It is crucial for a successful politician to have a powerful stage presence.
The majority of people who watch political speeches have little interest
in what is being said. They are evaluating a speaker's delivery style and
mannerisms while paying scant attention to the content of the speech. The
speech can and should be filled with cliches (listed below), interspersed
with facts and figures that may or may not have some connection with reality.
But the speaker must look convincing while delivering a speech, even in
the rare case that something of significance is being said.
- The Power Fist
- A speaker should always have the hands in motion and make
plentiful use of authoritative gestures. The most important hand position
is the Power Fist. To attain this position, follow these simple steps:
1) Raise one hand to about chest-level.
2) Make a fist with the thumb on top.
3) Slightly uncurl the index finger so that the thumb rests in the
notch of the middle joint of the index finger.
You should have the position demonstrated by former California governor Gray Davis in the adjacent photo --
a good way to
visualize the Power Fist is to imagine you are holding a small American flag. The key component of this gesture is having the
thumb clearly protruding above the clenched fingers.
You are now ready to make your statements with confidence and authority.
The best way to use the Power Fist is to punch the air while simultaneously
emphasizing individual words at the end of a sentence. Let's say you are proposing
some program and you want to promise that there's something in it for everybody.
End your last statement with "...FOR-EACH-AND-EVERY-AMERICAN...", each word
spoken in cadence with a deliberate punching move from the Power Fist.
This will guarantee applause from your audience.
Pauses add drama to boring speeches. If you do not include pauses, you
might as well sing your audience a bedtime lullaby - the effect will be
the same. While pauses are always important, it is critical to interject
them in any theme that involves Seniors, Families, or Our Children. Here, one
can bite the lower lip as if you are about to be overcome with the emotion
of the moment. It's very convincing.
- Cliches for Speeches
A good political speech should use lots of cliches, the choice of which
depends on whether you are an incumbent, a challenger, or just trying to
impress your constituency. Here's a sampling:
This country has a proud heritage.
I've journeyed into the heartland of America.
I've met with real Americans.
We are the defenders of freedom around the world.
We're the leaders of the free world.
We're the greatest country in the world.
No dream is beyond our reach.
We're one people bound together by a common set of ideas.
Let's celebrate our diversity.
We'll find out how great a nation we can be.
- For Incumbents
- Our country is as strong as it's ever been.
This country has come a long way.
This country is headed in the right direction.
We're a better, stronger country than we were four years ago.
These are the most peaceful, prosperous times in our history.
We still have a lot to do.
The real credit goes to the American people.
- For Challengers
- The middle-class deserve a tax cut.
It's time to get tough on crime.
Let's take back our streets from the criminals.
We must win the war on drugs.
We need affordable health care for all Americans.
We need affordable prescription drugs for seniors.
We have to break the gridlock in Washington.
We have to change the tone in Washington.
Are you better off today than you were four years ago?
It's time for a change.
It's time for a new beginning.
It's time for real leadership.