Why measured Clinton beat Trump on Debate Two

 In Learning from Luminaries, Politicians

Leaving aside who won the battle of the ideas, in the first Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton debate, the person who won the battle of the body AdobeStock_71024322(1) (Large)language, speaking, presence, and manner – consistent with an inspiring, visionary and competent leader of state – was Hillary Clinton.

I scored:

Hillary Clinton, 8 out of 10      

Donald Trump, 6.5 out of 10

These are the key reasons for Clinton’s win over Trump:

  • Her gravitas conveyed through a measured, in-control speaking cadence and structure and measured body movement and gesture versus Trump’s bombastic, rapid-fire speaking delivery, fitful body movement and quick gestures.
  • Her holding direct eye contact with Trump when under attack and her overall composure versus Trump’s avoidance of direct eye contact, contorted facial expressions and repeated interrupting of Clinton, and his interrupting and arguing with the moderator.

Presidential debates are not about scoring points, but more about presenting a world view and bearing consistent with a statesman or woman. Clinton was more aligned with presenting a world view and bearing.

The body language, speech, voice and presence of a leader matter, because they

reveal aspects of a person’s character

and a window into their soul.

Trump’s best moment was:

  • Conveying genuine concern about the racism in the United States.

Trump’s worst moments/behaviours – in addition to the above points, included:

  • Making personal attacks on individuals. For example, on Janet Yellen.
  • Abrupt stoppage of speaking after a making a point.
  • Self-congratulatory language. For example, ‘I’m very proud of that.’

Clinton’s best moments/behaviours – in addition to the above points, included:

  • Her Open – Middle – Close speaking structure.
  • A direct gaze into the camera when addressing the nations of the world.
  • The retort, “I was preparing to become president’.
  • The ‘words matter’ statement.

Clinton’s worst moments/behaviours included:

  • an over-rehearsed opening statement.
  • interrupting Trump.

p.s This week, a client of mine made the observation that capitalism seemed more and more, to be ‘ruling’ the democracies of the world. This comment prompted me to respond that it seemed the ‘word’ to describe this phenomenon is, ‘capocracy’.

Check out this post with my analysis of the 4 October 2012, Presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to Behind the Voice

Regular insights, guidance and commentary on how communication influences business and the world around us

Thank you for subscribing