If you are writing a school election speech, chances are that you are running for a student government position. You want to build a great speech with strong, persuasive arguments that influence others - and influence their vote, too. Keep reading for some advice on writing a school election speech that people will like - and remember.
When you deliver your speech, you'll only have a limited time. That being the case, you need to focus on delivering a few key points very well, rather than lots of random points in an unclear fashion.
Allow yourself plenty of time to brainstorm topics and put together a well-formulated argument. Be specific and stay on topic. Start building up a profile of yourself and thinking about the messages you want to send your peers. What issues have inspired you to run? What qualities make you well-suited for the office?
Once you've done your brainstorming, it's time for pen to hit paper, or at least for fingertips to clatter on the keyboard.
Step 1: Who Are You?
Not everyone at school knows you. Tell them who you are, and do so in a way that showcases your best qualities. Some ideas to consider:
- What clubs have you been a part of?
- Do you have any experience with government or leadership positions?
- Do you follow class politics and are you active in helping others make decisions?
Step 2: Extracurriculars
Are you a leader outside of school? Students who aren't part of what you do probably don't know it.
What do you do off-campus that engages with the larger school community? Arts programs like music and theatre, community organizations like 4-H or Scouts, and sports teams are all good bets to show how well-rounded and well-connected you are.
Step 3: Network
As many wise folks have said, "It's not what you know; it's who you know." Do you have a network of friends who can hand out flyers and convince voters? Get 'em moving! Incorporate their successes into your speech: if everybody on campus has seen one of your flyers, obviously you know how to motivate fellow students in a project!
Step 4: Principles
We saved the most important for last. Are you eager to help influence your school and the community for the better? Ask yourself:
- What issues inspired you to get into student government?
- What successes can you point to?
- What problems can you improve?
That's the most important part of the speech. Build everything else around it. For help staying focused on your core issues, try a keyword outline.
Tips for a Great School Election Speech
Once it becomes time to actually deliver your speech, you should already have our 4-step process down by rote. Just focus on what you want to get done. A good basic rule is to pick two main issues you want to address. Then:
- Introduce yourself and give a quick - emphasis on quick - summary of your successes in and out of school.
- Present your main issues and intended solutions.
- Encourage your audience to vote for you.
- Tell them that their vote for you is critical.
- Thank them at the end of your speech for their time.
In a good speech, presentation counts for at least as much as content. Make sure that you balance your humility and modesty with your leadership potential and confidence.
It's tempting to go negative. Pointing out the flaws in other candidates' arguments may seem like a surefire way to make yourself look better.
Don't be fooled. Going negative is the Dark Side: quicker, easier, more seductive, but ultimately the good guys win. Use your time to make yourself look good, and if your opponents go negative, acknowledge that they've done so in your speech but refuse to rise to their bait. After all, your concern isn't your opponents. It's the wellbeing of your class.
Example of a School Election Speech
Read through this example speech for some inspiration.
Hello, everyone! I'm Pat D. Candidate, and I want to be the next sophomore class president at Townsville Academy. I'm a 4.0 student, captain of the soccer team and president of the Latin Club. I want to put my leadership experience to work for all of Townsville High.
I'm very concerned about the state of the arts programs at Townsville. Choir and band are both short on funding, and the theatre program has gone from four shows a year to just two. I have a plan for a series of fundraising concerts and events where all three programs support one another and bring in new contributions.
I've also been heavily involved in the debate over the new soccer stadium. Obviously, I love soccer - go Tigers! - but I believe the funding currently allocated to build a new soccer field could be better spent elsewhere. We already have a perfectly good field, and other programs need that funding far more. If elected, I hope to convince the school administrators to put that money to better use.
I know Colin made some comments about my ideas in his speech. This isn't the appropriate forum for that. If Colin or any other student has questions about my policies, I invite them to attend the all-candidates debate next Wednesday. Anyone who wants to attend can come, and snacks will be provided.
I promise to keep running a positive campaign, to keep my policies transparent, and to focus all my energy on the wellbeing of the Townsville sophomore class. I'm Pat D. Candidate, and I need your vote!
A good speech is vital to success in student government. In many cases, your speech will be your only real chance to make your case directly to your fellow students. Follow our steps, stay focused on your issues and you have a real chance of success.
For more on oratory in general, check out our article on persuasive speech. Mix and match that advice with the suggestions in this article and you can't go wrong.