Presidential Debatetiquette: The 10 Commandments | Golden Rules Gal

Category: Political Etiquette

The gloves are off.  Dignity and respect, or appalling and disrespectful? All parties after the fact will have their own narrative. Round three make take on a different tenor. In a presidential debate setting big brother isn’t watching; the world is watching.  Apply the Golden Rule:  Treat others in the same manner you wish to be treated.  Keep things civil so the debate doesn’t morph into a debacle.  Here are some etiquette tips for polite behavior at the podium:

  1. Make Eye Contact.  It’s an important form of non-verbal communication skill which shows confidence and respect.
  2. No Pacing, Please.  Watch your hands and body language when speaking. Be steady and consistent.
  3. Don’t Argue With The Debater.  Attack the idea, not your opponent.
  4. Stay On Topic. Don’t present opinions as facts.
  5. Don’t Interrupt The Debater Or Moderator.  The rules are set up ahead of time.  You agreed to them, so stick to them.
  6. Avoid Getting Emotional.  This includes attacking, exaggerating and wrangling.
  7. Smile If You Disagree.  Never let your opponent see you sweat, and avoid ‘under the breath’ jabs.
  8. Control Your Tone.  The quality of your message, attitude and pitch should be strong, not derogatory.
  9. Avoid Personal Attacks.  If it’s just your opinion than say so. Even if you’re a highly skilled debater, watch your dialogue.
  10. The Truth Will Set You Free.  If you distort or falsify facts, the truth will be revealed.

Red, White or Blue:  United We Stand When Discussing Politics

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