A public speech is a process that requires important skills when communicating information to your audience. Former President Mr. Barack Obama is known for being a good public speaker. In fact, Richard Greene of the Huffington rated Barrack Obama as America’s third greatest presidential speaker. I will discuss the speech delivery and the structure of the presidential election speech given by Mr. Obama on 4th of November 2008, Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois. The goal and the three main points of his speech are to use different rhetorical techniques to capture, inform, and entertain his audience to keep them engaged.
In this video, Obama addresses thousands of people after his victory of winning the presidential election. The audience is filled will different ethnicities, ages, faces of hope, joy, and eyes with tears. You can tell what he’s doing to connect with the audience. How he relates himself, what he has experienced during the election, and how it had the same effect on him as it did for the audience.
Mr. Obama shows repetition and emphasize on an idea and making it memorable in a way you wouldn’t forget. For example, Obama is known for his famous quote “Yes We Can”! In the video, he informs the people, even though the road ahead may be long. We will keep climbing. We might not make it in a year time or one term. But he is more hopeful than he was that night that they will get there. He promises America we will. The audience is entertained and starts to chant “Yes We Can”, “Yes We Can”! Obama use of words are tangible it takes you to another place, and you’re actually able to paint a picture that you can imagine in your mind, his gestures the clarity of thinking and giving the audience confidences in their leader, also how he slows down and lowers his tone of voice and pauses on impact. This gives the audience reassurance about his leadership.
The people want to trust in someone who they can be inspired by whether if it’s to lead a nation or run a business someone is always looking to be inspired. While delivering his speech he was relaxed which reflects on his body language, his posture is militant, able to deliver his words to the audience without hesitation and most importantly he made eye contact. Organizing your speech also plays a huge part in making a difference between a great speech and a boring speech. To get his message across to people he uses memorable words, voice, and hand gestures. These are some of the key elements what I’ve noticed while watching Obama’s speech.
Barack’s speech was well put together. It was well-rehearsed because he practiced. He accomplished his goal of getting the crowd excited to hear his speech by using a way of a creative attention getter. His attention getter was highlighted the most memorable part of the election. He spoke about the eldest voter. Obama captures the audience and says, although there were many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations and generations. One that was on his mind was a woman from Atlanta who cast her ballot. She's a lot like the other millions of people who stood in line to make their voice heard in the election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper was 106 years old. This was great for his attention getter. She was born just one generation past slavery and at that time there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; Ann Cooper couldn't vote for two reasons: because she was a woman and she was Black. She saw a lot throughout her century in America the heartaches, hope, the struggles, and the progress; those were times when we were told that we can't, and the people still continued to press on.
Ann Cooper passed away on December 21, 2009, at the age of 107. She would’ve been 108 years old on January 9, 2010, but she passed away three weeks before her birthday. When he mentioned her, the cameras turned to the audience and everyone was in awe, I know I was. They couldn’t believe it. I was definitely moved by it. I could picture an image of this elderly woman in a wheelchair able to get up, get out and go vote. It’s amazing; it motivates and inspires me to keep voting. We want our voices to be heard, a better life for ourselves, and for our children.
Obama gives credibility to McCain on his hard work in running the race for a country he loves. In an article that I’ve read on www.history.com McCain says, “Nothing in life is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself, something that encompasses you but is not defined by your existence alone.” Mr. McCain passed away August 25, 2018, leaving behind a legacy. Yes, I agree that Obama’s speech was fitting for the time of history; it was appropriate, successful, worked well due to the feedback, and applause of the audience. The people wanted to see a change in America. The way he addresses the audience it kept them engaged in what he had to say and for what was coming next.
In conclusion, Mr. Obama uses different rhetorical techniques in ways to keep his audience informed, entertained, and captured with his speech. He uses these techniques effectively. It creates different impact and emotion on his audience whether it be important, worth and or trust. The goal was met with the structure and delivery throughout his speech.
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