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Who won the first US presidential debate? Both candidates were expected to play to their individual strengths – charisma for Trump and competence for Clinton. As a result, the pitch ahead of the debate was that the low expectations weighed heavily in Trump´s favor. Competence rarely electrifies an audience. But, this prediction proved to be wrong. Many viewers, me included, declared Clinton the winner of the debate and the media consensus is that Clinton won the first presidential debate because she was better prepared than Trump. Competence saw off charisma.

There were, of course, many other forces at work in the 90 minutes. Gender expectations played an interesting part.

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Margarita Mayo

I´m Margarita Mayo. I´ve been a Professor of Leadership and Psychology at IE Business School since 2000. Prior to that I was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard University and professor at Ivey Business School. I feel passionate about scientific dissemination, and I have more than 20 years of international experience teaching courses on soft skills, giving keynote conferences and coaching executives on leadership development and change management. Always eager to help develop the next generation of leaders.

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