Verbal and Non Verbal Communication Essay

PART 1 In this essay I will consider two very different public appearances made by Barack Obama in 2008 and compare his use of verbal and non verbal communication. The appearances used are his presidential victory speech on November 4th in Chicago and his appearance on the David Letterman show whilst he was still a senator in September . Even before he delivers his speech Barrack Obama creates a rapport with his audience by greeting them with “Hello Chicago. ” Even though he is addressing millions of people worldwide on TV this makes it a lot more personal to the people standing in front of him.

He opens his speech with a rhetorical question. “Is there anyone out there who still doubts….? ” and then goes on to answer it in the next three paragraphs where he uses the tricolon technique “It’s the answer told…… It’s the answer spoken…… It’s the answer that led….. ” Using this technique adds emphasis and guarantees a strong opening to the speech. The next part of his speech is used to thank people who have helped him on his journey to the White House. He thanks his running mate Joe Biden and his campaign manager David Plouffe.

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He thanks his campaign team of whom he said “the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics” He gives heartfelt thanks to his wife “my best friend…. the love of my life“ before finally thanking the people who voted for him “I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to – it belongs to you. ” Each thanks is deliberately followed by a pause to allow the audience to show their appreciation. This show of gratitude makes him appear humble and sincere and shows that he appreciates that it was a team effort to win the election.

PART 2 In the middle part of his speech his tone becomes a bit more serious as he sets out the task ahead for his government and explains why it won’t be easy. “Two wars, a planet in peril and the worst financial crisis in a century” He acknowledges the problems that a lot of Americans are facing. “mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor’s bills. ” This makes Obama seem open and honest and not over confident about what needs to be done.

He then goes on to explain the importance of hard work to make things better and uses the power of three and a metaphor to emphasise the point. “…. block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand. ” He also emphasises the need for people from different walks of life to work together. “… in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people” He refers to the division between rich and poor Americans and uses metaphors to emphasise this “… If this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers. Wall Street is used to represent the rich Americans while Main Street represents the working class or poorer Americans. He is saying that he won’t allow the rich to prosper at the expense of the poor. In the final section of his speech he looks back at some momentous events in American history through the eyes of a 106 year old voter called Ann Nixon Cooper. He uses short paragraphs to link some bad events that she would have seen during her life, with a message of hope. “When the bombs fell on our harbour and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise……

Yes we can” He uses emotive language in these paragraphs “…. buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham” and also alliteration….. “despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land. ” He uses repetition by ending each short paragraph with the words, “Yes we can” which basically becomes the catch phrase of the whole speech. He continues his rapport with the audience In the final paragraph by repeating the personal pronoun’s ‘we’ and ‘our’ several times as he ends his speech on a unified note. By James d