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How to Write an Election Speech


A A campaign speech needs to sell the candidate's character. You want to motivate people to vote for you, not necessarily for your issues or against your opponent.

Making an election speech requires the candidate to convey sincerity and gregariousness. Often this means overcoming a common bias against politicians. There are a number of pitfalls to steer clear of, but unless the candidate has chosen only unpopular positions, the main point of the speech should be to sell the character of the candidate. A well-liked, respected candidate can overcome a difficult platform.

Thank someone. Thank the person introducing the candidate (you). Thank the audience for showing up. Thank the people who cooked the food and the janitor who sweeps the floors. Thank everyone. This establishes the tone of the speaker as a thoughtful, considerate person and carries no risk.

Introduce yourself. Unless your resume was previously read, a statement of who you are and your accomplishments is part of your pitch. Prior titles and positions are great segues into "what I learned as a city councilman..." or "this experience taught me the value of..." An election speech is a sales pitch for character. How you describe yourself should be a main part of how you sell yourself.

Explain why you are there. These are your issues, and the earnest, serious part of your speech. A brief, but telling or touching anecdote can work wonders here. Make it concrete. If your issue is cleaning up a polluted area lake, a story of how you and your grandfather used to be able to eat fish out of that lake would be perfect. The story must be credible. After this, you need to make succinct statements about your plan. You are the candidate who will fight for "X." You are the candidate who will do "Y."

Rally the troops. You need their votes. If they aren't excited about you, you've wasted your breath. At this point in the speech, you should reiterate your goals, but shift from "I will..." to "Together, we will..." Make them feel like they are involved in the action; energize them. Don't lecture. Offer "If you want more of [the bad things, the other candidate], do nothing. If you want X, vote for me."

Tip
  • Showing energy is good; it makes a more interesting candidate. But make sure it doesn't get misinterpreted as anger. Angry candidates don't look emotionally stable.
Warning
  • Resist the temptation to tell jokes. Besides the great danger of offending someone, there is the lesser danger that your audience will just not find it funny. Avoid naming opponents. Your job is to sell yourself, not malign them. Don't give them the free attention.
Items you will need
Legal pad
General information about the audience
About the Author

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