Why Are Presidential Debates Useful to Trainers

If I were grading political debates as I grade university debates, they would fail in general for lack of support. The biggest problems as I see in the recent Presidential debate were unsubstantiated facts and incredible paraphrasing that had to be rebutted just to make what the other candidate said clear and only somewhat truthful.

Believe it or not this means something to trainers. It means don’t always train so specifically that there is no reason to look at other means of doing the same thing. Obviously what you are training is not the “only way it’s done.” If you are training salespeople only one side (the company side), how can they counter the competition. So, you need to also train them about the others in their field doing the same thing about how they are different, keeping in mind to substantiate and provide proof of what you say about your company and the competition. Saying is not enough. Showing is better. It should be in politics, too, but not this year.

We always see politicians in the long run as insincere, then history shows real character and what that particular achieved, whether he planned to or not. In general we view politicians as lacking in those things that make credible speakers, even though they have the qualifications. It is the business of politics to be nonspecific, but it doesn’t help voters. Voters will vote for a candidate because he or she supports one thing the voter supports or are party members and always vote the party line.

Although both candidates were both passionate, the debate was not designed to talk specific points. Well, actually it was, but I think everyone knew that wouldn’t happen. And that was true.

Often the debaters spent so much time trying to discredit the other rather than spell out what was asked.

Both debaters went over time limits and left the final topic only three minutes. Could the moderator prevented that? Not likely with the ” powerhouses” he had in front of him.

Then the “journalists and party pundits” declare a winner. Real experts in debating? More expert at getting at stories and supporting their candidate, I’d say. It is doubtful voters who had already made up their mind didn’t change it and the election will show if new voters decided to get off the fence.

I’m thinking about that as I get ready to teach my night class in public speaking. Although we are doing group presentations, I am sure we will certainly discuss the debates and debaters. Both candidates were good speakers in this National election debate. It’ll be interesting if my students note unsubstantiated facts and unqualified answers besides the political maneuvering.

Happy training.

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