I won the election! What worked for me is described in the Selected answer of this question.
Currently, I am in my last semester of undergraduate college in a fraternity in the United States. We are about to have elections for an interim position that will last right up until I graduate.
Elections work like this: Candidates are nominated by someone else, or they have to nominate themselves (but need to be confirmed by a "second" from someone else, to do so). Then usually there is a week or so grace period before voting starts. On the day of voting, another round of nominations is conducted. The most senior scroll number (determines the order in which the brother was initiated) begins their speech. There will be a 5-minute time constraint and brothers can only ask a certain number of questions.
This position serves two roles. The first is managing three people: a Historian, a Photographer, and a Webmaster. The second is contacting Alumni whenever major events happen. As a person on my way out, I want to go out with a bang, and in doing so, act as an example that everyone has something to contribute, no matter how close to graduation you are. However, I have lost the past 8 or 9 elections for various positions in the house.
From what I have gathered, there was rarely ever a problem with me, but the other guy blows everyone else away. There are only two times I can recall where the loss was definitely my fault. One was for Chaplain and I screwed up a question about how to deal with someone else having depressions. Another was for Secretary. I proposed a manual folder for a current online folder. The rationale of "it won't get lost on the internet if its stored in a physical folder" did not seem to convince them.
The gravity of speeches is important. On the other hand, some people are experienced and qualified to the point that they are a shoe in. But that is by no means a hard and fast rule. I have seen people who plan for months and show consistent effort for one position, but lost to a guy that ran the night before.
How do I pitch my platform for the situation described above?