Experts at the University of Virginia are breaking down the first presidential debate between Republican Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.

UVA law professors and public speaking experts Molly Shadel and Robert Sayler co-authored the book "Tongue-Tied America." They're using their expertise to analyze presidential campaign and debate seasons leading into November.

They say Romney outperformed president Obama in Wednesday night's debate. Overall, they say, Romney's responses were more clear and concise.

"He was able to communicate ideas a littler more succinctly, a little more crisply," Shadel said.

Political analysts at the UVa Center for Politics agree Romney bested the president in the debate.

"They just kind of need to keep doing what they're doing, and hope that this debate performance is the kind of spark they need to kind of even things up," analyst Geoff Skelley said.

The Center for Politics says there will likely be lower expectations for the president heading into his next debate October 16th. That could help his performance in the eyes of voters.

As for how both candidates can improve their debate performance, Shadel says both should focus on clarity and leave the cheap attacks at the door.

Click here to read the 'Tongue-Tied Applied' blog.