Home > Speaking Strategies > The Day After Obama’s Speech

The Day After Obama’s Speech

OK…this isn’t a political post.  Just my 2 cents on the delivery given by President Obama on his speech last night.

What he does well – dramatic use of pause; holding eye contact rather than scanning; excellent vocal variety; humor (nobody messes with Joe); presence

Where he needs help -

  • The pointing is way too distracting because he does it too much.  Hall of Fame speaker Patricia Fripp has always said “The enemy of the speaker is sameness.”  He uses the same gesture constantly.  STOP!
  • Hands folded on lectern.  I know it’s easy to do but it’s too casual for that presentation.  He should try to keep them more by his side raising them to heighten his gestures.
  • In this presentation, he got rid of the “uhms.”  Maybe this is due to the teleprompter.  I still would like to see him improve this on his more extemporaneous presentations.  Had to throw that in.

Overall, it was a good presentation on an evening he had to get it right.  He is a polished presenter that when prepared can be inspirational.  However, he still has room to grow.  I welcome your comments.

P.S. Memo to Congress.  Stop standing up every 3 minutes to applaud.  Geez.  It actually hurts Obama as a speaker.  Why?  He is a rhythm speaker that builds curiosity, drama, and ultimately momentum with his speeches.  By making him stop by the constant standing ovations thwarts this.  It also annoys the heck out of all of us watching on television or the web.  But, that’s just me.

Cheers,

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