There is a lot to learn for anyone who is keen in catching the finer points of public speaking from Barack Obama – the Democrat running for US Presidential elections. He is good! I have been following his speeches – especially the ones on TV – and here are some of my observations..
- Positiveness – not only in his speaking and but in actions also. Notice the ‘claps’ which Obama indulges himself in as he comes on the stage and starts speaking.
- Pauses – The key in public speaking. It is a timing thing. This guy just seems to have a great knack of pausing at the most correct times between his sentences. His pauses seems to be adding to the message he is trying to communicate.
- Knack of repeating the key message again and again – Just observe how many times Obama gets to the key message of his campaign – “change”, “we can”, etc. Whatever he says, he makes sure that he comes back to these words again and again. (On the side note here – this reminded the way Subhash Ghai – Bollywood Movie Director – had a knack of getting to his key movie tune again and again at the right time in his movies – Hero, Ram Lakhan, etc. Audiences simply loved it.). Key here is to get that message or sound bites back again at the right time. Sometimes, it can back-fire though if not done properly.
- Hand postures – Obama’s hands are always visible and all the fingers are pointing in front towards the audience. Always a confident and positive posture! I am personally a big fan of slight hand-waving while speaking (I know that few public speaking gurus think that it can be distracting) and Obama does that quite well.
- It also helps Obama that he has a slightly deep + hoarse combination of tone. People always like that. Also, his style of speaking in a ‘clergy-style’ also seems to be captivating audiences.
I will post more observations as the campaign goes on. Looks like it is going to be a long one!
Tags: Public Speaking