My first Debate

by neilandreweyre

The experience was eye-opening.

I had the questions I was going to be asked two days ago and i was told that I’d be asked 3 of the 5 questions and I would have 3 minutes to reply. I went for a specific answer to each of the questions. I then compressed each answer down into the context and substance of the answer and then i took it apart until it was 3 minutes long an answer.

I thought i had done my homework. I thought that my answer was going to be just that, an answer, instead of a politician’s response, which doesn’t sound quite so genuine. I really thought that my crafted honest answers would come through for me. How wrong I was.

As I waited patiently for my turn, I mused over my notes in front of me and I suddenly became very nervous. Here I was about to stand up and give what i thought was a well-reasoned answer to a very abstract question, and my nerves started to get to me. The crowd looked passive.

I watched as each of the other candidates stood up and gave a slick response. Some didn’t even answer the question but the delivery of their message seemed so effortless, so polished. The crowd didn’t react that much. There were a few ‘round of applause’ but it was more functionary than complimentary.

I’ve given presentations to rooms before, I talked live on the radio, but this was different. Call it wedding night jitters or stage fright. I didn’t feel comfortable and boy did it show. I blustered a bit through my first answer. The second one I just crumbled after a few seconds, and then it took me a few seconds of silence to recompose myself. My last two answers were fine. I wasn’t expecting a 4th questions but it was a nice easy answer to deliver.

It was a hard event for me. Having never experienced anything like this in my life I believe I have ‘taken on board’ a valuable lesson. Don’t try and talk like a politician if you aren’t one?

Thanks to all those who gave me a warm welcome at the event.