Campaigning for State Office


Campaigning for State Office

by Ashley Speck, Vice President of Chapter Activities

Campaigning for a BPA state officer position may be intimidating. Depending on how you look at it, there may be a different process from campaigning for a local chapter officer position than a state officer position. For my local chapter, you must write a speech and present it in front of the chapter, then using a google form everyone voted for who they wanted to obtain certain positions. However, when it came to running for a state officer position it was similar to the same process of my local chapter, but the audience was larger and the voting process was different. I know this may seem very intimidating. So, if you find yourself in a bind, here are nine tips on how to get through campaigning at the state level.

1. It’s okay to mess up – If you make a few errors, people will most likely forget by the end.

2. Your peers are forgiving – If something catastrophically goes wrong don’t worry. People do understand that mistakes happen to everyone. Also, sometimes mistakes are out of your hands and your peers will be there to help you. People will most likely forgive and forget.

3. Don’t forget to smile – Something so easy yet many people have forgotten to smile. Sometimes even if you are scared it makes you feel way more confident just to smile. Smiling makes you look more approachable and more understanding. When one smiles it makes them appear as a strong human who can understand a stressful task of leading and speaking to a team.

4. Sometimes you must think outside the box to move forward – Not every task on hand is going to be able to be solved by just simply googling it. Sometimes you are going to have to rely on your peers and advisors to complete a task. Sometimes you even may have to work with people you normally don’t complete a task. A good example of this is making sure any speeches appeals to all the audience and not just the people you know.

5. Think on the fly – You cannot plan for everything. If you forget to mention something at one point in your speech you can mention it later when the time is relevant again. Also, there may be questions that you did not expect someone to ask you. You need to be able to adapt to any situation that is on hand.

6. Make yourself visual – People will need to recognize your face to your name. Leave a lasting impression because at the end there potentially could be many names to remember and you want them to remember yours. You also need to make sure you are reachable, don’t become unapproachable because you are still a peer.

7. Look Presentable – Now this does not mean dress up by any means. Dress for the occasion. Make sure your hair looks nice! I would not suggest rocking sweatpants unless you see fit. I would suggest dressing for the part, and if for you that means wearing a tie then be it, but if that means wearing a nice pair of jeans then that’s wonderful.

8. Project your voice – Don’t yell when you’re talking to your whole chapter. But instead, use a mellow tone of voice and project your voice to all corners of the room. You cannot use small talk or a voice that would be used in your group of friends. This is not only about tone, but it is also about the words you say. When campaigning you should use words fit for the occasion.

9. Treat all with respect – Treat others how you wish to be treated. Understand that you may have competition, but you are classmates’ first, competitors second. People may not always agree with you, and that is okay, but respect their opinions. When campaigning you will have to undertake the mission to help everyone. You have to understand that people are sometimes unintentionally disrespectful and just treat them with respect and you will get through this.

With keeping these in mind you are ready to campaign for a local officer position. Also, these are just tips, it is your campaign at the end of the day. You can rock it however you may choose.


Maurice S. Henderson