The Third Debate Between Hillary and Donald Trump from a Public Speaking Perspective

The third presidential debate is now a thing of the past, and many are glad it is!  Interruptions, name calling, viscous allegations...this has been one of the most tawdry debates in recent history.  But let’s take a moment to put all that aside, and analyze the candidates on their debate skills starting with Hillary Clinton.

I think Hillary won this one.  One of the surest ways to win a debate is to consistently pivot difficult questions back toward a topic of your choosing.  A prime example of this was the way Hillary turned a question about her stance on open boarders to an indictment of Donald Trump’s cozy relationship with Vladimir Putin.  She does this time and again in the debate to excellent effect.  From a non-verbal perspective, I think she had mixed results.  She has an odd tendency of bringing her eyes down when answering a question.  It may be that she was looking at notes, but making eye contact with the audience and the camera is very important.  I would suggest she look up a bit more.  Additionally, she tends to use her left hand to gesture while speaking, and could probably benefit from using both hands a bit more.

I think Donald Trump did a good job of identifying when Hillary Clinton was evading questions and holding her feet to the fire, especially with her answer on open boarders.  He had a powerful delivery while debating, and used his voice to great affect.  His tendency, however, to talk over Hillary, and put her down outright, is, of course, outrageous.  We will see if it will happen, but the Donald would benefit from boning up on foreign and domestic affairs and limiting the personal attacks, which only aid Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.




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