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Observations-Meet The Candidates

I recently had the opportunity to emcee or facilitate a “Meet The Candidates” evening hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce and another community action group. This is an event where the community gets to meet candidates for the upcoming local government election. While I certainly do not claim to be an expert in politics or political speeches I did notice inherent issues with a number of the candidates presentations. I am of course generalising and not pointing to a particular candidate and must stress that some of the presentations were well delivered. There were 3 main issues that I wish to address in particular.

Lack of a core message

  • What was the core message?
  • What was the real platform that we should remember you by?
  • What is the one reason, the big WHY should I vote for you?

For a lot of the presentations these simply did not come through loud and clear. While it is easy to try and speak on every issue that needs addressing and all the policies that you wish to cover there still needs to be a clear, defined, single platform. A platform that we can really grasp and give us a reason to vote for you.

Poor time management

All of the candidates had 3 minutes to address the audience. Some of them suggested that they should have had more time. The simple fact is that with 14 candidates on the night there is a limited about of time available. At the end of the day the time really does not matter, it is how the time is managed.

My suggestion is to limit your presentation to about 80% of whatever time is allotted when you are rehearsing (yes you should rehearse). This way you have some breathing space should anything unexpected arises. You can also remain in the present during your talk without your mind wondering about how you are going to finish on time.

Lack of a strong close

This ties into the second point just mentioned and that is that many of the presentations lacked a strong close. Unfortunately also for the candidates who went over time their close was the emcee (in this case me) coming onto stage and asking them to conclude as time was up. The simple fact is that people are more likely to remember your opening and close rather than the detail in the middle so you do not want to be remembered for being hauled offstage.

It is very important to have your own strong close that ties in with your core message.

The other part of the close is that very few had any type of call to action. Many did not even ask for the vote. We have all this information about you now we want to know what is the next step. What do you want us to do now. It could be as simple as asking for the vote, or to ask people to visit your website or connect via social media to obtain detailed policies.


Of course any of these suggestions can be carried over to any presentation in any field.

  • Have a core message
  • Manage your time
  • Have a strong close with a call to action




Richard Hansen

Richard Hansen

Founder of Impact Presentations

Richard is a professional MC, presentation designer and coach and founder of Impact Presentations.

He is happily married with 3 children and currently lives on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland in Queensland, Australia.

Loves trekking, camping, coffee and generally hanging out with friends and trying new experiences.

Richard’s personal website can be viewed here……