Being a candidate for class representative (in high school) or student (in college) is one of the first leadership opportunities many students have in life. To win this contest, you'll need to plan your campaign and try to convince your peers that you're the right person for the role. Therefore, plan what to say in detail before writing your final pleading speech. Just be sure to use a friendly and inclusive tone when speaking to voters!
Method 1 of 3: Planning Your Speech
Step 1. Think of two or three projects you plan to create as a rep
Reflect on two or three subjects that are important to your classmates or coursemates. You can think of more, but be careful not to write a proposal that is too long or full of superfluous information. It is better to address topics that have a real impact inside and outside the classroom. For example:
- At school: imagine that the class representative will be responsible for talking to the coordination about the possibility of allowing students to use card games during breaks in classes. You can use this as one of your arguments when running for representative.
- In college: let's say your class is overwhelmed with the volume of assignments, exams, and other assessments that the various subject teachers are going through. As a representative, your role will be to ask these professors to rethink their methods and get lighter with the students.
- You can still commit to solving all the problems for each individual student, even if you need to call in the school or course coordination, and make everyone feel heard.
think of problems you can help change. It's no use making promises without intending to keep them all, or your colleagues won't feel represented.
Step 2. List all the ways you get involved in the institution
You have to show your peers that you are an active member of the school or college culture. Make it clear how seriously you take the time you spend at the institution and in each other's company. Think of the following terms:
- Functions that you have already performed as a student.
- Groups and teams in which you have participated.
- Events of the institution in which you participated.
- Events that you have helped to organize.
- Functions that you have performed as a volunteer.
Step 3. Think of the ways you've shown that you have a leadership streak
Include everything you've done not only for high school or college, but for the community as well. Use this experience to convince the class that you have the skills to be a representative. For example:
- Include projects and jobs in which you have taken a leadership role and which have paid off.
- Also include roles you played behind the scenes, such as organizing events.
Step 4. Choose transitional expressions that add cohesion to your speech
Since no one is going to take notes while listening to your plea, you need to make the structure of your speech very clear from start to finish. Simple expressions such as "First", "Next" and the like help to hold the audience's attention.
- For example: use "First", "Second", "Next", "Then", "Further", "Likewise", "On the other hand" and the like.
- Also try to use consistent sentence structures in your speech. For example: say "The first time we came together for a common problem…", name a specific situation that the class worked out together, continue with "The second time this happened…", and so on.
Step 5. Keep it brief and simple
Nobody has much patience for listening to very long or confusing speeches. Almost everyone prefers texts that are simpler and to the point! Whenever possible, exchange your longer ideas for shorter ones. The first version of the speech may even be extensive, but subsequent versions should be increasingly filtered.
- Respect the speech time ceiling. Find out how much time each candidate has and respect this limit when writing the text.
- Whenever possible, write several preview versions of the speech before reaching the final. Take the opportunity to review the language, sentence order, focus and other elements of the text.
Method 2 of 3: Structuring Your Speech
Step 1. Give a brief and simple presentation
This part is pure formality, as the class is likely to know you in depth. Still, explain why you are applying for the student or class representative position.
For example: "Hi, guys. I'm João, but I think everyone here knows me. I want to be a student representative to take our vision of an ideal school (or college) to the coordination (or collegiate of the course) and other instances". Here, the justification for your candidacy is in the vision that your class has
Step 2. Explain two or three key points that you will resolve as a representative
Describe what you intend to do and how it will benefit all colleagues, putting more emphasis on forms of cooperation. Also, don't stray from the central theme of your proposal. For example:
- If you want to use the theme of "class vision" as the theme of your application, start by talking about project proposals that your colleagues have to improve communication with teachers.
- Say "Together, I know that we are going to be able to transform our school (or college) into a space for dialogue and cooperation between professors and students. That way, we can put into practice projects that improve coexistence."
Step 3. Tell your colleagues why you think you are qualified to be a representative
Tell us a little about the leadership roles you've played and the good decisions you've made in the past for the benefit of your school, college, or the community as a whole. Give concrete examples and also show that you are open to suggestions.
- Name each successful project you helped implement in high school or college as a leader.
- If you have never been the leader of any project, at least cite life experiences in which you proved to be decisive and open to cooperation.
- An example of an idea for a college representative's speech: "When I was president of the junior company of the course, I tried to partner with companies in the field that are already in the market in order to open possible job openings for our colleagues who are graduating".
Step 4. Explain why you are different from your competitors, but without attacking anyone
Bad-mouthing other candidates is almost never a good thing, especially in high school or college elections. There is a high risk that this will backfire and alienate your would-be voters. So explain the differences between yourself and others in terms of future actions, not past actions. Use facts and never distort the truth just to gain an advantage.
For example: "Although our current representative has done a good job with the relationship between students and faculty, I will be dedicated to creating a broader spirit of inclusion with all members of our class and the institution."
Step 5. Finish by asking your peers to vote
Summarize what you will be doing for the class or course and thank everyone for their attention. Finally, ask for the vote at election time.
- Say "Together I know we can make the academic environment much more inclusive and visionary. Thank you for your attention and I count on your vote!"
- You can also create a campaign slogan, although it's more "cheesy" and makes more sense in political campaigns.
Method 3 of 3: Using the Correct Tone
Step 1. Use assertive and confident body language
Keep your spine straight and tighten your shoulder blades, taking care not to look arrogant or look like a robot. Make eye contact with the audience from time to time, gesture with your hands, and don't cross your arms.
- You can smile or use a neutral expression.
- Practice your body language in front of the mirror before the big day.
Step 2. Use a tone of dialogue with colleagues
Create the feeling that you want to chat with colleagues, as if you were talking directly to each of them. Just change the structure of your sentences and opt for something more casual, which is not so tied to grammar (depending on the case). Imagine you are chatting with your friends!
- For example: say "Everyone here wants to feel listened to and respected by the teachers, but today it's a little difficult to create ways of communicating with them. Let's change that!"
- Read the speech aloud as you write it. See if all the sentences make sense and contribute with your ideas, and delete anything that seems out of place.
- You can repeat some key words when writing the speech, always trying to draw attention to these specific points.
Step 3. Use a formal or serious tone if your school or college is more traditional
It's rare, but some schools and colleges are traditional and a little stricter about the forms of expression allowed among students. Pay attention not to give the public the wrong image and end up being removed from the dispute by the teachers or coordination.
- In this case, strictly follow the rules of Portuguese grammar and use more focused and less casual keywords. For example: don't use expressions like "we'll go", but "we'll go".
- Imagine that you are going to deliver the speech in front of your teachers, not your peers, and that you need to respect the formality of the situation.
- If you really need to be formal, watch videos of great speeches from history on YouTube to get an idea of what to do.
Step 4. Add a dash of humor to the speech
People will pay more attention to the speech and support your ideas if you tell jokes and funny stories and show your playful and relaxed side. Start with a comment like that and incorporate several of them throughout your speech.
- Do not include any offensive or inappropriate comments or jokes in the speech.
- Take the audience into consideration when adding that bit of humor to your speech. It's no use including inside jokes that your friends understand but other people don't.
- If possible, include funny comments that have a direct bearing on the topic of the speech. It also creates a sense of inclusion and belonging, as it appeals to situations (comical or otherwise) that the students themselves have lived or often live.
Step 5. Change "I" to "we" to create a cooperative tone
The public will feel more included in your proposals, and you will show that you are not the only one who can make suggestions regarding the representation of the class. This is a classic strategy in politics.
For example: say "It will be much easier to solve the problem if we help each other" rather than "If I am elected, I will do everything I can to solve the problem"
a political campaign, no matter the scope, should always bring proposals that include the community ("we"), not just a leading figure ("me").
- Use other campaign materials to spread your ideas. For example: put together an information pamphlet explaining your proposals better and distribute it among colleagues, think of a slogan and so on.
- Wear proper clothing on debate and election day. This depends on the culture of your school or college: it might be better to wear something formal, but candidates may be free to choose what they want to wear (although they should use common sense).
- Rehearse your speech in front of the mirror several times before the big day. Observe your own gestures and appearance and ask friends, relatives and colleagues for feedback.