Here are my 10 takeaways from the first presidential debate:
1. Tell the truth. Fact checkers will share with us which of the nominees’ assertions were exaggerations, half-truths or outright lies. Although political candidates often survive their tall tales, business leaders and their companies are generally more vulnerable when journalists and other neutral parties point out their untruthful statements.
2. Speak with passion. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump spoke with passion. A business leader’s key messages might perfectly strike target audiences, but sharing words robotically or without enthusiasm, even under uncomfortable circumstances, is a quick way to lose people’s interest.
3. Don’t deviate too much from your talking points. When answering questions, presidential candidates often end up talking about whatever issues they prefer. That’s why politicians often gain a reputation for dodging questions. Doing so reflects poorly on business leaders in the eyes of clients and employees.