Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by 2017-2018 International President Amanda Karpinski.
Running for international office is an incredible experience that I would recommend to anyone who loves PTK and wants to try something new. There is no certain type of member that is eligible to run — any PTK member in good standing can do it!
Serving as an International Officer does not require a certain major, nor does it require a prior PTK leadership position. Here are a few helpful tips to get ready for running for International Office.
1. Complete the International Office Candidate Application
Don’t wait to download the Candidate Application. You must get signatures from your college president and chapter advisor to show that you have the support of both your school and chapter.
The deadline to submit the application is February 21, so don’t wait until the day before to see if your college president or advisor is available to sign your application. Set up an appointment well in advance so you can have the opportunity to explain why you want to run for international office.
2. Write and Practice Your Honors Study Topic Speech
Each candidate running for international office is required to prepare a speech on the same theme of the 2018/2019 Honors Study Topic; however, only the 10 Candidate Finalists will give their speech on stage. Candidate applicants are required to submit a speech draft to Headquarters for feedback to ensure all speeches are academic speeches rather than traditional campaign speeches.
Before attending PTK Catalyst, practice, practice, practice! Memorize your speech to the best of your ability so you can give your best delivery. Practicing your speech in front of chapter members is a great way to get helpful feedback.
3. Build Your Campaign Team
Your campaign team — and especially your campaign manager — are the backbone of your campaign. When selecting who you want to be on your campaign team, think quality not quantity. You may choose up to 20 Campaign Team Members to wear campaign-themed costumes at PTK Catalyst, but don’t think that is the number you have to have.
Surround yourself with a team that can give PTK members a sense of your personality when you’re not at your booth. You’ll have several meetings and events to attend at PTK Catalyst specifically for International Officer candidates, and you’ll have many people to talk with in the Marketplace, so choose team members that can convey your message on your behalf when needed.
4. Create a Campaign Booth
When deciding how to design your campaign booth, don’t worry if you don’t have enough funding to create the campaign booth of your dreams — my campaign booth was made of PVC pipes, cardboard, and poster paper! Your campaign booth is an opportunity to express your personality, but it is not why members are coming over to your booth. PTK members want to have a chance to speak with you to learn who you are.
5. Be Yourself
The most important thing to remember when running for international office is to be yourself! You can’t lose if you run for international office. Every candidate goes through an unforgettable experience that will change you in one way or another.
Remember that you’re not alone! PTK Headquarters staff and the current International Officers are here to help with any questions you may have throughout your journey of running for international office. Good luck!