Obama and Favreau.
I’ve told you that I’m a big fan of the way President Obama makes a speech. I think I’m entitled to be. Earlier this week The Christian Science Monitor made him number three in their list of great Presidential Orators of Modern Times. For myself, I’d make him number one and could give you several pages on why. Actually, though, that’s the point of my blog today. Commentators rarely see eye-to-eye.
Take the State of the Union address delivered by President Obama on Tuesday. Then take a look at what the Washington Post had to say next day.
“The scholars of Body Language are typically impressed with him and found him stronger than usual Tuesday. [Obama] was “projecting a lot of strength” with a staccato rhythm and an emphatic finger point to underscore lines …”
Now go to Fox News.
“President Obama looked like he was at a funeral. Here he was promising goodies for all … but he looked miserable. He had the command and power and majesty of the entire U.S. government sitting before him but he looked like he didn’t want to be there.”
Maybe there are political perspectives involved in all this so I’ll throw in an impartial two cents worth – and side with the Post!
President Obama knows how to deliver a message. He knows how to get the demeanor right, the authority right, the emphasis right. We at Working Voices preach that all these things can be learnt, and so they can – just as the President learnt them. But he has another weapon too. It’s Jon Favreau, his long-time Director of Speechwriting. If Obama has a flair for the delivery, Favreau has a flair for the language. He’s the master of every relevant rhetorical skill. Two people; one powerful message.