Take some presentation tips from Barack Obama

It's been quite a while since the race for the US presidential nomination got people all over the world listening in, but from the number of Australian bloggers I've noticed commenting on Barack Obama's campaign in the US, he's doing a good job as an inspirational speaker.

Carmine Gallo at Business Week has written an article offering up four techniques which you can borrow from Obama to make your presentations a bit more inspiring. Apart from some general advice on theme and delivery, such as presenting a positive message of hope, it also delves into some very interesting rhetorical devices:

Parallel structure

Repeat the same word or expression at the start of a series of sentences (anaphora) or at the end of a series of sentences (epistrophe). Think Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech. Obama's speech (set to music in the video above) uses epistrophe by repeating the expression "Yes we can" throughout to punctuate his speech.

Dynamic Vocal Delivery

Pacing, volume and well-placed pauses are all speaking techniques which Obama employs very effectively. You need to avoid speaking in a monotone - varying the speed you speak at (and your volume) can help with this.

Got any speaking tips or examples of great speeches or speakers? Share in comments please.

How to Inspire People Like Obama Does [Business Week]


    Although I'm a Hillary Clinton supporter (and a U.S. citizen who will be voting in the elections come November), it doesn't take much to beat her advertisements. Barak's are far better. However, great speaking skills does not make one a leader.

    i support obama

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