-self? A lot of people also regard it as a form of cheating, to read as your own, words written by someone else.

Even though everyone in Germany knows that top executives and politicians have professional speechwriters who write for them, almost no public figure in Germany has yet revealed the identity of his or her speechwriter.

The white house recently published on its website a video clip website which described the writing process of a State of the Union Address. The video shows in great details, all the speechwriters and communication experts involved in the process.

It is very unlikely that Angela Merkel would ever allow such an insight. If she were to do so, it would run the risk of a lot of Germans thinking: If she does not write her speeches herself, maybe she doesn’t even govern the county herself either.

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