Tips from the Trail

Qualifications & Likeability

Be prepared.

Voters expect a woman to be prepared and do her homework.

Be confident.

Appearing confident is essential. Barbara Lee Family Foundation research make clear that for women candidates, confidence signals both likeability and qualifications. Portray confidence through maintaining good eye contact, gesturing naturally, and speaking evenly and strongly.

Beat the odds.

Relate to voters by showing how you have overcome an obstacle or succeeded as an underdog. Everyone struggles in some way and can relate to this narrative.

Highlight your sense of humor.

Combining humor with issue experience works for women.

Engage with voters.

In photos and videos, be sure to showcase how you converse with voters – listening to their concerns, not only talking to them.

Keep it real.

Voters respond well to photos of women officeholders in informal settings, particularly in their communities, with children and constituents. In other words, show voters what it really looks like to do your job as a candidate or elected official.

Make it personal.

When touting accomplishments, share personal elements, like why an issue is a particular passion, or how the achievement has helped constituents.

Show you are one of them.

Demonstrate your connection to the community by showing you are familiar with constituent concerns.

Qualify solutions.

Offer your solution and acknowledge that others may not agree.

Share credit.

The best formula is to mix team and solo credit to balance likeability and qualifications. It is essential to demonstrate working with others as well as solo leadership.