10 powerful PR tips on how to win a presidential debate
Presidential debates are a crucial part of any election campaign, as they provide an opportunity for candidates to present their ideas and for the public to evaluate them.
In the fear of committing public relations blunders, several notable candidates in Nigeria and around the world have declined to participate in presidential debates in the past.
Here are 10 tips on how to win a presidential debate:
Preparation is key when it comes to winning a presidential debate. Candidates should be well-versed in the issues, have a clear understanding of their own policies, and be able to anticipate the arguments of their opponents.
This is where public relations experts play an important role in preparing their candidates.
Speak clearly and concisely
Candidates should speak in a clear and concise manner, avoiding jargon and complex language. This will make it easier for the audience to understand and retain the information presented.
Use facts and statistics
Using facts and statistics can help a candidate make a stronger argument and appear more credible.
Use anecdotes and examples
Anecdotes and examples can help make a candidate’s arguments more relatable and memorable for the audience.
Use body language effectively
Candidates should use body language to convey confidence and authority. Maintaining good posture, making eye contact, and using gestures can help a candidate appear more credible.
6. Show passion and conviction
Candidates should show passion and conviction when discussing their policies and ideas. This can help to inspire and motivate the audience.
Candidates should be able to adapt to unexpected questions or arguments, and be able to think on their feet.
Be respectful, but clever
Candidates should be respectful when debating their opponents, avoiding personal attacks and focusing on the issues.
An older candidate was once asked in a Presidential debate: “At your old age, will you be able to stand the rigours of another four years as president.?
He replied: “I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience!”
Candidates should show empathy and understanding of the concerns of the public, and be able to relate to their struggles and needs. The public recognizes empathy.
This is easier said than done.
Turn an attack to an advantage
Don’t play your opponent’s game. By preparing well and thinking ahead, you can turn an attack into an advantage.
Attacks around corruption, fitness, competence and past records are never in short supply in presidential debates.
Winner takes all
Winning a presidential debate takes a combination of preparation, good communication skills, and the ability to connect with the audience. By following these tips, candidates can present their ideas effectively, and win both the relations battle and ultimate presidential prize.