SOURCE: Communispond, Inc.

Communispond, Inc.

October 20, 2015 06:00 ET

A Look at the Recent Democratic Debate and the 3 Benefits of Preparation

ROCHESTER, NY and EAST HAMPTON, NY--(Marketwired - October 20, 2015) - Communispond, Inc., the leader in communication skills training, takes a look at the recent Democratic debate held on October 13, 2015. Communispond agrees with Donald Trump that it was boring. But it was boring in the same way that a week without a natural disaster makes the news boring. This debate offered little in the way of excitement or provocation, but it may have provided something better: the opportunities to learn and to be involved with issues.

Each of the five candidates showed poise and composure. But the evening’s performance was perhaps best summarized by Martin O’Malley: “On this stage, you didn’t hear anyone denigrate women, you didn’t hear anyone make racist comments about new American immigrants, you didn’t hear anyone speak ill of another American because of their religious belief.”

What was heard were thoughtful policy positions on what Democrats consider the most urgent issues the country faces: inequality, climate change, racism, the eroding middle class, corporate influence in government. The contrast with the Republican debates was glaring. Where the Republican debates looked more like a family argument on a reality show, the Democratic debate was real political discourse. What was it that gave the Democratic candidates such substance and maturity? In a word, preparation. This may be the most important lesson of the campaign season: regardless of your political affiliation you communicate better when you’ve made yourself well informed on the subject at hand.

Great preparation gives you three distinct advantages when you’re communicating with an audience:

  1. Having all the information you need at your fingertips gives you confidence and reduces your nervousness. Your confidence translates into stage presence and makes you more engaging.
  2. Being in command of your subject gives you authority, which makes you both trustworthy and persuasive.
  3. Being well prepared gives you flexibility. When you have more information at your fingertips than you need, you can respond to situations, especially unexpected ones, more effectively. And you can be cool and collected while doing it.

Preparation also helps you avoid wearing that caught-in-the-headlights expression as sometimes seen in the Republican debates. Communispond speculates, but would also suggest, that lack of preparation is one possible explanation for Donald Trump’s use of crude insults and personal attacks during debates. If you don’t know what to say, you can fill in by lashing out. Some audiences even find that entertaining.

Paradoxically, great preparation also lends itself to the creation of soundbites. “Congress does not regulate Wall Street. Wall Street regulates Congress,” said Bernie Sanders. The remark captures an inequity that is driving the surge in his popularity. But any copywriter will tell you that it takes a great deal of study and thought to produce a pithy remark.

About Communispond

Since 1969, Communispond has helped more than 700,000 professionals worldwide improve their professional skills for sales, management, organizational effectiveness, and media appearances. Every Communispond program is designed to teach proven, practical skills that can be used immediately. For more information, please visit www.communispond.com and connect with Communispond on LinkedIn and Twitter (@communispond).

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