Debates are obviously in the news because of the UK election, and the novelty of having three party leaders live on stage. It may be the impact of the X Factor generation, but nevertheless, I believe that it has some merit. In the US elections, the head-to-head debates produced some fascinating tussles between Barack Obama and John McCain (and some dreadfully dull moments too). If you find yourself in a debate, here are some tips that may help you to come out on top.
* When you are speaking, you are in control. Make sure that you finish your point strongly.
* Keep your points brief, with rehearsed phrases emphasised
* Know in advance of the debate what impression you wish to create
* Never lose your temper. If your opponents do, stay even calmer
* Ask for the right to reply to false accusations
* Allow yourself to be interrupted only on your strongest points
* Short, concise points can be deadly. Use them well
* Stand tall, and look at the audience
* Have a short, strong, well-prepared closing statement
It's all about calmness, confidence and getting a clear message across. That's what wins debates.