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        Officer Candidate Speeches

        10/31/2012
        Contributed by National Officers

        Happy autumn, BPA!

        Once you have built your campaign for local office, it is time to write and prepare a dynamic speech!

         I’ve written several campaign speeches over the past three years and I have had the privilege of being coached by several individuals who are well trained and experienced in the area. From them and my own research, I’ve picked up many hints and tips along the way. And now, I want to share them with YOU so that you can take them, modify them to your needs and BLOW your audience away!

        • Always start with a bang. Use a quote, ask a question, tell a story, etc. – something to grab your listeners’ attention. Never start by saying “My name is (blank) and I am here to tell you…” You want to give them a reason to listen. First impressions are everything! But be sure that you do introduce yourself near the beginning.
        • Tell them why you are qualified to serve as officer, why they should vote for YOU! Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself a little bit. Talk about your leadership, academic and BPA achievements. Also mention important soft skills such as team player, passionate, ambitious, etc. Just be sure that you don’t talk about yourself TOO long.
        • Tell them your most important ideas – what you want to do for the BPA and the members! Remember, it’s about them!
        • Make sure you organize your points so that they flow smoothly. Use transitions.
        • Don’t use the same word too many times in one sentence or in several sentences close together. For example, instead of saying “people” too many times, try using “individuals” or “the members” instead.
        • Remember to tie in your campaign slogan.
        • End with a bang. Most of the time, the first and last things you say are what stick in the audience’s minds. This doesn’t always have to be just the last line you say. It can even be the last couple of sentences – your whole conclusion could wow them!
        • Keep it short and sweet – 2 to 3 minutes is the norm.
        • When you are ready to give your speech, make sure you are dressed professionally. Gentlemen, you could wear a suit; pair of nice slacks, dress shirt and tie; slacks with a sweater; or, if it is a pretty informal setting, you could get by with a nice polo and dress pants. Of course, you would want to wear nice shoes as well. Ladies – a pants or skirt suit; dress slacks or skirt with a nice blouse or sweater; or a professional dress. Moderate jewelry, coordinating pumps and hosiery when appropriate.
        • Be well groomed.
        • Get plenty of sleep the night before.
        • Drink a little bit of water before hand – so your mouth won’t be so dry.
        • And, above all, PRACTICE your speech before you present it. Memorize it. Practice in front of your family, friends, teachers and/or advisors. Ask for feedback.

         Don’t worry if you are nervous about giving your speech – everyone usually is. Plus, it is always good to be a little nervous to keep you alert and help you do your best. Just take a few deep breaths, give yourself a pep talk and go for it! You will rock that speech!

         Stay tuned next time for advice on serving as a local officer. If you’d like, email me any questions you have about serving as a local officer and I will be happy to answer them in my next blog post. My email is nsmith@bpa.org.

         

        Best regards,

         

        Natasha Smith

        National Post-Secondary Vice President

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