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

Gray Davis demonstrates the Power FistA 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.

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