Van Greeks, director of the Netherlands Debate Institute, is clear in his opinion: this was a terrible debate. “That’s all about the chaos. Rules are set in advance in a debate, but those rules were unashamedly violated. With that you demolish the debate yourself. ”
A debate is usually distinguished by rules of a discussion, which you can also have with your friends in the pub, says van Greeks. “The rules of a debate are about how long the debate lasts, what topics are discussed and what the general rules of the game are.”
That is important to ensure that the debate runs smoothly and in a clear manner. The voter has to gain insight into the positions of two people who disagree about something. The interruptions are beautiful for Trump fans, but the floating voter has not become any wiser. ”
‘Biden let himself be seduced’
During the debate, Trump Biden constantly interrupted. This is possible in an open debate, but if Biden is given the floor to make a point, it is against the debate rules. From Greeks: “Biden had prepared, but 9 times out of 10 just did not get to his point.”
After fifteen minutes he snapped ‘shut up’ towards Trump. He went along with Trump’s rhetoric: calling him a liar, a clown and the worst president ever. That does not come across strongly ”.
According to Van Greeks, Biden should have stopped speaking every time Trump interrupted him. I would turn to the debate leader. You have to state what is happening: I am here to make a point, but I am not getting around to it. ”
” Then you make it clear what the problem is and that you are not the one who has to solve the problem. ”
How can you avoid such chaos?
The debate leader, Chris Wallace, failed to keep the debate in check. According to van Greeks he could have done two things to prevent the chaos.
First of all, he should have addressed Trump earlier about his interruptions. He only did so after more than an hour in the debate. When you do that, you show the viewer what the rules are that have been agreed, that there is no continuous interference, and that the president is not following them. ”
“In addition, you should never let him get away with it. During the entire debate, Trump has been able to make his points and interrupt. Once you give in to that, things are gone. You have to intervene as a debate leader. microphone off. ”
The comparison is made with a football match. “This debate was a game where one of the teams continues to play when the whistle is blown. Then you have to find a way where that party sticks to the rules and whistles more strictly. ”
Protected speaking time
Last night was the first and certainly not the last time that Biden and Trump faced each other. Two more debates between the Seventies are scheduled for election day itself.
Van Greeks: “What you can do is work with only protected speaking times so that the speakers are no longer allowed to interrupt each other. So for each theme back and forth about three blocks of one or two minutes. It detracts from the dynamics of the debate, but then the viewer can learn more from it. We certainly do not have to worry that it will become a boring debate ”.
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