The campaign is narrowing as the last month is now. There should be a plan to run to the wire.
In this race, there are several factors to consider. First, it is probably a good idea to set your own timetable of events. Get your calendar of events perfected and confirmed. Write addresses and phone numbers on your daily sheet.
Next, think in broad strokes. There are four weeks left. I like to use a theme-like approach. I also like to work them backwards. It is clear that the last ten days or two weeks will be dedicated to debate preparation and public appearances. Don’t leave much strategy planning to this time, it just will not get done.
If you have plotted a strategy, you are just looking for adjustments. To wing it will not work. You will most definitely be pushed and pulled during this time and you have to be able to roll with it. Having to devise moves on the fly will increase errors. Avoid it by having a map. Diversions from the course can be reasoned and you know how to get back on message.
Watch earlier debates to get a sense of your opponents. Look for their tics. People are quite predictable and you need to continually reflect on body language. Prior debates will tell you what to look for in the opponent. You will then have the advantage of not having to ‘read’ the opponent but simply look for signs you already know exist.
If you have been in earlier debates, the idea is to vary your routines, especially in terms of reaction. I like to use a pre-emptive strategy of making inappropriate expressions that confuse. People, especially those looking at these factors, will frequently err in equating your expression with your thoughts or feelings. Practice it a bit. Confusion and under-estimation are friends of third party and independent candidates.
Know that your opponents will be acting in a predictable manner, especially if they are from the major parties. Their handlers have instilled in them the rules. Only those with stage training can act in a manner consistent with direction. It is made even more difficult with the need to maintain consistency with positions that they may have taken to woo contributors and are not necessarily genuine with themselves. Exploit this uncomfortable situation where possible.
Recognize your advantage in that they have more to lose as major party candidates. They will almost always play defense while you have the option of playing offense and defense wherever it fits. Don’t go in to the debate unprepared to go either way. Get a feel for the situation before choosing a strategy.
Remember that the first big debate and the last one before the election, big or small, will be the most important ones. You will have to choose whether to use your best shot in the first round or in the last. Think about this carefully. If the momentum is with you, I would suggest you refrain, almost to the point of giving your opponents false security. If the campaign is stalled or if the opponent is moving along too smoothly, think about the first round strike to give you command of the issues until the next debate.
Posture and natural hand movement are a plus. Fake hand movement is only effective if you really want to poorly emphasize a point. It is too easy to recognize that you are uneasy with the movement.
I prefer to roll my eyes, even when it is not warranted, actually, especially when it is not warranted. It causes introspection in that many people are insecure and it gets them thinking of what it was that made you so disinterested. Sometimes it is nothing at all.
Be yourself and be comfortable. Nervousness is normal. Work to minimize it. Once you get into your mode, you will be ready. You know your subject matter and use it. I find that practicing lines leads to a less than genuine performance. You will have off days, but hey, that’s fate.
Basic advice is to wear clothing that is both comfortable and that you really like. By being in your own skin, you can lessen thoughts of being accepted. Sometimes it is okay to feel not accepted and gain the inspiration from the freedom it allows.
Hydrate yourself, but not to the point of needing to use a restroom during the debate. By hydrating early you will be better off. I avoid eating immediately before a debate in that I like to be light. I will eat a solid breakfast mid morning and supplement it with fruit during the day. Occasionally, I will have some orange juice. Experts say don’t drink milk. I am not so sure about this.
And, as to the on-going campaign, the ASK ME section is up and running. It has already provided me with several questions, some out of the blue, and it is the best preparation for spontaneous thought.