- Esrati - https://esrati.com -

Two minutes, two minutes, two minutes. Why I hate candidates’ forums.

I’ve got a lot to say. We’ve got a lot of issues. And two minutes isn’t enough to talk about anything in depth.

I just was at “the last” candidates’ forum- at Wayman A.M.E. on Hoover. No Q&A- just 2 minutes.

Should I have talked about being a veteran and a small business owner? Or, my plan for opening up lines of communication between city hall and neighborhoods, or the implementation of a 311 system? Not in two minutes.

I’m even embarrassed about the brevity of “the Esrati Plan [1]” which is about 4 pages. This site has almost 1,100 posts- where do you begin? The only question you can ask is do you want more of the same, or something different?

Go to the other candidates’ sites- find their most erudite posts or brilliant ideas- and then copy and paste them in the comments of this post. I’ll try to point you to where I’ve already talked about the subject- and let you compare.

I can’t wait for this election to be over. We’ve got real work that needs to be done, and all this talk about what we’ve done, or what we’ll do is two minutes wasted from actually doing something.

Some notes for future candidates’ forums:

That’s all I can think of right now. If you have other ideas- add them in the comments.

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Wesley Wellbilly

What interest would it serve the local power structure to keep citizens informed?


David, while I agree that candidate’s nights can be done better–and your suggestions are by and large fine ones (but I don’t get the distinction: if there is to be no moderator, then one must expect pontificating from the floor–maybe the solution is to have all questions in writing and the moderator must ask each in turn?)…
But the flip side is this–we in education know that if you information-overload a listener, she/he will only remember a fraction of the information.  So your duty as a speaker is to keep the level of information comfortably within the limits of their short-term memory.  I have coached many on these points; I’m available to consult with candidates (at least ones I don’t despise) in the future.  If your people didn’t prepare you to hammer home a few persuasive points during your two minutes then you need better people.
By the by–expanding it to five minutes would not mean that you got to make more points.  You should still make only a few hard-hitting points, and then give some specific detail for each.
Having more than 3 or 4 bullet points on your 4-page plan is fine because a reader can re-read.  Having more than 3 or 4 bullet points in a speech dilutes the power of each point.
Potential for improvement next time.  (Win or lose this time)


If I had two minutes I would have asked McClin and the commission members why they allowed over 200 mid managers, executives and directors in the city of Dayton to take a “step increase” during times such as these.  When DPSU, IAFF and the FOP were begged to take a negotiated wage freeze the city turns around a gives these upper management types a 4+% raise, disguised and re-worded as a “step”.  That way they could look us square in the eye and say “no one took a raise this year!  It might be a hard question to answer right before election time.  A press conference will be held tomorrow morning with the details, both the IAFF and the FOP are going to be asking some tough questions.  I would think they will need more than two minutes for their reply.


Not talking “canned” speeches, David.  Rather, understanding clearly what points you wish to make, and practicing discipline in providing those points clearly and with the strongest supporting details for the audience at hand.  Not scripted, but thought out.  Not rehearsed to the point of memorization but visited enough to come easily.  Not rigid, fully open to inserting specific rebuttals or corrections when available.
Well, OK, it does help to have a couple of slogans.   We shall all regionalize together or we shall all hang separately?  Hmmm, needs a little work.


I’m late to your campaign but after reading almost all of this site over the last few days, you’ve got my family’s vote.  Thank you for being there.