The ruling PAP just introduced its slate of new candidates for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC for the coming general election. This is the first official introduction by PAP after its organising secretary Dr Ng Eng Hean shared that they will be unveiling their candidates in the coming two weeks.

The candidates that were introduced were Mr Chong Kee Hiong, 49, chief executive officer of OUE Hospitality REIT Management, former senior civil servant Chee Hong Tat, 41, and Maybank executive vice-president Saktiandi Supaat, 42. (Pic left to right by PAP)

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It was our first time seeing these candidates and watching them introduce themselves earlier made us wonder if they could have done a better first impression- you know, to make greater impact, leave lasting positive memory, etc, etc

Mr Eng was quick to clarify that he did not cobble up this team and that most of them have been on the ground for over two years.

But hey – for people like us who have no inkling of who these people were, the introduction earlier was an opportune time to capture our imagination and to a certain extend our votes.

Here are some of our comments to nail that first impression with the residents.

Heartland Location.

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PAP unveils its candidates for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC on Aug 12, 2015. (Photo: Lam Shushan, MediaCorp)

The location was spot on. Coffeeshop setting under a void deck. This has Singapore written all over it which voters have no trouble associating themselves with. What better way to potray a ‘people’s image’ than to eat at the same place where the rest of the resident have their daily meals. All that was lacking were kaya toast and half boiled eggs on the table.

Use Singlish

It is very important to look be connected with the ground. Pepper your sentences with leh’s and lah’s. Not only will people think that you are one of them, they might also actually understand you better (which is what you want essentially so that your messages gets across). Avoid using highfalutin words that no one in the crowd will understand. Dr Eng said something about thoroughfare during his presentation earlier. We had to Goggle it up. (It means road or path).

Why do you think Low Thia Kiang is so popular in Hougang ,he does not even speak proper English.

Read from the heart

The public can detect emotions very well and emotions are delivered when you introduce yourself from the heart. Do not keep looking down at the script or your talking points. No point reading the sentence word for word (Especially when delivering in Malay or Mandrian. Memorise them if you must). You not only lose eye contact with potential voters but you will also sound uncertain.

The public expect MPs to represent them in Parliament about issues close to their hearts, scrutinise new legislation and check against the government policies. These must be delivered with fiery passion. Reading from a script, word for word will never produce that.

Last but not the least.

We feel that it will be advantageous if the candidate shows character during the introduction. Be it confidence, charisma, humour, wit or even the perfect smile. Use your strengths to your advantage and make the audience remember you for the first time, everytime.

Look at Kevryn. She has a great body and is not afraid to flaunt it. Everyone remembers her now and she might already has some votes in the bag without the need to even introduce herself.

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Morale of the story – Set yourself apart.

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