Guest post by Zander Smith
A good politician gives lots of speeches. A great politician has the oratory skill to use his speeches to motivate, inspire, and convince people to follow him. The recent American presidential race showed the world the importance of giving a good speech, the importance of having great oratorical prowess. Barack Obama a black motivational speaker inspired millions of Americans to follow him to the White House during the course of the 2008 presidential campaign.
Most Americans have never met Barack Obama and they never will. They do feel connected to him because of the power of his pre-election speeches. On the campaign trail Obama used style to give meaning and believability to his words. This often ignored trait of great orators made Americans feel as if they knew Barack Obama personally and they believed what he had to say.
Obama is an expert at using rhythm and cadence during his speeches to involve his audience. Frequent pauses during his speeches allow the audience to participate by cheering, clapping, and chanting. It also gives listeners the chance to actually absorb what he is saying. Experts note three advantages to using well placed pauses during a speech.
-A pause will allow the speaker to take a breath and gives the audience a chance to respond
-A pause during which the audience responds lets people feel connected to the speaker – they are participating in what he has to say
-A pause which lets the audience respond shows the speakers generosity – he allows others to speak and does not take all the time for himself
Delivering a good speech is very difficult task. Bob Proctor, a great orator, breaks a speech down into 3 simple parts. First, tell the audience what the speech is about by introducing your material. Next, give the audience the meat of your material. Third, review what you have said in steps 1 and 2. The second step of any great speech is practice. A great orator will know his stuff. Study all of your information. The better acquainted you are with your material the better you will feel when sharing it with your audience.
Barack Obama’s campaign trail speeches, and his presidential speeches, are excellent examples of the above three advantages. Instead of following the modern, just the facts style of many of today’s orators Obama looked to the great speakers of the past for inspiration. Barack Obama may be a “new” style candidate but he has taken full advantage of “old school” techniques when speaking in public.
Zander Smith, Site Representative Great Black Speakers Member of Great speaker motivational society