Central Michigan University Faculty Points Out Cues To Look For During Presidential Debate

Both candidates will employ several tactics to persuade voters during the debate.

So how can you be an informed viewer?

“As we know, the race is beginning to grow tighter and as a result, there might be a lot of undecided voters that tune into this first debate to help them make up their minds about who to vote for,” Says Dr. Edward Hinck, Central Michigan University Communication Department.

Communication Professor Dr. Edward Hinck says viewers can keep their eyes on a few specific things for each candidate.

“Look for a degree of consistency, look for a degree of confidence, look for a degree of what’s called a presidential image that they can project some sense of confidence as they approach this threatening situation, where their opponent is standing right across the stage,” says Hinck.

Central Michigan University’s debate director says cues to look for are eye contact, tone of voice and quick responses.

“One thing I think is important is that Trump looks ready to go, he looks ready to sort of interject and speak. Hilary, she presents herself as someone that is steady, someone that is just sort of a politician. You see that in her body movements and the way she makes eye contact,” says Joe Packer, Debate Director.

If Trump and Clinton can portray a confident presidential image, as well as demonstrate problem solving, it’s going to be a close debate. Without that image, each could lose voters.

“On television the nonverbal dimension becomes heightened everything becomes amplified,” says Hinck.