How To Write A Political Speech

Brendan Finucane

Crafting a compelling political speech holds immense importance for any aspiring politician and successful political campaign. It is a powerful tool for connecting with the audience, influencing opinions, and igniting action. To make speeches truly impactful, harnessing the power of voter engagement and direct sourcing is key. Politicians can gather valuable insights directly from the people they aim to represent by actively engaging with voters and listening to their concerns.

This approach adds significant value to speeches and establishes an authentic connection with voters. This blog post will explore the significance of delivering compelling political speeches and highlight the benefits of incorporating voter engagement and direct sourcing techniques. By the end, you'll gain practical insights into creating lessons that resonate with your audience and make a lasting impact. Revise your political speechwriting skills with valuable tips and actionable strategies!

Writing a compelling political speech that resonates with your audience is vital for any politician. Two key factors are crucial to achieving this: defining your objectives and knowing your target audience.

  • Defining the objectives: Your speech should have a clear purpose, whether it is to persuade, inspire, or educate your listeners. You can shape your address by defining your goals to achieve those desired outcomes effectively. ‍
  • Knowing your target audience: Understanding your audience's demographics, concerns, and aspirations is fundamental. This knowledge allows you to tailor your message in a way that connects with them on a personal level. You can create a speech that resonates deeply and captures their attention by addressing their needs and desires.

Research and Preparation

Research and preparation are vital steps in writing an impactful political speech. By gathering comprehensive data from various sources, conducting surveys, and analyzing voter demographics, you can enhance the effectiveness of your address. Here are key actions to take:

  • Collecting data from various sources: Traditional media such as newspapers, TV, and radio provide insights into current political events and public sentiment. Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube offer information on trending topics and public discourse. Online forums and communities like Reddit, Quora, and specialized political forums allow you to tap into discussions and understand different perspectives. ‍
  • Conducting surveys and opinion polls: ‍ Engaging in surveys and opinion polls helps you gauge your target audience's opinions, preferences, and concerns. This data provides valuable insights to shape your speech accordingly. ‍
  • Analyzing voter demographics and specific concerns: ‍ Understanding your audience's demographics, including age, gender, and location, enables you to tailor your speech to resonate with their unique backgrounds and experiences. Additionally, identifying specific concerns and issues that matter to voters allows you to address them directly in your speech, making it more relevant and impactful.

By undertaking thorough research and preparation, you will have a solid foundation for crafting a compelling political speech that speaks directly to your audience's needs and aspirations. In the upcoming sections, we will explore these topics in more detail, providing you with practical strategies to integrate the collected data effectively into your speechwriting process. Get ready to take your political speechwriting skills to the next level!

Crafting a Compelling Political Speech

Crafting a powerful political speech requires careful consideration of the message you want to convey. Here are key steps to help you create a compelling address:

  • Identifying key issues and topics: Start by identifying crucial issues such as the economy and jobs, healthcare and social welfare, education and student debt, climate change and environmental policies, and national security and foreign affairs. These topics are often at the forefront of public discourse and resonate with voters. ‍
  • Prioritizing topics based on voter feedback and relevance: ‍ Listen to the feedback and concerns of voters through surveys, town hall meetings, and direct engagement. Prioritize the topics that resonate most with your audience, ensuring your speech addresses their pressing issues. ‍
  • Developing a compelling narrative: ‍ Structure your speech with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion to provide a cohesive flow. Utilize storytelling techniques to make your message engaging and relatable, capturing your audience's attention. Connect your experiences to policy proposals, humanizing your speech and showing your understanding of real-life impacts. Emphasize empathy and relatability to establish a genuine connection with your audience, showcasing that you understand and share their concerns.

Following these steps, you can craft a persuasive political speech highlighting key issues, resonating with voters, and inspiring action. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into each aspect, providing you with practical tips and techniques to enhance the impact of your speech. Prepare to deliver a memorable and influential address that leaves a lasting impression!

Rehearsing your political speech is a critical step that significantly aids your confidence and overall delivery. Here are some valuable tips to consider when it comes to rehearsing:

  • Practice makes perfect: Dedicate ample time to rehearsing your speech before presenting it to an audience. Aim to rehearse your address at least five times to familiarize yourself with the content, structure, and flow. ‍
  • Seek feedback from your team: Once you've practiced independently, deliver your speech to your team and invite their constructive criticism. Their feedback can provide valuable insights and help you refine your points, delivery, and overall performance. ‍
  • Conduct a full dress rehearsal: Organize a complete dress rehearsal with your team, where they play the roles of a moderator and your competition. This simulation allows you to identify potential weaknesses in your arguments, anticipate challenging questions, and fine-tune your delivery. ‍
  • Capture and review your performance: Consider filming yourself giving the speech during rehearsal. Watching the recording afterwards lets you objectively evaluate your performance, body language, and speaking style. Take note of areas where improvements can be made and make adjustments accordingly. ‍
  • Ensure accessibility through simplicity: While rehearsing, approach your speech from the perspective of someone unfamiliar with the topics you're addressing. Use simple language and many analogies to make your political speech accessible to many listeners. This approach enhances understanding and enables your message to resonate with the entire electorate.

By incorporating rehearsal into your speechwriting process, you can boost your confidence, identify areas for improvement, and deliver a polished and impactful speech. Remember, rehearsing allows you to refine your points, connect with your audience effectively, and ensure your message is conveyed clearly, concisely, and relatable. ‍

Use Common Language

Using common language in political speech writing is essential to effectively connect with your audience and ensure your message resonates with a wide range of listeners. Here are key considerations when it comes to using common language:

  • ‍ Speak in an accessible manner:   Communicate in a way that is easily understandable to all. Avoid excessive jargon, complex terminology, or convoluted sentences that may confuse or alienate your audience. Use clear and concise language that allows anyone to grasp your message. ‍ ‍
  • Avoid offensive terms:   Maintaining a respectful and inclusive tone during your speech is important. Steer clear of profane or derogatory language that could offend or marginalize certain groups. Treat your audience with respect, emphasizing unity and understanding. ‍ ‍
  • Harness the power of stories and personal accounts:   Stories and first-person narratives profoundly impact your audience. Utilize relatable anecdotes and real-life experiences to illustrate your points, making your arguments more engaging, relatable, and emotionally compelling. ‍ ‍
  • Balance simplicity with depth:   While most of your content should be easily understandable by anyone, it is acceptable to incorporate academic research, quotations, or statistics that may require additional explanation. Find a balance between simplicity and depth, ensuring that even complex ideas can be grasped by your listeners with the appropriate context and explanation.

Using common language can effectively bridge the gap between complex ideas and the understanding of your audience. Remember, the goal is to connect with as many people as possible, making your message accessible, relatable, and impactful. So, craft your speech with clarity and simplicity while utilizing stories and personal accounts to create an emotional connection that resonates with your listeners.

How to Construct An Argument

Constructing a compelling argument is crucial to writing a persuasive political speech. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you build a strong and impactful argument:

  • Clearly state your thesis: Begin by articulating your main point or thesis statement. This sets the foundation for your argument and provides a clear focus for your speech. ‍
  • Gather supporting evidence: Collect relevant facts, statistics, expert opinions, and real-life examples that support your thesis. Strong evidence adds credibility and strengthens your argument. ‍
  • Organize your points logically: Structure your argument logically and coherently. Present your facts in a sequence that builds upon each other, leading your audience towards your main thesis. ‍
  • Anticipate counterarguments: Consider potential counterarguments to your position and address them proactively. This demonstrates thoroughness and strengthens your overall argument. ‍
  • Use persuasive language: Choose words and phrases that are persuasive and compelling. Craft your message to resonate with your audience emotionally and intellectually. ‍
  • Appeal to logic and emotions: Blend logical reasoning with emotional appeals to make your argument more persuasive. Use rational evidence to support your claims and evoke emotions to connect with your audience more deeply. ‍
  • Use rhetorical devices: Employ rhetorical devices such as repetition, analogy, and rhetorical questions to enhance the impact of your argument and make it more memorable. ‍
  • Summarize and restate your main points: Conclude your argument by summarizing your main points and restating your thesis. Leave your audience clearly understanding your position and a compelling call to action.

These steps can construct a strong and persuasive argument in your political speech. Remember to support your claims with evidence, organize your points effectively, and appeal to logic and emotions. With a well-constructed argument, your address will be poised to influence opinions and inspire action.

Voter Engagement for your Speech

Engaging with voters through various tactics is essential to crafting a compelling political speech. Here's why it matters and how you can make the most of it:

importance of voter contact tactics:

  • Door-to-door canvassing allows you to connect with voters on a personal level, fostering trust and building rapport.
  • Town hall meetings provide a platform for open dialogue, enabling you to directly understand local issues and concerns of the community.
  • Phone calls and text messages offer an opportunity to engage voters individually, creating a sense of importance and personal connection.

Benefits of engaging voters directly:

  • Building trust and rapport strengthens your relationship with voters, making your message more impactful and memorable.
  • Understanding local issues and concerns firsthand helps you address them effectively in your speech, showing your commitment to representing the community's needs.
  • Obtaining firsthand stories and anecdotes allows you to humanize your speech, adding authenticity and relatability to your message.

Techniques for effective voter engagement:

  • Active listening and showing empathy demonstrate your genuine interest in understanding voters' perspectives and concerns.
  • Asking open-ended questions encourages voters to share their thoughts and experiences, providing valuable insights for shaping your speech.
  • Encouraging voter participation in the speechwriting process empowers them. It ensures their voices are heard, enhancing the authenticity of your speech.
  • Utilizing social media platforms to solicit input and feedback broadens your reach. It allows you to engage with a wider audience, gathering diverse perspectives and ideas.

By actively engaging voters through canvassing and other community outreach , you gain invaluable insights, stories, and anecdotes that can greatly enrich your political speech. In the upcoming sections, we will delve deeper into these techniques, providing you with practical strategies to maximize voter engagement and create lessons that truly resonate with your audience. Get ready to harness the power of direct sourcing and make a meaningful impact with your speech!

Incorporating voter input into your speechwriting process is a powerful way to create speeches that truly resonate with your audience. Here's how you can leverage voter input, with a special emphasis on the significance of canvassing:

  • ‍ Analyzing and categorizing voter stories and concerns: By carefully listening to voters' stories and concerns gathered through canvassing, town hall meetings, and other engagement tactics, you can analyze and categorize them to identify common threads and key issues. ‍ ‍
  • Identifying common themes and patterns: By recognizing recurring themes and patterns in voter input, you gain insights into your constituency's collective concerns and aspirations. This knowledge allows you to address them effectively in your speech. ‍ ‍
  • Integrating voter anecdotes into the speech: Personalizing the message by incorporating specific anecdotes and stories voters share, you personalize your speech, making it relatable and impactful. Highlighting real-life impacts: Sharing how specific policies or decisions affect real people helps create a deeper understanding and empathy among your audience. ‍ ‍
  • Acknowledging and addressing dissenting viewpoints: While incorporating voter input, it's important to acknowledge and address dissenting views. By respectfully engaging with opposing perspectives, you demonstrate inclusivity and a willingness to consider all voices.

By actively involving voters in the speechwriting process, you ensure their concerns and experiences are reflected in your message. This adds authenticity and relatability and strengthens your connection with your audience. In the subsequent sections, we will delve deeper into these strategies, providing you with practical tips to seamlessly integrate voter input into your political speeches. Get ready to create addresses that truly resonate and engage your audience profoundly!

The Ten Minutes Beforehand

The ten minutes beforehand hold significant value in maximizing the impact of your political speech. Here's how you can make the most of this crucial time, offering practical strategies to enhance your performance and connect with your audience:

Center yourself through mindfulness techniques:

  • Take deep breaths to calm your nerves and center your mind.
  • Practice mindfulness or meditation to focus your thoughts and promote a sense of presence.

Review your key talking points:

  • Take a moment to mentally review the main points and messages you want to convey.
  • Ensure that your speech aligns with your objectives and resonates with your audience.

Visualize success:

  • Visualize yourself delivering a powerful and impactful speech with confidence and clarity.
  • Envision a positive response from your audience, creating a sense of belief and determination.

Positive self-talk:

  • Engage in positive self-talk to boost your confidence and banish self-doubt.
  • Remind yourself of your strengths, expertise, and message value.

Establish a connection with your audience:

  • Scan the room and make eye contact with individuals in the audience.
  • This brief interaction establishes an initial connection and helps you establish rapport.

Review technical aspects:

  • Double-check any specialized equipment or visual aids to ensure they are functioning properly.
  • Familiarize yourself with the stage setup and microphone placement for seamless delivery.

Warm up your voice and body:

  • Perform vocal warm-up exercises to ensure clarity and projection in your speech.
  • Engage in gentle stretches or movements to release tension and promote a relaxed body language.

By utilizing these strategies ten minutes beforehand, you can optimize your mindset, refine your delivery, and establish an immediate connection with your audience. Remember that these moments set the stage for a memorable speech, allowing you to effectively convey your message, inspire your audience, and leave a lasting impact.

Engaging voters through direct sourcing, especially through canvassing, holds immense power in creating impactful political speeches. By incorporating voter input, speeches can exude authenticity and relatability, connecting with the concerns and aspirations of the electorate. This approach inspires trust and establishes a strong connection between politicians and the people they aim to represent. Crafting well-articulated speeches that resonate with voters is a transformative way to influence opinions and ignite action. As you refine your speech writing skills, remember the significance of actively engaging voters, listening to their stories, and addressing their concerns. By doing so, you will deliver speeches that make a lasting impact, inspire change, and foster a deeper connection with your audience.

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How to Write a Campaign Speech

Last Updated: February 12, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Lynn Kirkham . Lynn Kirkham is a Professional Public Speaker and Founder of Yes You Can Speak, a San Francisco Bay Area-based public speaking educational business empowering thousands of professionals to take command of whatever stage they've been given - from job interviews, boardroom talks to TEDx and large conference platforms. Lynn was chosen as the official TEDx Berkeley speaker coach for the last four years and has worked with executives at Google, Facebook, Intuit, Genentech, Intel, VMware, and others. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 17 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 796,135 times.

A good campaign speech can persuade, excite, and motivate, compensating for weaknesses in other parts of the campaign. Although good speakers make it look natural, there are actually specific techniques you can use to make your own speeches more effective, techniques which apply to all manner of campaign speeches. Whether your speech is for a student election or governmental election, you can use these techniques to transform your speech into one everyone will be talking about.

Sample Speeches

how to write a political campaign speech

Delivering Your Own Student Council Speech

Image titled Mentally Prepare for a Speech Step 11

  • A lot of people get nervous when they give a speech, and when people get nervous they talk fast. But fast talkers seem untrustworthy. So if you get nervous, space out your words (literally, put five spaces in between each word on the page) to keep your speech measured.

Image titled Stop Shaking when Making a Speech Step 15

  • Don't go overboard with informality. You're asking to lead your peers, so they need to trust you can do that. Most people can't lead well, so to convince them you can lead well, your speech should also reflect that you're more capable than an average person. You need to strike a balance. Speak at a level just above the level of a typical conversation.

Image titled Mentally Prepare for a Speech Step 12

  • Instead of: "We need to address the way we schedule our lunch breaks in a reasonable but fair way, because the way we do it now isn't fair to anyone."
  • Try: "We have people eating lunch at 10:30 am. They're still serving breakfast at Burger King at 10:30! It doesn't make sense! By the time 2:00 rolls around, the early lunch kids are starving. There is a better way. We all know it."

Image titled Attend an IEP Meeting Step 4

Structuring a Campaign Speech

Image titled Stop Shaking when Making a Speech Step 12

  • So, if you’re talking to one classroom, don’t only talk to the classroom about a general problem the school has. Talk to the classroom about how that general problem affects them and how you can change it.
  • For example, don’t say: “The breaks in between homeroom and first period aren’t long enough.” Say: “Everybody in homeroom has gotten at least one demerit for being late to first period. We can’t get all the way from North Campus to South Campus in time. Elect me as homeroom representative, and I won’t let the administration forget it.”

Image titled Mentally Prepare for a Speech Step 1

  • The beginning needs to catch people’s attention and raise the questions you’re going to answer. The middle needs to provide the answers, and the end connects the answers back to the questions. In very simple terms: You tell them what you’re going to tell them. Then, you tell them. Then you tell them what you told them.

Image titled Mentally Prepare for a Speech Step 3

  • Don’t say: “My name is Joe Blow, and I’m running for City Council. I’m a member of…”
  • Instead, get right to it. Say: “Not a single person in this city thinks the parking situation on Main St. is adequate. No one.”
  • There's a lot of ways to get this done. You can use a story, a challenge, a joke, or just vividly describe a problem. You just need to get the audience's attention quickly. Earn their attention, don't expect it to come to you.

Image titled Mentally Prepare for a Speech Step 10

  • You want to have a good mix of facts, feelings, and action. If you only talk facts, your audience will get bored. Only talk feelings, and you’ll wear them out. Only talk action, and it invites disbelief, because you haven’t offered enough factual and emotional support for your argument.

Image titled Stop Shaking when Making a Speech Step 16

  • To continue with the parking example, don’t end your speech talking about the width and number of parking spaces on Main St. Make it bigger than that—something that makes them feel weaker for not supporting you and stronger for supporting you.
  • “This isn’t just about parking spaces. The parking situation is just a symptom of everything that’s wrong with the Council in this city. We’ve asked. We’ve begged. We’ve done all we could. Now we have to send a message that they can’t just ignore us.” With this kind of appeal, you put the listener in a position where they are either a person who votes for you or a person who lets themselves be ignored. Most people will take the first choice.

Writing a Political Stump Speech

Image titled Mentally Prepare for a Speech Step 4

  • Your speech needs a clear beginning, middle, and end.
  • The beginning needs to hook the audience, you need to keep them interested through the middle, and the end should leave them nodding their heads in agreement, applauding and on their feet.

Image titled Talk About Race Step 6

  • Staying on message is about more than repeating yourself. Focus on a problem and then offer a solution. Say your issue is healthcare. That’s a multifaceted issue, so bring up specific problems, and offer specific solutions.
  • For example, start by offering the problem: “Prescription drug costs are too high!” Give a few details or anecdotes to illustrate the magnitude of the problem, and then offer your solution: “And that’s why we’re going to negotiate directly with the drug companies to lower prices.”

Image titled Talk Faster Step 9

  • They are one of us and deserve our allegiance because they protect us.
  • They are one of us and understand us because they have lived a life like mine.

Image titled Stop Shaking when Making a Speech Step 7

  • Emotional appeals can turn audiences against things for a simple reason: anger and fear are easy emotions to stimulate.
  • For example, when a politician says: “The system is rigged! They think they’ve got you fooled, but I know different.” They are making an emotional appeal based on stoking the anger of the audience. When they imply that “they” think of the audience as fools, the speaker plays to the audience’s sense of ridicule. This infuriates the audience, turning the audience against “them.”

Image titled Mentally Prepare for a Speech Step 15

  • For example, "Very few of us would argue with the proposition that 99/3=33. That’s because we’ve been logically convinced of its truth. There’s almost nothing a person could do to convince us otherwise, and therein lays the power of a logical appeal. However, it took us far longer to understand division than it did for us to feel anger or fear, or understand that we were part of a group."

Image titled Stop Shaking when Making a Speech Step 10

  • If your biggest appeal is associational, your argument is less about specific points than it is about you. Design your speech to emphasize your biography and why it makes you trustworthy. People elect a person, not a set of ideas.
  • If your biggest appeal is emotional, keep your speech short, so that the audience doesn’t notice the logical flaws. Adjust your energy level to the audience's. If they're agitated, start slowly. If they’re bored, then start off at a higher energy level. Always work to an emotional crescendo, however. Never start at the emotional level you want to finish at.
  • If your biggest appeal is logical, break up the facts with feeling. You can’t risk boring your audience to death, so you need to break up your logical propositions into bite-sized chunks. Think of it as the spoonful of sugar principle—a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.

Image titled Stop Shaking when Making a Speech Step 1

  • If you will be speaking at a podium or beside a table, put your notes on a piece of paper or a notepad--not notecards. Very few people can shuffle notecards discretely enough to look professional while doing it.
  • If you won’t have a podium and you must use notes, get your notes onto one notecard.

Image titled Stop Shaking when Making a Speech Step 13

  • Brevity is the soul of wit. No one is going to remember sixty word sentences. Since you are striving to be memorable, make sure to pepper your speech with short, punchy lines. You don’t want to sound like a limerick, but you do want to use alliteration, assonance, and rhythm to your advantage.
  • For example, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” contains only nine unique words, with seven examples of alliteration.

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  • ↑ Lynn Kirkham. Public Speaking Coach. Expert Interview. 20 November 2019.
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About This Article

Lynn Kirkham

If you’re writing a campaign speech, first outline a beginning that catches people’s attention and raises questions, a middle that provides answers, and an end that connects the answers back to the questions. Then, when you write, open by using a story, a joke, or a challenge to make your main point immediately. Use a mixture of facts, feelings, and actions to support your theme through the middle of the speech. Finally, write a conclusion that makes it clear what’s at stake, using strong, forceful language to convey your position. For more tips on writing a campaign speech, including writing a political stump speech, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Pathways to Politics

Pathways to Politics Knowledge Hub

Find practical tools, information and inspiration to help you in your run for public office.

Five things to consider before you write your political speech

Julia Gillard standing at a podium giving a speech

Speechwriting tips from Joel Deane – part 1 of 2

If you’re reading this blog you either want to or are thinking about walking that pathway to politics and standing for public office.

That’s great.

Now comes the hard part: convincing people to support you.

All of which brings me to the dreaded ‘stump speech’.

Every candidate is told they need one. But what exactly is a stump speech?

Think of it as the political version of an elevator pitch.

Basically, it’s what you’re going to tell people to convince them to back you.

You might deliver a formal version of your stump speech during a preselection contest within a political party – or at a candidates’ forum as part of an election campaign.

Or you might deliver a sawn-off, informal version of your stump speech when you’re meeting people outside the local supermarket, or doorknocking, or cold calling locals on an electorate, or being interviewed by a journalist.

A good stump speech is portable and adaptable .

It can be shortened or lengthened. It can be structurally changed – told in part or back-to-front or sideways. And it can be laterally connected to the broader issues (from schools to hospitals to jobs to housing) that voters care about.

In short, it’s a piece of you.

Here are five things to consider before you write your stump speech.

1. A Speech Is A Conversation

Politics is like football. It’s played differently in different parts of the world.

Take Australian democracy.

Here, voting is compulsory. That means voters are often annoyed when they cast their ballots.

Not only that, Australian voting is preferential. That means those often-annoyed voters usually choose the candidate they hate the least rather than the person they love the most (as occurs in first-past-the-post voting).

Those basic rules of Australian democracy, combined with our relatively egalitarian attitudes, generally mean Australian voters are more inclined to back politicians who look and sound like them – talking to rather than at or down to them.

Put it this way: Australian politics is suburban. It’s not the West Wing. It’s the sausage sizzle at Bunnings.

What does that have to do with your stump speech?

You don’t need to try to sound like a Barack Obama or a Winston Churchill or, God forbid, a Donald Trump.

how to write a political campaign speech

You need to sound like yourself. An amplified, clarified version of yourself that explains who you are, where you come from, how you got here, what you want to do and – most importantly – why that person listening should care about what you care about.

Think of it this way: You’re trying to start a conversation with a roomful of strangers.

2. You’re Telling a Story

Political people talk a lot about ‘narrative’, but that’s just a 50 cent word for ‘story’.

And what is a story?

Past. Present. Future.

Who we are (present), how we got here (past), and where we are going or need to go (future).

In other words, your speech needs to tell a story that connects with the personal and collective lives of people listening.

3. It’s All in the Delivery

Think of your speech like a movie script.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s brilliant on the page. What matters is whether you can deliver the speech on the stage and connect with people.

I’m not saying that the speech draft doesn’t matter (after all, I’m a speechwriter).

What I am saying is that the purpose of a speech draft is to give the speech maker the confidence they need to stand up in front of a bunch of strangers and perform.

And, just to be clear, when I say ‘perform’ I’m not talking about acting a role: I mean being your best self.

4. This is About You

‘Authenticity’ is another of those buzz words thrown around by political people.

That’s another 50 cent word for ‘be yourself’.

Don’t jazz up your lingo. Don’t raid the Thesaurus. Don’t try to sound like Gough Whitlam. Or John Howard. Or Julia Gillard. Or Maggie Thatcher. Or whoever you wish you were.

This process is about getting down to the nitty gritty of who you are.

It’s about thinking about the one thing you want the person or people to know about and care about and saying that one thing.

It’s about speaking in the language and voice that you’d use to communicate with someone you know and care about or love – maybe a parent or a partner or a friend.

It’s about imagining that the person you love isn’t convinced that you should be a politician.

And it’s about finding the words you would use to speak to that person you love and change their mind.

What would you say to them? How would you say it?

Write and speak like that and you’ll be authentic.

Jacqui Lambie’s ‘Dream a little cheaper’ speech is a brilliant example of authenticity that really cuts through.

5. This is Not About You

You’ve thought long and hard about the who, where, what, how, and why of your candidacy.

You have someone in mind and you know the right words and the right way to say those words.

You’re telling your story. You’re speaking in plain language. You’re being your best self. You’re not pretending to be anyone else or putting on an act.

But, remember, this speech is not about you.

The purpose of doing all of this work to get to the heart of the matter about who you are is so that you have the understanding and the authenticity necessary to go out and connect with voters – convincing them you’re the person who best represents their interests.

With that in mind, look for ways to make lateral connections between the personal story you’re telling and the shared story people are living.

If you can make that kind of connection you can make people listen to – and maybe care about – the causes your fighting for.

Now, when you’re ready, read my 10 tips for writing .

how to write a political campaign speech

About the author

Joel Deane is an award-winning poet, novelist, journalist and speechwriter. 

Joel has worked in Melbourne and San Francisco as a journalist, lectured on the use of public language, penned reviews and essays for Australian Book Review , and written speeches for numerous past and present Labor politicians, including Julia Gillard, Bill Shorten, Steve Bracks and John Brumby. 

Joel has published one non-fiction book,  Catch and Kill: The Politics of Power (2015); two novels,  The Norseman’s Song (2010) and Another (2004); and three collections of poetry, Year of the Wasp (2016),  Magisterium (2008) and Subterranean Radio Songs (2005). His third novel, Judas Boys , will be published in 2022.

His writing has won the Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize and been a finalist for numerous literary awards, including the John Bray Poetry Award, Prime Minister’s Literary Award, Judith Wright Calanthe Award, Walkley Book Award, the Melbourne Prize for Literature and the Anne Elder Award. In 2019, Joel delivered the Peter Steele Lecture at the Melbourne Writers Festival.

Joel lives in Melbourne and works as a freelance writer. 

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