Persuasive Speech Analysis

PersuasiveSpeech Analysis

BarackObama gave a keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention inBoston. The conference‘s purpose was to confirm John Kerry’snomination as the presidential candidate. The address was deliveredto unify the Democrats and set a party platform for the nationalelections later that year (Deborah).Barack Obama was chosen to give the keynote address because he had areputation as a great orator. Moreover, the party leadership feltthat he would resonate with the young and black voters. The intendedaudiences were the delegates in the convention.

Obamaused various delivery methods to present a convincing argument andattract the listeners’ attention. He applies non-verbal techniquessuch hand movements to emphasize his points. For example, Obama usesa wave sign when he is illustrating a time span (Deborah).He also makes gestures using the index and thumb fingers whenhighlighting the major points of the address. The use of signs isvery effective as it keeps the attention of the audience on him(Deborah).However, Obama ensures that these movements are minimal to avoiddistracting his listeners from the main ideas addressed in thespeech. He also uses repetition, especially when trying to promotethe notion that Democratic Presidential nominee, John Kerry, is agood choice. For instance, Obama repetitively uses the words “JohnKerry believes” followed by a statement that informs the delegatesof the candidate’s opinions (Deborah).On the other hand, Obama’s body language was perfect because itkept the listeners engaged without making distracting movements. Heprojects a charming and charismatic persona that demands theattention of his audience.

Additionally,Obama used ethos and pathos to plead with the listeners. The speechwas emotional and passionate when Obama speaks of the unique andimportant characteristics that unite the citizens (Deborah).He evokes the emotions of his listeners by telling them stories thatthey can easily relate to as Americans. For example, Obama statedthat they worship an awesome God. Thus, he objects the idea thatDemocrats promote secularism (Deborah).Obama also applies pathos to connect with the regular Americans,especially the blue collar workers. For instance, he uses the wordssmall and simple to show the people that he understands theirexperiences and the problems they encounter (Deborah).He also combines ethos and pathos by citing cases of specificindividuals that he talked to or met, which personifies the points heis making. Obama also recites the American dream, but does notexplicitly label it thus, drawing and captivating the audience withpathos and pride of being part of the United States (Deborah).

Thenagain, the delivery style is very effective as the listeners seemfascinated and attentive from the beginning to the end. Obama’saddress was very well organized with the introduction, body, andconclusion all flowing seamlessly into each other (Deborah).The speech is arranged using a logical technique where his opinionsare presented in chronological order. Besides, all the argumentsdevelop into a big picture. For example, the ideas presented allpoint to the notion that John Kerry is an excellent candidate whowill be the best to serve the American people (Deborah).The speech was well thought out and credible to convince the audiencethat he is well aware of the political circumstances in the country.Heapplies the problem-solution technique where he points out the issuesof governance the country is facing and then presents a newadministration of John Kerry as the solution (Deborah).

Obama’sspeech was well organized, and it made it easy for the audience tofollow. First, Obama appreciates the chance of speaking at theconvention. Then, he gives the listeners his background detailing thehistory of his parents (Deborah).Therefore, he uses this information to make it easy for the listenersto relate to him and agree with his opinions. The body section of theaddress is filled with patriotic rhetoric where the speaker remindsthe delegates why America is considered a great nation (Deborah).Obama uses such arguments to stir up patriotism among the delegates.He sells the Democratic Party presidential candidate to the audienceby highlighting Kerry’s values and explaining how his leadershipwould benefit the country (Deborah).When concluding, Obama makes a heartfelt plea urging the listeners torise and ensure that the Democratic candidate was elected president.The speech was very well received judging by the crowd’s reaction(Deborah).

Inconclusion, Obama’s keynote address placed him on the nationalplatform in the American politics that possibly laid out the path forhis presidency. Throughout the speech, he remains very confident andoptimistic that the voters can improve the country. He consistentlyuses nonverbal movements such as hand gestures to highlight theimportant points. Obama also applies rhetorical devices to evoke theaudience’s emotions, which makes it easy to follow through to theend and agree with him. Additionally, Obama uses personal experiencesand accounts of his life to support his arguments and establish apersonal connection with his listeners. Therefore, the arrangement,delivery, and rhetorical techniques used in the keynote speech madethe audience attentive throughout the whole address.


Deborah,Francis. “2004 Barack Obama Keynote Speech.”YouTube,21 Aug. 2016. Web. 29 Oct. 2016.