What on earth was Donald Trump playing at last night?

What on earth was Donald Trump playing at last night?

I expected better from him, I really did. Like him or loathe him, this was a man who took on the Republican Party establishment and won – an outsider who beat the politicians at their own game.

So why did he perform so badly in the first Presidential debate? Why was he so bad that he made a performance from Hillary Clinton, which was no better than workmanlike, look so good?

I can only put it down to one thing: over-confidence. Trump appeared woefully ill-prepared. His delivery was like a bumbling, rambling stream of consciousness. He showed Clinton too much respect by addressing her as “Secretary Clinton” (she called him “Donald”) and then not enough by continually interrupting her, shaking his head and scoffing as she spoke and, on occasions, shouting her down.

In recent months, many delegates on my media training courses have asked me whether Donald Trump would benefit from communication training. Time after time, I’ve replied that Trump, like Boris in the UK, is that rare beast who has triumphed while making up his own rules of communication.

But no more.

Trump needs to go back to basics and learn how to couch a message. Otherwise, his campaign may very well be dead in the water.

Article date

September 27th, 2016

Robert Taylor

Media Trainer


My main passion is media training, and I’m proud to be one of the UK’s most experienced and successful trainers in this field.


  • Let’s hope he doesn’t get in touch with you!

  • Right on target, RT. Hillary is a mediocrity but against Trump she looks very much like the next president. The next debate will be interesting, however. Trump held his fire in the first one but he has plenty of ammunition left. Will he know how to use it? We shall see.

  • Trouble is he believes his own hype. He is thin skinned and when attacked his main instinct is to strike back with whatever is to hand. Quite often this doesn’t survive the light of day, however he would argue it has stood him in good stead to date and his core support is not going to be swayed by a poor performance at the hustings.

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