The good news about tonight’s final presidential debate: no one blew it.
The bad news: each candidate has a few presentation issues that hinder his ability to seem 100% presidential. And when presentation issues clog your content delivery, we can’t get a thorough reading of who’s the better man.
GOOD: John McCain and Barack Obama both came across as authentic and assertive. They each gave the appropriate level of serious attitude for the serious topics the moderator threw at them. And in today’s economy, there’s no time to be frivolous.
SUGGESTIONS: These cover presentation issues, which undercut each man’s goals of delivering solid content and encouraging Americans to trust him.
JOHN MCCAIN: You blink way too much. Too much blinking can suggest lack of self-confidence and challenges a viewer’s ability to fully trust you. The angry man” re-surfaced here and there. To the extent McCain can control that aspect of his personality we’ll get a good litmus test of his ability to lead.
BARACK OBAMA: Stop saying “ah.” If you must pause, close your mouth. Say nothing. There’s nothing wrong with silence. Silence actually gives your listeners/viewers time to absorb what you just said.
A big winner? Not really. A slight edge to Barack Obama on the presentation front. He kept his cool no matter what John McCain said to him, breathed toward him, or rolled his eyes at. But one thing’s for sure, if “this” John McCain had shown up to debate a few weeks ago, we’d have a different race 19 days before the election.