We can learn from mistakes made in the debate. No view is intended on who is a better candidate and if you are a Trump supporter, you may feel that an unpersuasive presentation failed to convey an important message.
- Be brief (especially with tough questions) Trump was asked about the Obama birth issue, and meandered for several minutes. A good short answer would have been I was wrong, but that is not the issue in the election. If you have a problem area, prolonged answers can accentuate the problem. Indeed anywhere, make and support your points and site down, and lawyers can especially be guilty of longwindedness.
- Don’t try to vouch for your own credibility Trust me, take my word for it, and similar phrases rarely enhance credibility.
- Preparation Answering questions in a pressurized situation is difficult. Answering a question you dealt with for hours in preparation is far easier than confronting it first before 100 million people. Soundbites, short bits of information developed beforehand were sensibly used by Clinton. Many of the memorable moments from prior debates, You’re no Jack Kennedy,” I will not try to take advantage of my opponent’s youth, involve prepared statements sprung at the right time.
- The right words at the right time The no Jack Kennedy line only worked because the other candidate compared himself to Kennedy. Have clever retorts prepared and used them at the right time.
- Don’t interrupt An occasional interjection may be appropriate, but repeatedly interrupting an adversary is usually seen as impolite.
- Resilence Trump is a strong personality. Beaten up early, he became somewhat passive later, failing to make points later. It’s tough, but even when things go badly, you have to marshall your strength and attack later, even if a judge or audience seems unreceptive.
- Switching Topics You may want to change the area for questioning, but do it in a logical fashion evasive. Not you ask about my tax return, let me tell you about her emails. Instead, take the question Trump was asked about suppliers. A better switch is to enumerate the number of jobs created, long-term employees, and satisfied vendors. The topic is related and broadened and the change logical.
- Figures help Numbers bolster credibility, and many of his comments were vague. Be prepared with figures to bolster most arguments.