In my previous post, I listed five things to AVOID in a campaign speech. In this post, I want to point out five things you need to accomplish throughout the course of your speech.
As you step to the front of the room, be it a classroom or an auditorium, your main goal in presenting your campaign speech is to leave an impression – a positive impression. The voters won’t remember every word you say, but they will remember how they felt when you are finished. Keep that in mind as you focus on what TO say.
1. Say your name.
When it comes time to vote, all that people will see on the ballot is your name. Make sure they remember what your name is. When you say your name, ask for their vote. Deliver a speech that reminds them of good things when they see your name. Your name is the only piece of publicity you have on the ballot.
2. Say what you are FOR.
Keep it positive. Some like to talk about what needs to be changed and state all of the things that they’re against. But that will put you at odds with those who are currently in office – we like to call those people “friends of voters.” Don’t put down what’s been done in the past, rather, talk about positive steps you intend to take in the future.
3. Say what makes you unique.
Probably 90% of what you’ll say could be true of every candidate running. You’ll work hard, you’ll look to people to find out what they want, you have a strong desire to serve in this position. But what sets you apart? What makes you uniquely positioned to do a better job or be the better person in this position? That should be the central focus. If you spend time on the 90%…you’ll just sound like everyone else and get lost in the mix.
4. Say what you’re going to say in different ways.
People learn differently. Some people are visual. Some learn through stories or stats. Include different forms of communication in your speech that will capture the attention of various learning styles. Use of video, pictures, or even other people in your speech offers different ways to make your point.
5. Say what you’re going to say…well.
Please don’t step to the front unprepared, or prepared to simply say whatever comes to mind. If this is important to you, then take the time to practice and rehearse. You don’t have to have it all memorized. But you must be comfortable with what you’re going to say. It shouldn’t look like you’re talking about all of this for the first time. If you look like you’re flying by the seat of your pants, people may think you’re not taking this seriously.
Record yourself talking. Watch a video of yourself giving your speech. You’ll be amazed at how many little things you can do to improve your presentation.
Ultimately, the goal of any campaign speech is to be yourself and allow people the chance to see who you are and what you stand for. It should be another way to build a relationship with your audience. Take it seriously.