Three Lessons from Obama…

We can all learn from Barack Obama’s acceptance speech:

1. The effectiveness of our communications determines the effectiveness of our lives.

  • Barack lost his first election to the Illinois House in 2000, won his first election in 2004 to the US Senate from Illinois, and in 2008 is the likely next President of the United States – because of his communicating.
  • His speech at the 2004 Convention vaulted him into contention, and his speaking continues to elevate his cause.
  • He is a polished, practiced orator who can also hold his own in spontaneous settings.

2. Create the moment.

  • At this speech at this moment, Obama hit substance without inspiring with rhetoric. I was actually surprised that he was not more expansive in his inspiration, but the stadium crowd and the commentators were moved. He was appropriate to the moment, he played it right, and knew exactly what he was doing.

3.Use the skills of communicating.

  • Barack Obama has practiced and learned the skills.
  • He uses the measured pause (perhaps too much so in his off the cuff remarks, but perfect for formal speaking and oratory.)
  • He uses oratorical devices (The Rule of Three, Set ’em Up and Knock ’em Down, Contrast)
  • He is using the teleprompter better, with three focal points at this speech vs. two. (He could actually practice this skill.)

Bottom line – a very successful speech, although not as soaring as I expected.

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