I recently had to make a speech to get elected to a position – this was trickier than I imagined. It often goes against our grain to promote ourselves so directly – most of us prefer a more subtle approach. I had plenty of  material to draw from – past achievements and a track record. However, the most important thing I had to do was to answer questions that the audience may be asking themselves. In other words, how would my election solve their problems or be directly relevant to what they wanted to achieve?

How do you get that kind of insight into the minds of your audience? The best way is to listen to them. I chatted with many of the voters prior to the election. I took careful note of questions that came up and issues that they raised. I then drafted my election speech around my audience. I started off posing a question to them – asking them what they would consider before they took on a leadership role. By doing this, I involved them from the first sentence. I took them along with me as I spoke. When I mentioned a skill set that I had, I framed it in terms of the personal benefit they would derive from that skill set  if I was elected. I did that more than once in the speech.

I also reminded them that they were part of a team and that dreams and visions only became reality if we work together as a team. All my achievements were evidence of team work. I then told them that if they wanted me to be part of their team, they had to vote for me. In this type of persuasive speech, it is vital that the ‘call to action’ be very direct and clear.

I was delighted to be elected, to be voted to be part of the team. Next time you have to speak to get elected or promoted, craft your speech wisely. You can be very effective if you know who you are speaking to. If you know what they need to hear, you can craft a very persuasive speech.

Good Luck! Let me know how it goes….