The Great Debate UK

Oratorical skills proxy for leadership skills in debates

- Timothy Clark and David Greatbatch are professors at Durham Business School. The opinions expressed are their own.-

The three televised party leader debates in the UK show that live oratory is still a powerful tool and remains an important source of the public’s perception of a politician’s image and abilities.

They have perhaps raised awareness of the importance of effective political oratory as the party leaders and their messages are exposed to an audience of millions rather than thousands and the instant critical scrutiny of bloggers, commentators and the “worm”.

Apart from their novelty a key reason for the importance of these debates is that they provide audience members with an opportunity to use the verbal and non-verbal cues of each party leader to ascertain their leadership ability.  Therefore each party leader’s oratorical skills become a proxy for their leadership skills.

Winner Clegg dodges fray of battle in debate

Photo

Tim Clark- Timothy Clark and David Greatbatch are professors at Durham Business School. The opinions expressed are their own. -

The debate is finished and the polls are in.  They consistently show that Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg was rated the best performer on the night.  Some instant polls put him over twenty percent ahead of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative leader David Cameron.

  •