The number of potentially great politicians who bomb at speech giving is astonishing. When you are giving a speech meant to get people excited about your campaign, it is imperative that it be energetic and uplifting. The way in which you express your words are as important as the words themselves. Follow these tips that I picked up over my career if you want to get a large group of voters jumping up and down ready to give your their vote.
Where to Begin
Starting your campaign speech starts with you alone musing the issues that are important to you. Think about what is going on in the current political climate and the issues that get voters up in arms. Then articulate your own feelings on the topic in a short blurb of around 20 words that can be used as a quick response to the question of why you are running.
Now expand on that blurb. Find personal examples of why this issue is important to you. Maybe you are basing your platform on healthcare reform, or want to fix the economy. Whatever you feel most passionate about should be at the center of your campaign speech.
Once you have your ideas in place, try these tips for constructing them into a speech that will both awe and inspire your potential followers:
- Write the way you talk. When we actually write our thoughts down on paper, or type them, we have a tendency to suddenly turn into Harvard scholars. Even if you are a Harvard scholar, your voters aren’t. Once you write your speech, speak it, and make changes that will make it sound more natural instead of like a robot.
- Have an obvious beginning, middle and ending for your speech. Too many new politicians forget the ending and leave their audience hanging.
- Make sure that the speech is appropriate for the group you are addressing. This means you may have to change things up a bit. The speech you are giving to a woman’s rotary club should not sound the same as the one you are giving to local firehouses.
- It is okay to be funny, but not offensive. To any group. There is a reason for the term politically correct, learn it and live by it whenever you are speaking in public.
- Practice. Practice. Give the speech to your wife (or husband) your kids, your dog. Basically anyone who will listen. The more you practice it, the more natural you will sound when giving it.
- Look the part of an aspiring politician. Wear the right clothes and always be properly groomed. If you have a facial hair, use a beard trimmer daily (if it’s long, make sure it’s well cleaned and styled, potentially with wax). Make sure your clothes are fashionable, yet understated. Unfortunately, once you choose to enter the political world, you must keep up these appearances even if you are outside mowing the lawn.
It is common knowledge that the introduction of television and the ability to actually see political debates up close is what cost Nixon the presidency to Kennedy. Don’t let this happen to you. Always be ready to shine in the limelight with a well prepared campaign speech that sounds natural, and an appearance that inspires confidence in voters.