Clinton's body language wins debate

15 October 2015

Hilary Clinton was the clear winner in the first Democratic Debate last night. Most of the post debate discussion has been about what the five candidates said, but l declare here the winner because of her body language.

This is something that’s often overlooked in political debates, but it’s just as important, if not more so, than what’s said. Those who appear more likeable and natural have a huge advantage when it comes to voters casting their ballots. That’s why John Key is so popular and why we pay attention to it in our media training sessions.

Clinton was the only candidate to smile during the debate. She was able to project authority, while also coming across as natural and warm. This was lacking in her four male colleagues. She gestured well with her hands and moved her body naturally. This allowed her voice to sound passionate and authoritative. Most of the others appeared stiff and failed to show any personality.

 While Bernie Sanders had some good moments, a big mistake he made was leaning on his lectern. This can suggest fatigue. It’s the last thing an older candidate wants to do when competing for one of the biggest jobs in the world.

People like Hilary Clinton largely because of her media skills. She is able to demonstrate her warmth and leadership qualities. Sanders may have done well communicating some of his key points, but he has work to do in showing American voters his personality.

The other three candidates did nothing to improve their popularity. They need some serious media training with a particular focus on body language before their next debate.

For more on my media training, contact or 029 200 8555

Written by

Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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