How to Speak Like a Politician
Politicians spend a large portion of their time speaking to their constituents. This is amplified during election seasons. The words they choose to say -- or not say -- are very important to the public’s perception of them. While serving their terms, politician have to deal with their political parties, media and the public. With so many people listening, it’s not difficult to understand why some politicians sound the same every time you hear them. Repetition creates the appearance of consistency. At their best, politicians communicate effective, positive messages while instilling confidence in their abilities. At their worst, politicians speak in vague obscurities, leaving questions about their abilities.
Speak with sincerity. Make direct eye contact with people. If people feel that you believe what you are saying, your words will carry more weight. Your words must come across as genuine even if someone doesn’t agree with what you are saying.
Show passion when you speak. Show that you really care about what you are talking about. This is another way to get people to listen to you that might not otherwise want to. Use gestures such as a clenched fist, upright index-finger or outstretched arms to help convey emotion while speaking. Emotional trigger-words also work well, such as: believe, important, necessary, crucial and determined.
Identify with the people you are speaking to. Talk as if you belong to the group, not like you are apart from it. Talk about currents events, ball games or popular TV and movies. No matter your background, be able to converse with everyone.
Display confidence and assume an authoritative stance in your views. Stand upright, with good posture, when you speak. State facts to reinforce your points. Make people respect what you are saying. In addition to appealing to the common person, you want to appear capable of leading the common person. Use keywords such as "I will" and "I can" to help instill confidence. Use vocal inflections while talking to heighten certain moments of the speech.
Utilize public speaking techniques. Know who you are talking to and use vocabulary suited to such an audience. Emphasize certain words as you are speaking. Allow for long pauses between words to add additional emphasis to certain ideas. Also, be wary of your body language. Use appropriate gestures to appeal to a person, punctuate certain points or manage an entire conversation.
Honesty, or the appearance thereof, cannot be undervalued.
Passion reveals emotion. This is how politicians connect to people on a basic emotional level. It is how leaders get crowds to rally around them in support of one issue, or another. Passion goes beyond what you believe. Passion is about why what you believe is important.
Finding commonality is a key trait of politicians when they speak to people.
Be careful not to sound arrogant when displaying confidence and authority.
- "Nonverbal Behavior in Interpersonal Relations"; Virginia P. Richmond et al.; 2008
Based in Los Angeles, Ty Wright has written professionally since 1993, working primarily in film and television. His articles have appeared online at MadeMan. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in film and electronic arts from California State University, Long Beach.