Kenneth M. Zachary Sr.
American Intercontinental University
This paper analyzes President-elect Barrack Obama’s video of his 2008 victory speech with in depth discussion of the three parts of The Rhetorical Triangle (speaker, audience, and situation). This speech is contrasted and compared to Senator John McCain’s video concession speech, also using the three elements of The Rhetorical Triangle.
Barack Obama’s victory speech in Chicago following his victory in the US presidential election was a fine example of the brilliance of The Rhetorical Triangle. As a speaker, president Obama has mastered the art of grabbing and keeping his audiences attention and as a public speaker that’s the number one goal. Here are five elements that Obama has mastered as a speaker. 1. He Talks About the Audience’s Concerns
2. He Keeps It Simple
3. He Anticipates What His Audience Is Thinking
4. He Learned to Pause
5. He Mastered the Body Language of Leadership
President-elect Obama started the speech off by talking about the American Dream, referring to the “I have a dream speech” by Martin Luther King Jr. He was referring to 3 groups of people in the audience. Obama stated “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.” (Obama: Victory Speech, 2008) In addition, Aristotle said there were 3 elements in rhetoric. These were the effectiveness of the speaker himself, the receptiveness of his audience and the appropriateness of the subject matter. This is a simple way of viewing rhetoric but handy for us who like simple rules. In any case, it seems that Obama's speech did indeed connect on all these levels. This speech in an impressive example of how they can be used to get across almost every...