STRATEGIES FOR PREPARING FOR POLITICAL OFFICE
The fundamental objective of the majority of women that engage in politics is not only to gain power but also to use the leadership position to advance and provide desired services or goods to the constituent group that they purport to represent. Women are every bit as capable of being political leaders as men yet they continue to be marginalised in many areas of society, especially in the sphere of leadership and decision making. Melinda Gates appropriately stated that a woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman but the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult. In the quest to find their voice in political circle, it is imperative that women prepare themselves sufficiently to run for political office.
It is important for women to connect with community leaders and get involved in local community initiatives and course to enable them understand the issues that that affect the community and how to address them. It is also imperative to set up a political team to help in formulating and implementing the strategies needed to win an election.
The following are the crucial aspects that one needs to deliberate on while preparing to run for political office;
- Presentation in terms of personal branding and personal presentation
- Public Speaking
- Dealing with propaganda
- Boosting confidence
In the action arena a person is judged by appearance. How a person presents herself tells whether the person:
- Cares about him/herself and what he/she thinks about themselves.
- Pays attention to details
- Conduct themselves in a professional manner
- Is capable of communicating their ideas effectively
Often all that people initially have to consider in deciding whether to pay attention is the external presentation of a person.
Personal branding describes the process by which individuals differentiate themselves and stand out from a crowd by identifying and articulating their unique value position. It enhances their recognition as experts in their field, establishes reputation and credibility to advance their careers as well as build confidence.
Personal brand helps to communicate what one stands for (competencies and qualities), what one is committed to (standards) and how an individual presents themselves to others.
Components of a personal brand.
The components of a personal brand include:
- Appearance in terms of body language, clothing attire and overall posture.
- Personality which espouses personal behaviour, communication skills and attitude towards people.
- Competencies which is comprises special skills needed to fulfil tasks allotted
- Differentiation in terms of what separates an individual from others and leaves a lasting impression in the minds of others.
The most important aspects of personal branding include development of a logo, colour themes, nick name, dress code, and walking habits among others.
Public speaking is the process or act of performing a speech to a live audience. This type of speech is structured, with the general purpose to inform and to persuade. It is commonly understood as formal, face to face speaking of a single person to a group of listeners. Public speaking must be contrasted with casual conversation. In casual conversation the language is not formal although it may be used to inform or persuade, mostly it is used for entertainment. Public speaking on the other hand is more structured and generally takes on a more formal language. The audience does not engage with the speaker. It takes careful planning and research.
A good public speaker is one who:
- Has a definite agenda or issues to address
- Reads the mood of the audience (voters) before selecting the best approach to share the targeted agenda/issues
- Projects his/her voice
- Dresses appropriately for the occasion
- Handles criticism, propaganda in a strategic way.
Dealing with propaganda
Propaganda is information, especially of a biased nature used to promote or publicise a particular political party or point of view. The word propaganda is often used in a negative sense especially for politicians who make false claims to get their way. In fact any campaign that is used to persuade can be called propaganda.
People who are successful have confidence in their ability to achieve their goals. They project that confidence and it inspires other people to work with them and trust in their capabilities. Although they have their moments of doubt they believe in themselves, their vision and their ability to accomplish it. We don’t need to set out to do something major. We just need to stick with it until we achieve success. This builds our confidence and allows us to tackle the next challenge.