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A Nominating Speech

( Originally Published 1901 )

The great conventions that nominate candidates for the Presidency of the United States furnish examples on the largest scale of the nominating speech.

But officers of societies of almost any character may be nominated in addresses that are very similar. The following outline of a speech of general character may be easily modified to suit any case in which such help is desired.

Mr. Chairman It gives me great pleasure to place before you, the name of a candidate who is so well qualified and so fully deserving of this honor, and of every other, that may be conferred upon him, as

In giving him your votes, you can make no mistake. [Here state previous offices held, or trusts filled, or other evidences of fitness for the post in view.] In addition, I am happy to state that he represents [here name locality, section, class, or opinion, being careful to adduce only those which will be pleasing to the persons whose votes are sought.] On his behalf, I can promise faithful service, and the prompt discharge of every duty. Others may have as much zeal for the cause: some may have as long a training for the duties of this office; a few may possibly have as legitimate a claim upon any honors or rewards in your gift, but where else can you find such a combination of claims ?

The illustrative anecdote will naturally be of the candidate himself, of his popularity, availability, or other good quality, or of some person or element strongly supporting him.


1. An honor of which any man must be deeply sensible as well as proud. The importance or high character of the body making the nomination.

2. The degree of surprise felt that the candidate should be preferred to so many worthy competitors. Why the honor is especially prized, and the reasons, if any; why the candidate would have preferred a different selection.

3. The motives which make him willing to bear the burdens entailed by this nomination.

4. The hope of being able to support his competitors for other offices, or other terms of this office,

5. With all his sense of unworthiness, the candidate dares not set up his judgment against that of the honorable body which has named him, for the office of , and he therefore bows to their decision and gratefully accepts the [unexpected ?] honor conferred upon him. Should the people—not for his sake, but for the sake of the cause represented—have the intelligence and good judgment [of which there is not a shadow of doubt?] to indorse the nomination, he will exert all the power he possesses, to faithfully fill the position their choice has bestowed upon him.

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