Part V – Obama’s Inaugural Spice: PACING

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

This is the last in a Series of 5 posts
on Rhetorical Tips and Techniques
that President Obama could have used
to make his Second Inaugural Address
more memorable.

          roller coasterwinePacing is a speech writing tip that President Obama could have used to make sure his worldwide audience would savor the verbal champagne he poured from the podium  long after it was consumed on Inauguration Day . Instead it fell flat.

      Click here for a final restructuring of President Obama’s Inaugural Address– in this last of a 5 part series on speech writing tips- to see how the President could have accelerated  the pace of the speech and exhilarated his audience on a roller coaster ride.

      Study that restructured Inaugural speech to see how President Obama could have commanded greater attention and retention of his message in much the same way a symphony orchestra builds to a crescendo. Notice how the use of repetitive phases and short sentences speed the speech to its climactic ending.  Compare  that product of this 5-part series to Obama’s  Original Script.

           Unfortunately, President Obama virtually slow-walked to the finish line in his Second Inaugural. Over the last five minutes The President averaged only 118 words-per-minute with a high of 143 (vs. 106 words-per-minute with a high of 116 over the first five minutes.)

          Compare that flat performance to his  2007 speech to the NCAAP or  his 2008 victory speech following the Virginia Primary or his 2008 Election Night speech.

         In 2007, over the last five minutes of his NAACP speech, Barack Obama averaged 146 words-per-minute with a high of 174 (vs. 104 words-per-minute with a high of 116 over the first five minutes.)

In 2008, over the last five minutes of his Virginia Primary Victory speech, Barack Obama averaged 134 words-per-minute with a high of 161 (vs. 110 words-per-minute with a high of 126 over the first five minutes.)

         And on November 4, 2008 in Grant Park, over the last five minutes of his Election Night Victory speech President-Elect Barack Obama averaged 137 words-per-minute with a high of 155  (vs. 105 words per minute with a high of 117 over the first five minutes), albeit  slowed by 63 seconds of applause in that first five minutes vs. 22 seconds of applause in the last five minutes.

           Continue reading “Part V – Obama’s Inaugural Spice: PACING”

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Billboarding Your Message Just In Time

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to assure your message is more easily digested. Reading time: 2:03

               Chances are you’ll be smiling a bit after reading the following little ditty.  Consider the way millions of motorists over some 40 years smiled at the innovative way the shaving cream company redefined roadside advertising beginning in the 1920s.

A peach looks good

With lots of fuzz

But no man’s a peach.

And never was.

Burma Shave.

              It was a lot more than just the catchy words that Burma Shave used on their 7,000 sets of billboards: it was how Burma Shave spaced their words on five or six sequentially placed billboards and paced their key messages a few words at time to make sure the passing motorists had enough time to read and digest its message before reaching and reading the next billboard.

              Burma Shave parsed its message a few words at time. A motorist could then easily read, understand and digest the message: “A peach looks good….with lots of fuzz etc.

              Continue reading “Billboarding Your Message Just In Time”