You are watching: Barack obama inauguration speech 2009 analysis
Nonetheless, examining the speech provides 5 crucial speechcreating lessons that deserve to aid us all be better communicators.
This post is the latest in a series of video speech critiques which assist you analyze and also learn from great speeches.
Speech Video: Barack Obama delivers Inauguration Speech
I encourage you to:Read the evaluation in this speech critique;Study the speech message in the complete transcript; andShare your thoughts on this presentation.
Speech Analysis – Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address
Keep in mind that numbers in square brackets (e.g. <14>) describe paragraph numbers in the speech text at the end of this article.
Speechcomposing Lesson #1: Start via a Strong, Simple Speech Outline
Speech analysis by media pundits frequently concentrates specifically on the soundbites — a few phrases below and tright here hole-punched out of a 17-minute speech. It is simple to forget that other words were supplied to stitch together those soundbites right into (hopefully) a cohesive totality.
So, it is worthwhile to research and also analyze the speech outline of Obama’s inauguration speech, bereason all speechauthors have the right to learn from the strong, simple structure which helped convey his message coherently.
My very own wishlist for his speech was that he would certainly accomplish five tasks:Be frank and hocolony about the realities of the economic situation and warsAddress the sagging morale and lack of confidenceAppear strongOffer an olive branch to the worldMake a call-to-activity for personal contributions (alengthy the lines of “Ask not what your nation can do…”)
I think Obama accomplished all of these aims in his inauguration speech making use of a simple six-part structure:Thank you
Speechcreating Lesson #2: Craft Impactful Lines
The message and also outline are even more important, but the soundbites are vital as well.
If there’s one weakness in Obama’s speech, it’s that there’s no clear, unmistakable expression which world will certainly be quoting years from now (although only time holds the definitive judgment).There was no “Ask not what your country have the right to execute for you”.Tbelow was no “I have a dream”.Tbelow was no “This was their best hour.”Tbelow was no “Yes we can.”
But that’s not to say that this speech was doing not have in wondertotally crafted and impactful lines. As I listened, a number of of these resonated strongly via me and also I found myself reasoning “Oh, what a line!”“… start aobtain the work-related of remaking America.”
Finally, although it wasn’t a solitary line, I loved whatever about how paragraphs 27 and 28 were crafted (which contained “a moment that will certainly define a generation“, even though it is a somewhat cliche statement).
Will any of these be quoted decades from now? It’s difficult to tell, however my money is on “the work of remaking America” or “a brand-new era of responsibility.”
Speechwriting Lesboy #3: Employ the Magical Rule of Three
Finding examples of the Rule of Three in speeches by good speakers is favor finding smiling children in a candy store. Examples abound!
But this does not lessen the prestige of this speechwriting tactic. Quite the opposite! If all the Presidential speechauthors wield the Rule of Three, why don’t you carry out it even more often?
Here are simply some of the examples in the inauguration speech of differing length:“humbled by the task before us,grateful for the trust you have actually bestowed,mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.”
Speechwriting Leschild #4: Amplify Words by Drawing Contrasts
As discussed in the speech evaluation of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream”, periodically the finest means to highlight and also sharpen ideas is to present contrast.
Here are a couple of examples from Obama’s Inauguration speech:“rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace” versus “gathering clouds and raging storms”
Speechcomposing Lesboy #5: Thread Your Theme Throughout Your Speech
If the core message of your speech is the plot of the story, then the layout of your speech is the establishing and mood.
Stated an additional means, your message is the what you say— your design template is the just how you say it.
Inauguration speeches are exceptionally normally collection through themes that emphadimension the continuity and also progress of a nation. Whatever the involves of the era, they have the right to be expressed relative to the previous.
The theme for Obama’s inauguration speech might be expressed as “illustration toughness from our prevalent past“. (This is regular with Obama’s intellect — he is well versed in the nation’s background through his studies of Lincoln and also others.) This speech continuously drew examples from the previous and even urged the human being to return to old worths near the end of the speech:
But those worths upon which our success counts – hard work and honesty, courage and also fair play, tolerance and also curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these points are old. These things are true. They have actually been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths.
All in all, there are plenty of referrals to the past to collection the theme for this speech:“mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors”
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” <21>“Recontact that previously generations…” <22>“the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington” <27>“But those values upon which our success counts – tough occupational and honesty, courage and also fair play, tolerance and also curiosity, loyalty and also patriotism – these things are old. These points are true. They have been the quiet force of development throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths.” <29>“In the year of America’s birth…” <33>