The Winston Churchill guide to public speaking

Image via Wikimedia

Image via Wikimedia

Many of us have sat through bad political speeches. The candidate stands at the front of the room, eating up the opportunity to be the center of attention and mistaking an audience bored to tears with an audience moved by the content of his speech.

Winston Churchill was once that speaker. In its piece titled "The Winston Churchill Guide to Public Speaking," The Art of Manliness explains how Churchill transitioned from a speaker who bored audiences to one who inspired them. 

Public speaking is an essential part of running for office. Check out the article for tips on how Churchill became a great speaker.

As a candidate for local office, you have an advantage Churchill didn't - you only have one speech to give. Voters need to know why you're running. They need to know what you'll do with the office. Getting that message across means repeating the same speech throughout the campaign.

Here are a few tips on how to give a speech that will let voters know what you're about and leave them inspired. 

Write your speech out
Take the time to write it out. You'll give one speech, over and over. Put time and thought into it, and be able to rehearse it without notes. When the key parts are memorized, you're able to talk to the audience casually rather than sounding like you're reading from a script. 

Keep it short
Even informed voters have short attention spans when it comes to politics. Create three versions of your speech: a ten second elevator pitch, a 45-60 second version for doorbelling and a five minute speech for civic events you attend.

Open with a story
When you have the theme of your campaign developed, find a story that drives the point home. Stories are easier to remember than bullet points. Marco Rubio's campaign theme is "A new American century" and he has a story to go with it. Watch it below:

Repeat your main theme 3-4 times
Sticking with the same example: if you watch Rubio over the next few months, notice how often he repeats something about a new American century. You'll hear it over and over and over. That's because it take a lot of repetition for a message to stick in the mind of a voter. Do the same thing in your speech. 

Close with a call to action
In all political speeches, it's important to close with a call to action. Ask your audience to join your campaign in some way: donate, sign up on your website, attend a future event. Make it specific, and if possible have volunteers available to sign people up. 

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