How Does Obama Make His 2008 Victory Speech Successful?

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President Barack Obama uses a wide variety of techniques to make a successful victory speech. The main features that allowed this were his choices of language; rhetorical devices; his mode of delivery; paralinguistic & prosodic features; and his structure. Obama’s speech is full of carefully thought out language choices that all give a specific effect on the audience. For example, many times in the speech Obama repeats the first person pronoun ‘we’ which makes the audience feel included and involved giving them a strong sense of belonging. Obama links this into his use of abstract nouns like ‘hope’, which make a connection with the audience on an emotional level. This is effective because most of the points Obama discusses in his speech are intangible ideas, creating a link between the listeners giving them a common dream and goal of change and development. At the same time Obama also uses emotive/provocative language like ‘despair’ and ‘depression’ which appeals to the audiences emotions and bonds them. This is also effective in grabbing the audience’s attention because it incites them into listening how Obama will change the ‘desperate’ situation in America. This is used with the phrase ‘Our Children’ to make an individual connection to the audience. This is effective because it makes the audience feel stronger about a need for change and Obama since it gives something personally emotional that they can all relate to. Another example is where Obama talks about ‘millions’ of people, which is effective because it gives the audience a sense of the scale of choice they made, and also encourages them, that they made the right decision because so many people wouldn’t have chosen Obama if he was wrong. As well as word choices Obama used many rhetorical devices to make his speech more persuasive and interesting. For example, in the first part of the speech extract, Obama uses an anecdote of the 106 year old Ann Nixon Cooper to convey a large section of the...
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