Your Stump Speech Should Tell Your Story

A picture of an open book on top of a rug

Your Resume is NOT your Stump Speech. Connect with voters by telling your story.

Wired for storytelling

Stories have been a part of civilization since the dawn of time. Stories have been used to pass down history through generations. It is also how we connect with each other through a shared humanity. It’s no wonder we’re all wired to engage with and react to stories that includes voters! Stories are all around us in books, TV, movies, music, news, brunch, literally everywhere.  As a candidate you’ll get much farther with your constituents by telling a story to show people your vision versus just throwing facts and data at them.

Your resume is NOT your stump speech

We’ve all been there. Waiting to hear from a candidate and all we get is a rundown of their resume of accomplishment.  Spoiler alert: your degrees and awards won’t buy you love from voters. Yes, having them is important but defining yourself by them is not going to create an emotional connection with your audience. Your stump speech should show not tell your story. It should weave in your accomplishments as supporting evidence but not the main plot line.

Voters are emotional

People are not rational beings and we often make decisions based on our emotions rather than the facts. If you look at the sweeping victories for Obama and Trump the one thing that connects them is that they both got voters to feel something. Obama’s entire campaign was based on hope and aspiration, while Trump’s was based in fear and division. Two very different strategies but both based in telling emotionally captivating narratives.

Start with the “why?”

Voters want to know why you are running for office. They want to hear your motivation, so they can see if they trust you or not. Voters know what the problems in their communities are, so instead of repeating them back, tell them how they’ve affected you and your community.

For example, if education is your core issues, don’t start by throwing out all the stats and facts about struggling, underfunded schools. Start by showing voters how this is affecting actual people, specifically children, talk about a student who was not able to reach their full potential because of the lack of funding or current policies in place. That way, you’re painting a picture and humanizing the issue for voters, so they see it more personally.

Three easy steps

  1. Start with who you are. Where you’re from, your family, your connection to the community?
  2. Tell a story about the issue(s) you’re running on. Who specifically is being harmed by these problems?
  3. Offer contrast with your solution. Why are you the best person to implement the best solution to resolve these issue(s). How will you address them?

Every stump speech will be different, but if you can speak from the heart and tell people your story they are much more likely to remember you when it comes to casting their vote.



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