We all have seen two sides of President Obama, in 2004, he was the incumbent and had a valor in his narrative. In the last debate, we saw a President, who has been jaded by the system. And is defensive to the attacks of the opposition. It all makes sense that sometimes “Ignorance is Bliss”. In 2004, his agenda was to get elected and his daring and challenging posture inspired the nation. This time, he is wise to see the whole picture and to be focused on elections is not entirety of his being.
As I have enjoyed debates as a debater and as a spectator, I wanted to share what has worked for me:
Tell a story – In these debates, it is critical to narrate a story, be it someone you spoke to at a town hall or it is something from your personal experience – it helps people identify with what you are trying to convey. There is always an intrigue in the audience if there is a story – everybody is going “What happened next?”
Be Assertive – Yes, we need to say things with conviction and be very assertive in driving home the point we are trying to make. It is important to be respectful and at the same time it is important to make a compelling rebuttal to the opponent’s point.
Humor hails – It is natural that the witty humor takes you a long way. The audience likes a bit of entertainment and it is good to be able to provide some of that. This is where those on the fence tend to shift their positions in your side.
Look into the eyes – It is critical to turn yourself away from the opponent and the moderator and look directly at the audience. This is when your objective is to connect to people directly and acknowledge those who you can’t see.
Be Genuine – Be good in arithmetic. No one likes to be treated like a fool who cannot do math. If you are opposing something, back it up to demonstrate that it does not add up. Finally, share from the heart. It is likely people will see how much you care and that is the is what counts most.
Let the best man win!!!