Seven speech-techniques powering Obama’s UN Address

The Presenters' Blog

by Peter Paskale

Powerful speeches contain powerful content. For that content to shine though, it must be mounted into a powerful structure. Barack Obama’s speech today at the UN General Assembly contained both.

Much analysis will be given over to the content of that speech, so let’s take a moment to examine the structure. Let’s understand what was powering away beneath the hood.

Here are seven of the hidden mysteries that allowed Barack Obama to deliver a barn-stormer.

Paired opposites for tension

It was the number one rhetorical technique within the president’s UN speech, and we saw it in the very first line:

“… we come together at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope.”

The technique is called Antithesis, and it suspends audiences between doubt and certainty – darkness and light – peril and salvation.

Five paragraphs later and the technique appears…

View original post 852 more words

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