President Obama’s Inauguration Speech of 2009
Speeches serve the purpose of vocalizing thoughts with the aim of passing on important messages to an audience. In 2009, President Barack Obama had an opportunity to give a speech to mark his first inauguration ceremony. I did not attend this ceremony but I watched it through the media. President Barack Obama was voted in as the forty-fourth president of the United States of America and the first African American head of state of the nation. He gave a speech under the theme “A New Birth of Freedom.” This speech was orated at United States capital, Washington DC on 20th January 2009. Following the presidential elections, an inaugural ceremony was organized after the swearing-in of the new national leaders. In attendance in this ceremony were various invited guests who included prominent global leaders. This ceremony also attracted a global audience comprising American citizens, global viewers who watched news broadcasts, and global Internet users.
The speech anticipated in this kind of an occasion is a ceremonial speech. It plays an informative role to the general audience. In this case, the speech orator is a global leader whose skills, competence, confidence, and composure are greatly admired worldwide. The speech met the criteria of addressing a global audience with diverse expectations. All the audiences had a message in the speech. He addressed the aspirations of a better America, the hopes of the developing countries, and reassured them to protect and defend the national ideals that the American forefather endeavored to establish. The language exhibited in this speech was scholarly, easy to relate to and it highlighted the major issues of concern in the great nation.
This speech was original in nature. It was unrehearsed, unwritten, and unrecorded prior to the ceremony. The speech transition from one subject to another was orderly and smooth with flowing effects from beginning to the end. The main facts in the speech were clearly stated. President Barack Obama expressed his thoughts and reaffirmed his promises in his speech. This was a sign of credibility and thorough research prior to organizing the personal thoughts into an excellent orated speech. The orator maintained constant eye contact with his audience and he expressed his heartfelt emotions through hand gestures, facial expressions, and slight movement. Vocal tone variation and verbal breaks were effectively used to highlight the areas of emphasis in the speech. The speaker maintained a strong message though out his speech. It had a strong opening message of appreciation and an outstanding conclusion message motivating Americans to keep on dreaming and hoping for great achievements for their nation and future generations. The presenter used his time appropriately in passing his full message to his audience. The speech was short, precise, and coherent in general terms.
This speech had many lessons that the audience could learn and relate to. I learned that it takes determination to be a great achiever because the president once belonged to the minority group but through his pursuit of ambitions, he rose to be a worldwide icon. This is evidently displayed by the confidence in his leadership because he can relate to diverse cultures within our global village. This speech was effective because the audience showed signs of relating to the president’s experience through clapping, active listening, and facial expressions of satisfaction.
This high-quality speech can be regarded as flawless. However, basic communication skills could be useful in improving the emphasis of ideas. Slowing down during a speech and using tonal variation helps to point out the matters of emphasis. Listing down important points also helps in organizing a speech in a presentable manner. However, it is important to note that President Obama is naturally gifted in flawless speech and intelligence to bring out a beautiful piece of literature that anyone would listen to repeatedly. I have watched this speech severally and it inspires me to develop my oration skills to become a great inspirational speaker.
From an analytical view, the orator exhibited some strengths and weaknesses in his speech. Some of the strengths lay in using strong delivery fronts, use of symbolism, and ease in following the flow from one subject to another right from the beginning to the end of the speech. Other strengths in the speech include the use of historical sayings, the presence of similes and imagery to set the mood. He addressed the diversity exhibited by his audience through having a message for each group of people who relate to America’s government.
Some of the weaknesses in the speech may be the use of uncommon words like recriminations and dogmas. Another phrase like standing pat and expedience’s sake could be expressed in layman’s language to pass the information out rightly. However, it is important to point out that language use weaknesses are related to the proficiency level of the orator as well as that of the targeted audience.
In conclusion, this speech marked the beginning of inspirational speeches by President Obama. His speeches are rated to be informative, persuasive, and attention-catching. He possesses great oration attributes and he is termed as a charismatic leader worldwide.