Dr. Politics – 30 Second Sound Bites
By Dwight Patel, 1st Vice Chair, MCGOP
Many people say we live in an ADD nation that only has an attention span of 30 seconds. True or not, as a candidate, you need to be able to craft your message to a potential voter in 30 seconds.
Why Only 30 seconds?
The amount of facetime you will get with potential voters is about 30 seconds, whether it is at a transit point, door knocking, or at a dinner or other event. You need to maximize the number of people you can reach and get your message out in a short sound bite.
When you are knocking on doors, you’ll quickly discover that most people don’t open doors these days. However, when they do, they don’t intend to listen to you drone on for five minutes, explaining why you are running for office.
Before you start door knocking, you should practice in front of a mirror and with friends. My former communications teacher would disagree with this strategy, but practicing in front of mirror isn’t as effective as it is with real people. Sorry Mrs. Walker, the mirror is a great prop when giving a speech, but not as effective for an elevator speech.
Here’s what you should be able to accomplish in 30 seconds:
Before anyone opens the door, make sure to SMILE. Tell them who you are: describe yourself and your campaign. Tell them what you plan to do and show enthusiasm! WHAT DO YOU OFFER?Tell them what problems you have solved or contributions you have made. Offer a vivid example. Tell them why you are interested in them and WHY THEY SHOULD VOTE FOR YOU,
Give a concrete example of your ideas or tell a short story that demonstrates your unique ability to provide solutions. CALL FOR ACTION:Do you want a business/palm card, or would you like additional information?
CHECKLIST FOR FINE TUNING
STEP 1: Write down everything you can think of about how you can do better next time (you can always do better).
STEP 2: Cut out the jargon and details. Construct strong short and powerful sentences. Eliminate unnecessary words.
STEP 3: Connect the phrases to each other. Your elevator speech has to flow naturally and smoothly.
STEP 4: Memorize key points and practice.
STEP 5: Create different versions of your elevator speech.
It is extremely important that you nail down your 30 second elevator speech, since it will be very beneficial to you while door knocking or at transit centers and events.
Things to Watch Out For
Don’t argue while you are door knocking. All this does is prevent you from going to other doors. (Dr. Politics has been known to mix it up with Democrat door knockers). You don’t want to allow them to pull you away from your objective, which is knocking on as many doors as you can in an afternoon. Remember: You can’t convince everyone, and people who are argumentative are just trying to keep you from hitting other doors. The same advice goes for your behavior at events. Don’t Engage in Futile Debates.