2016 Election Speakers Scorecard
2016 1st Presidential Debate Scorecard

How Did the Speakers Do?

Our team of executive communication coaches rate the candidates' speaking skills at each major debate. These ratings are based purely on their speaking skills across a range of categories, not on their political positions. Here's how they did.

1 = Poor, 10 = Great

Event: Presidential Debate 1 Date: September 26, 2016
Category Clinton Trump
1. Eye Contact 7 6
2. Vocal Delivery 7 7
3. Clarity of Speech 9 7
4. Language and Messaging 8 3
5. Facial Expressions 7 2
6. Hand Gestures 7 5
7. Body Language 7 5
8. Connection to Listeners 8 5
Total 60 40
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Our Criteria

Eye Contact
  • The speaker's eye contact communicated sincerity.
  • The speaker gave appropriate eye contact to the moderator and his/her opponent.
  • The speaker made eye contact with the television audience during appropriate moments.
Vocal Delivery
  • The speaker sounded natural and comfortable.
  • Passion and commitment came through in how he/she spoke.
  • The speaker's vocal delivery was not distracting to his/her overall messages.
Clarity of Speech
  • The speaker spoke clearly throughout the debate.
  • The speaker spoke at a good speed throughout the debate (he/she was not too fast or slow).
  • The speaker did not say anything that was distracting in his/her vocal delivery.
Language and Messaging
  • The speaker used appropriate and respectful words.
  • The speaker successfully took complex thoughts and simplified them.
  • The speaker's thoughts were well organized so you could understand his/her responses.
  • You were satisfied that all questions were answered.
Facial Expressions
  • The speaker used appropriate facial expressions throughout the debate.
  • No facial gestures distracted from his/her overall message.
  • The facial gestures used while speaking were always positive.
Hand Gestures
  • The hand gestures used supported the speaker's message and were appropriate.
  • None of the gestures distracted from the message.
Body Language
  • The speaker looked comfortable on stage.
  • When applicable, the speaker moved to and from the camera, audience, and the other candidate comfortably and at appropriate times.
  • The speaker did not move their body in a way that was distracting.
Connection to Listeners
  • The speaker made a personal connection with you.
  • You sensed the candidate connected with listeners who might not normally favor him/her.