When you change the way people feel, voters are quick to contribute, volunteer and help you win. How to construct a compelling stump speech for a political campaign.
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Words are the most powerful drug humankind has ever known. The internet is the most powerful weapon ever invented. Few candidates truly appreciate the art of political poetry, elegance or eloquence. But the audiences who will, hear your words or see you deliver them do in a political campaign.
During your political campaign, every time you talk is a chance to emotionally connect with your audience. When you change the way people feel, when your words touch, move and inspire those who hear them, they are quick to contribute and volunteer.
Today, I’ll talk about the art of your stump speech, an address that can be used at your formal political campaign announcement, with audiences during the course of your campaign, something that can be condensed into a campaign video for your website and used in social media.
A well-done video can make you an overnight celebrity, help you jump start a political campaign and quickly rise from obscurity to prominence.
As you organize your stump speech, start with an outline of the 5 key components: Your Agenda, Your Story, Your Values/Moral Code, Your Bio, Your Unique Selling Proposition. A good stump speech has all of the elements I just mentioned. Five to ten minutes long, 750 to1500 words.
Some tips about finding the elements of each component of your speech.
Your Agenda is what you are going to do for the people in your jurisdiction, state or country. The Wrongs You want to Right. Injustices You Want to Correct. Laws you’ll pass or change. Initiatives you’ll pursue. Programs you’ll initiate. How you plan to improve the quality of life for those you seek to represent, or make your community a better place to live and raise a family. I usually recommend that candidates mention at least three specific items, but never more than 5 in a stump speech.
Your agenda should include items that you are passionate about, and concerns shared by a large number of voters in your Jurisdiction.
What story can you tell that explains your deep commitment to the items in your issue agenda. What happened in your personal or professional journey that made you sensitive to these matters? What have you seen or heard that made you passionate about fixing the problems you want to solve? What experience propelled you to ask for the power to do something about them?
Your Values are your heartfelt beliefs and notions of right and wrong. Ask yourself which ones do you have in common with voters. What about your community service in civic organizations displays your devotion to people in need? What principles do you hold dear that you’ll never bend or break? What happened on your journey that served to mold your notions of good and evil?
From your biography, what can you tell voters about jobs you’ve held, the family you raised, the honors you’ve won, the business you started, the deeds you’ve done that prove to voters that you have some basic qualifications for the job?
What is Your Unique Selling Proposition? It’s what makes you different. If you are running in a multi-candidate field, what can you say that none of your opponents can say or will say? What are you going to do that none of your competitors can do, or will do. If you are in a contest with one opponent, what is the contrast you want to make with your opponent, something that clearly defines the difference between you and your competitor.
Once you have assembled all the elements of your speech for your political campaign, it is time to start writing. Best to do that at a time of day when your creative energy is at its peak, with email and cell phone turned off.
Once you have finished the first draft, let it sleep, then tackle it on successive days until you have it down to something crisp, concise and compelling.
This is how you construct a stump speech. The better it is, the more money you will raise, the more the volunteers you will have, the easier your path to victory.
Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.
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