Thursday, August 18, 2011

Watching a Debate

I watched a mayoral debate the other day. As someone who has written on and teaches presentation skills, I was more than stunned at the low caliber of the performances by most of the candidates.

The sins were numerous. Too smooth, poorly dressed, mumbling, closed eyes, kept buttoning coat, and way too many generalities were among them. What was baffling was each of the candidates has distributed some pretty impressive campaign material. That part of their campaigns was well done. Did they fail to get advice on their debate techniques or simply choose to ignore it?

The candidate who came off best - in fact, did quite well - was a non-incumbent who has advised some campaigns. He obviously put his experience to work. I wonder if the incumbents felt that, with several successful campaigns under their belt, they didn't need any stinking coaching.

If so, they violated one of the main rules for successful presentations: Prepare.

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