Thursday, February 19, 2009

Business>>The Power of Speaking Like Obama

I subscribe to a service called  They take current (and past) books on business and business practices and summarize them in 6-8 pages. image A helpful service. 

But today they published an original article by Samantha Melissa Johnson, their marketing manager.

Whatever you think of Pres. Obama (and I didn’t end up voting for him), no one can deny the power that he has exhibited through the spoken word.   I recognize that preaching is not simply a matter of technique, but technique is involved. 

Let me quote the start of the article and then direct you to the rest if you are interested:

Barack Obama has brought the power of oration back to American politics. Using well-practiced public-speaking skills, he not only rouses roaring applause but inspires real change in his listeners. In speech after speech, Barack Obama has “fired up” millions of enthusiastic supporters with his inspiring vision, rousing rhetoric, and charismatic presence. His outstanding communication skills gave rise to an unprecedented political movement and fueled Obama’s success in becoming America’s first African American president. But inspiring and persuading millions isn’t simply a product of innate ability—Barack Obama honed techniques that made him a highly effective speaker before audiences numbering thirty to 200,000.

Creating Strong First Impressions – Image and Body Language

The strong first impression that Barack Obama makes reminds us that body movement and image speak a language to the audience as potent as anything said out loud.

Barack Obama is adept at establishing excellent first impressions. Good eye contact has also been valuable to Obama. Audiences perceive this as respectful – the behavior of a person welcoming them.

Effective Use of Body Language and Voice

In the delivery of his 2004 keynote address, Barack Obama demonstrated outstanding use of body language. In short, Obama created a very strong first impression.

The deep timbre of his voice, his natural asset, heightened the positive impression. Similarly, placing his hand over his heart at key moments conveyed the sincerity of his words. Obama came across as authentic.

As Obama adeptly recasts the dialogue to stress commonalities rather than differences, he focuses on key aspects such as shared dreams and values. When preparing remarks, consider this: What common-ground elements can you bring to the fore to establish strong ties to your audience?

As political commentator Jamal Simmons noted on June 3, 2008, Obama has succeeded in presenting his life story as a “uniquely American story… Like Bill Clinton’s story, Ronald Reagan’s story, Harry Truman’s story…” This has helped him connect with audiences; his life story is viewed as a classic story and it has endeared Obama to millions of Americans.

Practices for Earning Trust and Confidence

Given Obama’s tremendous success, leaders have much to learn from the way he uses excellent communication practices to earn the trust and confidence of others.

To read the rest of the article look here.


dac said...

being a public speaker, I would say he uses techniques to manipulate the audience, not earn it's trust.

Trust can only be earned through actions.

Manipulation can be achieved through words

(I should know, I do it enough)

Cal Habig said...

Thanks for the comment. In this case, time will surely tell, won't it!

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