The call came in from an attorney. He was due to give a motivational speech in several days and he needed a speechwriter who could deliver excellence on a tight deadline. I had a writer in mind — Brian Ackley — and arranged for him to call the client. They decided to move forward on the project and I sent a PayPal invoice to the client. Short deadlines require the rush rate, which is double our usual rate. It’s often a problem finding a qualified writer when time is short; after all, people make plans and may not be able to take on the project. And even if the preferred writer is available, extraordinary effort may be required. Other projects have to go on hold so the writer can get the rush project done.
In this case, Brian and client needed to talk often in order to structure the speech and flesh it out with real-world examples from the lawyer’s professional life. The back-and-forth roared along until nearly the last moment. Once the second draft was completed, the client headed to the venue to deliver the speech. Mr. Ackley had tailored the speech to the client’s requirements and that client received what he wanted before the deadline. He had this to say near the end of the process, before the final draft was delivered:
“Thank you so much for your hard work on this. I love how this is shaping out. I’m presenting around 8:30 this evening so the hard deadline will be around 7pm.
“Let’s absolutely use the story of the accused father over (name deleted). Is there a way to clean up the ending so that we leave the audience on a high/powerful/inspired note? I didn’t feel that with the current ending, but I understand it is a work in progress.
“You are extraordinarily good at this and I’d love to work with you on future speeches, to build off of this one. I’m available by email and phone for the rest of the day if you have questions as we work to go final on this.”
I appreciate the client’s kind words, and Brian’s steadfast dedication to getting this project fully developed and delivered in time. Who can ask for more? Brian Ackley is a hero, and I am happy to say that all those on my writing staff are heroes.