The Debate at Temple Shalom in Aberdeen

A Public Speaking Student’s Critique

by Roseanne Iurilli, a 19 year old MCC college student

This past Sunday, October 10th, 2010, there was a political debate between incumbent Congressman Frank Pallone and Congressional Candidate Anna Little. This was the first time that I had heard Congressman Pallone speak, and frankly I was shocked at how poorly he spoke. Mr. Pallone has been a member of Congress for twenty-two years, and yet I saw better speakers in the Intro to Public Speaking class that I took at Middlesex County College. In this critique, I cover a few of the main points in a public speaking curriculum.

1. Eye Contact
One of the first things that they teach you in a public speaking class is to look your audience in the eye.  At no point did Mr. Pallone look his audience straight in the eye.  He talked with head tilted slightly back so that he was looking down his nose like Pinocchio.  Mrs. Little looked her audience straight in the eye, and she turned her head to each side in order to address her entire audience.

2. Movement and Posture
Another key thing in public speaking: movement.  Movement is allowed if you are in a lecture setting, standing at the front of an audience with a portable microphone.  In such a case it is okay to walk around the stage a little.  However, this was not the setting of Sunday’s debate.  Mr. Pallone and Mrs. Little were sitting behind a table; in such a setting, it is best to sit straight and still.  Mrs. Little did a very good job with this, she sat still, her hands for the most part stayed folded on her lap except when she was writing notes on the paper in front of her.  Mr. Pallone was forever moving around, he kept leaning back in his chair, then leaning forward, and then leaning back again.  Also, he had his hands on the table one second, on this lap the next, and then back to the table.  At one point during the speech, he was even rubbing his thighs under the table.

3. Vocal Delivery
Perhaps the most important thing that they teach you in a public speaking class is vocal delivery; Projection, Enunciation, and Articulation.

a) Projection
Whether you are using a microphone or not, it is important to know how to project.  When using a microphone, it is important to know how far away to hold the microphone and how loudly to speak into it.  Throughout the speech Mr. Pallonelooked like he was fighting with the microphone; he kept clipping and unclippingit from his tie, holding it up to his mouth and then far away, and was told several times by the audience that they couldn’t hear him.  Mrs. Little held the microphone for her opening statement (and after determining the pickup capability of the microphone), clipped the microphone to her lapel and left it there throughout the remainder of the night, and she kept her voice at an even understandable level.

b) Enunciation and Articulation
Speaking clearly and fluently is very important in public speaking.  Mr. Pallone did not articulate very well, and he mumbled many times throughout the debate.  He also had an ‘umm’ in almost every sentence, and stumbled over his words multiples times.  Mrs. Little articulated very well, she did not ‘umm’ in any of her speaking, and she only stumbled over her words once.

To summarize, in this debate we had a twenty-two year Congressional incumbent debating a woman who had been a mayor and freeholder for only ten.  When you put these two speakers side by side, the difference in their speech mannerisms is amazing.  Even if you were to ignore the content of the speeches, and merely focus on the delivery, Mrs. Anna Little would have won this debate hands down.  Mr. Pallonewould not even have been able to pass an Intro to Public Speaking class at a community college with the speech skills that he possesses.

Posted: October 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Anna Little, Frank Pallone | Tags: , , | 10 Comments »

10 Comments on “The Debate at Temple Shalom in Aberdeen”

  1. michael said at 4:18 pm on October 22nd, 2010:

    If he wouldn’t pass a college public speaking course, why is he in Congress?

  2. Russ said at 4:24 pm on October 22nd, 2010:


  3. Rick Ambrosia said at 4:27 pm on October 22nd, 2010:

    If that was a litmus test, then GW would not have been elected dog catcher. What a pissy little article.

  4. Rick Ambrosia said at 4:28 pm on October 22nd, 2010:

    If that was a litmus test, then GW would never have been elected dog catcher. What a pissy little article.

  5. Because until now, said at 4:39 pm on October 22nd, 2010:

    the voters in CD 6 believed his platitudes, lies, and fake self-congratulation, as though he was “one of us,” a “regular guy”,”from a blue-collar, cop’s home”, blah, blah.. because the voters were lazy, went with the familiar name,and did not check HOW he has consistently voted, as one of the most liberal in Congress, to take more and more of our money and freedom, each long year he was there.. because a few “bones” were thrown, when he’d show up on the “even” years, in the district, and stage a few “Save the Ocean,” Save the Fort”, “Save the Earth” rallies, with the ever-helpful, lib media acting as though the Lord had come home,and running the biennial ” knock and drag,” with a few well-paid union goons,and we voted as though it was all good enough!..AT LAST we’ve awakened ,to learn of his horrid representation of us, and we will pay attention from now on, and not let this happen again!..at last, this Phoney can flat-foot his way back to Long Branch!.. Go, Anna!

  6. firesign58 said at 5:17 pm on October 22nd, 2010:

    Excellent commentary and a telling verdict on a 22-year incumbent. One correction: “Enunciation,” not “Annunciation.” We are not declaring the ascension of the Lord’s mother here – although Anna does seem heaven-sent.

  7. Tweets that mention MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » The Debate at Temple Shalom in Aberdeen -- Topsy.com said at 6:47 pm on October 22nd, 2010:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Anita Hurley and Mary M., Anna Little. Anna Little said: College student critiques the Oct 17 Aberdeen Little-Pallone debate http://tinyurl.com/376x4v6 #teaparty #gop #nj6 #tcot #twisters #tcot […]

  8. Michael said at 9:18 pm on October 22nd, 2010:

    @Rick – Stop pouting! Your guy got beat soundly, you know it and he knows it.

    Why else would he get redder as the debate goes on?

    Why else would he cancel the second debate (which was televised – total of almost 1000 saw it) and THEN call the ocean democrat club and announce he was coming?

    Why else is he asking for a one-on-one debate with no audience at a tv studio? He thinks that by separating Anna from her people that he’ll do better. I just hope that it’s done live so that when Anna trounces him again, he can’t tell them not to air it.

  9. Whitman’s Reserve Premium Collection – Milk, Dark, & Artisan Chocolates – 7 Oz Box | Belgian Chocolate Truffles said at 2:46 am on October 23rd, 2010:

    […] MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » The Debate at Temple Shalom in Aberdeen […]

  10. Thomas said at 9:29 am on October 25th, 2010:

    I attended this debate. Anna Little answered her questions in a clear and concise manner. Frank Pallone responded with vague replies and at times seemed at a loss for words. At one point he responded by reading excerpts from a Star Ledger article. Hardly what I would expect from a 22 year incumbent. On the other hand, his positions on healthcare, immigration, the economy are really hard to defend.