Practice Your Stump Speech

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I once heard a candidate give a ten minute speech about his candidacy for local office. It was painful…it felt nine minutes too long. When he finished, someone in the audience requested that the remaining speeches that night be limited to two minutes each.

A few weeks later, I ran into the candidate at another event, but only vaguely recognized him as a candidate I had met somewhere. I couldn't recall where I'd met him, what his name was or what he was running for.

Then it hit me: he was the guy who droned on for too long. 

If you're running for a local municipal position you're competing with a lot of other candidates for the attention of donors and volunteers. You want to grab their attention and make them like you. And few things are less memorable [and less likable] than a speech that goes on far longer than it should.

Always have a two minute version of your speech ready for the campaign circuit. Practice it and time yourself. You don't want to be remembered solely as the guy who wouldn't stop talking. 

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