It’s election day. You have run your campaign and now it’s time to stand before your fellow students and explain why you are the best candidate for the position.
You get to give a speech.
I’m not going to tell you what to say in this post as much as I’m going to share some things that you shouldn’t say.
1. Don’t say “Umm.”
Most students use a lot of filler words when they talk. They’ll use “umm“, “like“, and “uhh.” Using these words occasionally won’t completely derail you. Yet a speech is a one shot proposition. Confidence is expressed by knowing what you’re going to say and saying it. This especially important when you first come to the microphone. Your first line should be captivating, exciting, and engaging. “Umm” is none of those things.
2. Don’t say, “I didn’t prepare something…”
If you didn’t prepare to speak, no one should be prepared to listen. You must earn the right to be heard and if you didn’t have the respect for your audience to gather some thoughts and form those into organized and understandable sentences…well…you probably shouldn’t be up there.
3. Don’t JUST talk from the heart.
I actually think it’s a good thing to talk from the heart, to be real, and to be authentic. But it’s best to talk from the heart when you’ve spent some time organizing what you’re going to say with your mind. A campaign speech is not the same thing as taking your turn in a counseling circle.
4. Don’t piggyback on all the wonderful things the other candidates said.
If you mention the names and quotes from other candidates more than your own name and your own ideas, you’ve just told people why they should vote for the other person more than you. Be original. Be yourself.
5. Don’t just talk.
In today’s environment, people need visuals. There are a lot of ways to incorporate video into your speech. Tell a story that paints a picture. Images are often more powerful words. At the very least, images add power to your words.
I’m not sure if a speech can put someone over the top on election day, but I definitely think an ill-planned and poorly executed speech can take someone out of the running. My next post will offer five things to INCLUDE in your campaign speech.