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…
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