Resources From Real Talk About - National Democratic Training Committee

NDTC’s Real Talk About series is a monthly panel gathering some of the top minds from Democratic leadership. Here, we discuss issues facing campaigns and communities across the country. This rare opportunity provides our learners insight into major issues facing Democrats from those on the front lines. 

As with our other VLTs, we directly provide our learners with relevant resources from our vast catalog in the chat of our trainings. This supports the learning process by increasing access to the very knowledge shared in the space. 

Real Talk About Messaging That Wins In 2022

June 6th 2022

Campaign CoPilot is a free, online, and on-demand campaign training program available to all 2022 Democratic candidates. It’s intensive, expert-led, and built for candidates serious about running winning campaigns.

How to Talk to Voters: Get Out the Vote: Get Out The Vote (GOTV) is a crucial part of your campaign. After all of your hard work, it’s time to talk to voters, get out the vote and build blue. It matters how you reach out to voters, and what you have to say to them. It’s your job to remind them to vote, because if they vote, you win! This course will give you the basics on contacting voters during GOTV.

Message Framing for Your Campaign: Message framing makes details easier for an audience to understand, and helps outline a campaign’s messaging in a way that provides shape and structure to the campaign’s policy positions. This mini-lesson outlines the four-step process you can use to approach message framing to maximize the likelihood of producing an authentic connection with your voters.

How to Craft Your Candidate’s Story: The art of translating story and policy into unique messaging starts with learning how to craft your candidate’s story. Your candidate’s story and policy priorities must be able to connect to as many audiences as possible. Learn how to with our 10-minute course on crafting your candidate’s story!

How to Talk to Voters: Values-Based Conversations: Values-based conversations can be an initial step to bring potential supporters into your campaign. These conversations allow you to build authentic relationships in your community that can help establish a sustainable infrastructure in your community. Take 10 minutes to go through a values-based conversation flow.

Political Campaign Messaging Basics: Campaigns that consistently articulate well-tailored messages and connect to their many audiences will be much more likely to succeed than those that adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to communication. Use this course to get started!

Using Personal Stories to Connect: The stories of your life experiences reflect your values and priorities, establish authentic connections with your community, and inspire others to action. Use this course to help you identify the building blocks of a personal story that is responsive to your audience.

Creating Campaign Talking Points: Having a clear, consistent message is integral to the success of a political campaign. As you build a campaign’s messaging, there are specific ideas and policy points the candidate will return to time and time again. These are a candidate’s talking points.

Reaching Voters Through Your Communications Plan: As you embark on a political campaign, you need to write a campaign plan that includes a communications plan. Your communications plan is a written articulation of your campaign’s message. It also includes the where, how, and when of delivering it to voters.

Five Audiences For Your Political Campaign Message: The main goal of your campaign is to win and build blue. If people don’t know who you are, you’re simply not going to get the votes you need. Knowing your different audiences makes it easier to tailor messages to your community.

Real Talk About Voting Rights

April 6th 2022

How End Citizens United is Working to Protect Voting Rights: End Citizens United has worked to end voter suppression for years. Every day, they work to protect one of America’s most fundamental rights—the right to participate in our democracy. NDTC is proud to partner with these fierce defenders of voting rights. 

Run For Office: How Democrats Are Fighting For Democracy. The United States of America is a democracy. It exercises the principle of majority rule when candidates run for office in a representative government. But we can only achieve this through free and fair elections. This means every American citizen should not only have the right to vote, but the ability to do so in an accessible and efficient manner.

Yes, You Should Run for Office: If you have been debating running for office or know someone who should, let us inspire you to act on the call of public service. With our “Run For Office” series, we’ve built an excellent set of candidate testimonials, insights from elected officials, and resources to get you started as you begin your journey. 

What is Voter Suppression? The right to vote is one of the most sacred rights we possess as Americans. It enables us to participate in our democracy, as well as make an impact on our communities. However, many Americans are unable to exercise their right to vote, due to voter suppression.

Fighting Voter Suppression: The right to vote should be a fundamental right for every person. Unfortunately, due to voter suppression, that isn’t the case for many Americans. Voter suppression can be dated back to Jim Crow laws. The damage done by generations of suppression is not something reversed or undone overnight.

GOTV Course: After working hard for months earning voters’ support, it’s time to make sure they get to the polls and actually vote by using a targeted and effective Get Out the Vote (GOTV) strategy. While this course is designed specifically for candidates, everyone from campaign staff to local leaders can use these tactics.

Writing Voter Contact Scripts: Your campaign canvassers and phone bankers will interact with voters the most. By scripting the language volunteers use on the doors and phones, a campaign increases the likelihood they’re having a high-quantity of high-quality conversations.

The Ultimate Guide to GOTV: Campaigns canvass, make phone calls, text, interact with voters and media online, fundraise, and speak to different constituencies in their area. As Election Day approaches, it’s time to make this hard work count. This is where Get Out The Vote (GOTV) comes into play. GOTV is when your campaign takes the support it receives and turns it into votes at the ballot box.

Real Talk About Building Black
Political Power

February 22, 2022

Our February 2022 Real Talk is all about building Black political power. We are joined by Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (Delaware). Alongside a panel of top organizational leaders, we discuss actionable ways the Democratic ecosphere can build up a pipeline of Black leaders. 

To help build Black political power, it’s necessary to connect interested Black individuals with resources. This helps them begin pursuing a career in politics.

Running For Office

Political Candidate Recruitment: Our course teaches on how to identify great candidates and persuade them to run for office. Through exploring best practices, learn the ins and outs of supporting your new recruits! 

Starting a Career in Politics: It’s often difficult and inaccessible for folks from non-political backgrounds to know how to find the right opportunities when beginning a career in politics. Using this course, learn how to navigate the campaign sphere and head down the path that’s right for you. 

So You Think You Want to Run: Learn what steps to take when considering a run for office, as you take those first steps towards launching a winning campaign. This course shows you the different offices to consider and what resources are available to you.


Finding Your Why Worksheet: When developing a core political campaign message, your audience must know why you’re running. This worksheet is a series of questions to define a candidate’s reason for running. To learn more about determining the reasons for running, check out our course on How to Craft a Core Political Campaign Message.

Crafting and Sharing Your Story: You have limited time and money. And, you can bring more people into your campaign to spread the work around. The story of your journey to political work is powerful. It inspires others to join your campaign! Learn to tell that story concisely and effectively so it resonates with your audience, builds your relationship with them, and moves them to vote or volunteer!


Writing Your Fundraising Plan: Campaigns cost money and raising money requires time and planning. In this course, examine the revenue streams your campaign can focus on to get stronger. The plan helps you set goals and this course helps you create the first draft of your fundraising plan.

How to Make a Hard Fundraising Ask: Asking people for money is difficult and takes practice. Use this mini-lesson to learn how to prepare to make a hard ask!

See More

Next Live Training
Running in a Red District

June 5, 2023

1:00pm - 2:00pm (ET)

Online Academy

The training and tools you need, when you need them. Courses are available 24/7. Are you a candidate, campaign staffer or volunteer, at the beginning stages of your campaign or in the home stretch? We have the courses to address your specific needs and arm you with the knowledge to win.

View course catalog

Not sure where to start? Take a short quiz to help you determine the best place for you to get started.

Take the quiz