Speech and Debate Consultants: The Infantry of the Ballot Box Wars
Among the first consultants, as we saw in Chapter 1, were those who advised candidates on speeches. In this chapter we will examine the practices of speech and debate consultants. As with all campaign communication activities, speeches should be delivered primarily to targeted audiences. Hence, the first portion of this chapter will briefly discuss targeting audiences for the candidate to address, and scheduling the candidate. Second, this chapter will examine how speechwriters and speech coaches aid candidates by examining contemporary practices with respect to developing a message. Decisions about what goes into the "stock speech" of a contemporary candidate make use of opposition research; language that is designed for both the immediate audience and a potential media audience; and delivery that is designed to facilitate the candidates' looking their best. Speechwriters and speech coaches provide help to the candidates in each of these capacities. Moreover, such consultants often help prepare candidates for what are frequently the most critical speaking engagements of the campaign, their appearances in debates or multicandidate forums.
No well-run campaign would spend thousands of dollars attempting to communicate with voters without first determining which voters are most essential. The targeting process that guides the selection of media, and the placement of advertisements, direct mail, and other communication media should also guide the targeting of audiences to whom the