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How to Write a Student Body President Speech

by Colleen Reinhart, Demand Media

    You know you've got the stuff to make it as student body president. Now, you just need to convince everyone else so that they cast their ballot for you on voting day. Great campaign speeches are both issue-focused and entertaining. Learn the basics of structure and delivery so that your speech shines and sticks in the minds of your voters.

    Items you will need

    • Knowledge of school issues
    • A core group of supporters and trusted friends
    • Word processing software (optional)

    Gathering and Preparing Content

    Step 1

    Using a pen and paper or word processing software, brainstorm and make notes about your past leadership experiences and personal accomplishments. According to Speech Guru, thinking about your qualifications first will help you to articulate what makes you a good candidate when you actually write your speech. As you think about your experiences, try to link your past to the responsibilities of student body president. Relate how your hobbies, volunteer work and awards have prepared you to better serve your school.

    Step 2

    Make notes about issues you have noticed at school, or complaints that you've heard among students. For each major problem that you note, write some potential solutions that you could implement in your role as student body president.

    Step 3

    Make appointments to meet with the administration (principals and vice-principals) at your school to discuss your proposed solutions to school problems. Great ideas are a start, but your peers will resent you if they elect you based on promises you cannot keep. For example, you may want to increase the number of food options available in the school cafeteria, but a contract with an existing food service provider might keep the school from switching or adding other vendors. If you find that one of your ideas is not workable, administrators can help you to develop more practical, actionable solutions.

    Writing your Speech

    Step 1

    Based on your qualifications and platform, decide on a central theme for your speech and develop a memorable slogan or tagline that summarizes your position. For example, U.S. president Barack Obama focused on reform across the United States, and used the line "change we can believe in" throughout his promotional ads. According to both Scholastic Teachers and Speech Guru, condensing your platform into a single sentence gives your audience a highly memorable take-away message, so that voters recall the gist of your ideas even after specifics are forgotten.

    Step 2

    Write the introduction to your speech. Try to catch the listener's attention from the beginning using a quotation, arresting statement or joke. Welcome and thank the voters for coming to listen to your presentation. At the end of your introduction, provide a summary of the issues you plan to discuss, and include your theme sentence or slogan. Example: "Today, I'll explain why I'm the ideal candidate for student body president. I'll discuss my position on issues A, B and C. Under my leadership, we'll work together to make this school a more welcoming and inclusive community."

    Step 3

    Briefly discuss your relevant experiences and qualifications. Expand upon the notes that you made while you planned your speech to explain how your background makes you a better candidate for president.

    Step 4

    Introduce each of your issues in turn. Explain each problem and why fixing each one is so important. Outline your proposed solution. If applicable, explain why your methods are better solutions than those proposed by your opponents. Emphasize the fact that your ideas have been discussed with the administration, and are indeed doable. To avoid overwhelming your audience, try to stick with three to five critical issues.

    Step 5

    Conclude your speech by repeating a slightly reworded version of the summary included in your introduction to remind listeners what they have heard. Thank your audience, and ask them to cast their votes for you on election day if they agree with your position. Finish with your slogan or theme sentence.

    Style Your World With Color

    Tips

    • According to a group of professional writers interviewed for Scholastic's article "Tips From the Insiders: How to Write a Political Speech" sprinkling some humor into your speech is a good idea. Humor can lighten the mood and keep your audience attentive.
    • Aim for a conversational tone in your speech writing, and don't be afraid to break traditional rules of grammar. People use things like sentence fragments in casual conversation, and speeches can and should have an informal feel to establish a connection with the audience.
    • Don't force yourself to stick to your written speech word-for-word. Allow yourself to talk around your basic ideas so that your presentation feels less rote and more genuine.
    • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Although written preparation is important, delivery is the key to any great speech. Practice eye contact, voice projection and speed. Present the speech to a group of trusted friends, and ask for their honest feedback. Watch famous political speeches on the internet for examples of delivery models to follow.

    About the Author

    A professional writer since 2006, Colleen Reinhart has held positions in technical writing and marketing. She also writes lifestyle, health and business articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Business degree from the University of Waterloo, and a Master's degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Toronto.

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