A Critique of Hillary Clinton’s Public Speaking Skills in the First Presidential Debate

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A Critique of Hillary Clinton’s Public Speaking Skills in the First Presidential Debate
Hillary Clinton did put up a good performance in the first face-to-face US presidential debate. Besides maintaining her composure all through the sessions, she was also quite precise in her answers. She governed the tenor and tempo of the debate and effectively defended her record, which improved her credibility as a potential head of the United States. At the same time, she prosecuted Trump on his flaws in matters of business and policies. She especially criticized Trump’s policy of tax cuts for the wealthy (NBC News) and led him into a series of rabbit holes, poked him on almost every known weak point, and led him to engage with her on her terms. Her touch on Trump’s derogative statements about women was quite tactful and evoked much ethos, besides unnerving Trump who almost went berserk. Towards the end of the debate, Trump mentioned that he doubted whether Hillary had the “stamina” to lead the nation. One could tell that Clinton had all her guns set for the final blow when Trump mentioned the word “stamina” for the third consecutive time. She retorted. “Well, as soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a ceasefire, a peace deal, a release of dissidents… or even spends eleven hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about that stamina” (NBC News). It was a powerful way to end the talk that night.
Clinton, to begin with, was most convincing while engaging in impromptu dialogue or answering questions. She got into her element once the debate was well on course and took genuine delight in thinking on her feet. She manifested an impressive eloquence, coupled with the ability to blend information and elaborate on it concisely. This was a commendable feat since she had had difficulties in the past doing the same. Consequently, she projected much ethos. Nevertheless, when she began giving answers that were obviously memorized, her ethos sunk much. This had occurred in the initial moments of the debate before she hit her stride. When one sounds as though he/she were reciting a text, an audience might think that the person does not believe his/her own ideas or perhaps has no sufficient knowledge on the subject that he/she is trying to speak about to be able to calm down and expound on it. The few instances that Clinton exhibited such signs worked much against her.
In all, Clinton did a good job that night and one of her best lines was, “I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate, and yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president. And I think that’s a good thing” (NBC News). She completely flipped over Trump’s attempt to undermine herself and turned it to her own advantage. Besides the few flaws, Clinton’s presentation that day gave her candidacy the much-needed thrust of energy and perhaps even the kind of “stamina” that she needed to keep, and maybe extend, her primacy in the polls. Although the memorization of answers almost proved disastrous to herself, her outstanding ability to integrate information and give elaborate explanations brought her back into the game and saw her victorious.

Works Cited
NBC News. “The First Presidential Debate: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (Full Debate).” Online video clip. YouTube, 26 September 2016. Web. 5 December 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=855Am6ovK7s

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A Critique of Hillary Clinton’s Public Speaking Skills in the First Presidential Debate. (2022, Feb 07). Retrieved from https://essaylab.com/essays/a-critique-of-hillary-clintons-public-speaking-skills-in-the-first-presidential-debate

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