Have you thought of putting yourself forward this year to be Head Boy, Head Girl or to be on the Student Council? If not, now would be a good time to think about putting yourself forward.
But if you are going to be successful, then there are some things you need to think carefully about and prepare for properly.
- Be clear why you want the role?
- Don’t be afraid to put yourself forward
- Do your research
- Talk to people and listen to their ideas before putting yours forward
- Under promise and over deliver
- Remember it’s not a popularity contest, unless you let it be
- Don’t be negative about other people
- Show Leadership and above all Be Inspiring
Firstly you need to be clear why you want the role
- feel strongly about something you want to achieve or change in your school?
- want to improve your CV for university applications?
- want to make a difference and help other people?
- just want it for your own personal development and to improve your self-confidence?
Whatever your reason, be clear about it in your own mind, or you will not convince others you are serious.
But don’t be afraid to put yourself forward – Even if you’re shy, this shouldn’t stop you from putting yourself forward for a role like this because it will help develop your self-confidence and ability to get your opinions across to others.
So the first step is to do some research – Find out what it will mean to take on this role.
- Talk to the current Head Boy a Head Girl or current members of the student council in your school and find out what it is they do and why they put themselves forward.
- Reading blogs like this and others can also help you understand what it is you will be taking on and what you have to do to get yourself elected to one of these positions.
- Talk to your class teacher about it too and ask for their advice
- And of course don’t be afraid to ask to see the Headteacher because ultimately you are likely to be working with them.
Talk to other people and listen to their opinions and issues – Don’t assume you know all the issues that other people are worried about. Before deciding the basis of your campaign, go out and talk to people in your school.
- Start with your class and your friends and then talk to other people around the school
- Make sure you ask them what they think of your ideas, not what they think of you
- Ask if other people see things the same way as you or whether they have other issues
Be open to other people’s issue and ideas even if they’re not the same as yours and be willing to add to your ideas or change some of them, to make sure that you’re putting things forward that others will vote for.
Under Promise and Over Deliver – It’s important that you don’t set unrealistic expectations. So be honest with yourself and with others. Work out
- what you think is important to other people that you think you can realistically deliver
- what it is you can do to move those issues along
Remember that it’s not a popularity contest – unless you let it become one – This is not about how popular you are, it’s about the issues you are standing for, how you put them across and what people believe that you can do for them. Don’t try and be something you aren’t.
- What issues you will put forward
- How do you intend to tackle them
- How you will convince people that you’re the person that they should back to do that.
- Make sure that’s what they think is important too.
If someone says they won’t be voting for you, be polite but be clear and say why you believe they should reconsider and what you can do for them if they were to elect you.
Don’t be negative – You will of course meet negative people and your competitors may also be negative about you and criticize you for what you have or haven’t done.
But generally people don’t want to hear the negatives. They want to hear what it is you can do to help and support them and make things better, not why you think somebody else is worse than you.
So be positive and paint a clear picture of what you can achieve for other people and why you’re the best person to do it
Show leadership – Don’t just pick safe, simple things. Look for the issues that really matter to people and be prepared to take a risk.
- Many people aren’t confident enough to speak out and want somebody to speak out on their behalf.
- Be prepared to take a risk and to deal with difficult or controversial issues that need to be tackled like bullying or unfairness.
People look for Leadership and Leaders are people who will stand up for the issues that matter and make everybody’s voice heard on their behalf.
Be Inspiring – When people hear what you have to say, you want them to think:
Yes, that’s the person I want as just the head boy or girl, or on the school student council, putting the issues forward that I care about. This person makes their points well and isn’t afraid to say what needs to be said. That’s the person I’m going to give my vote for!”