Campaigning 101: How (Not) To Give a Campaign Speech

Heres one for all you budding politicians: how not to deliver a campaign speech.

First, the instructional video:

It is important to note that Mr. Davison’s speech was actually pretty standard: the partisan politics, the ‘business as usual’ comment, the various degrees he had, what was wrong currently…

It was his delivery that was atrocious. Here are some Do’s and Dont’s that I took away.

First the Do’s:

  1. Do acknowledge your supporters. Your supporters are the lifeblood of your campaign. Lose them, and you have lost your campaign
  2. Do tailor your message to your audience and supporters. This is a difficult concept to explain in a sentence. But the basic concept is that if you try to cater to too many interests, you actually do not address the needs of any interest. Stick to what you believe in and you will end up getting the supporters you need or want.
  3. Do talk about ideas. But make sure they are ideas and not traditions.

And the Donts:

  1. Do not yell. Public speaking is the art of communication not the art of speaking as loudly as possible. You do not get more right when you increase the volume of your voice.
  2. Slow down. Yes, this is an exciting and important time in your life. Yes, you need to get across a lot of information. However none of that matters, if the audience cannot understand or appreciate what you are saying.
  3. Do not look crazy. Crazy people generally do not get elected. Generally.
  4. Do not flubĀ  the delivery of your “most favourite quote in the history of the spoken word.” Mess the delivery up and you may lose credibility with the audience.
  5. Do not read from a script: Your speech notes should serve as a set of ideas and concepts you want to emphasize, not a script. Your primary goal as a campaign speaker is to interact with your audience to ensure they understand your message. Read directly from your cards and your audience will quickly disengage.
  6. Do not bring guns or weapons into the picture. Voters generally do not want to be scared or coerced into voting.
  7. Do not talk about winning an election, especially when you are just in the nomination process. Important if you do not get nominated.
  8. Do not scare away your supporters. Believe it or not, supporters want to be recognized, not terrified.
  9. Do not be scared. A Campaign Speech is truly a unique moment, which very few people have the opportunity to experience. Enjoy the speech and you will find that your audience enjoyed it as well.

What do you think? Any lessons that I missed? Also should Mr. Davison get his money back for his Masters in Communication or should his alma mater ask for their reputation back?

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