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A memorable example of a special occasion speech is Barack Obama’s acceptance speech in 2008 after he became the 44th President of the United States.

A memorable example of a special occasion speech is Barack Obama’s acceptance speech in 2008 after he became the 44th President of the United States. This was a significant event, as Obama was elected as the first-ever African-American president of the United States. The event was an outdoor rally in Grant Park that registered over 100,000 screaming fans who had gathered to watch the historical moment unfold.

      Obama was able to maintain an emotional connection with their audience, which he did by constantly evoking their feelings. He spoke in a broader voice, combining the components of appreciation, enthusiasm and firmness. His voice became more serious and respectful by pointing out the earlier generations’ sacrifices and the responsibilities shouldered by the present generations to follow them.

      Obama’s delivery was, all in all, compelling. He had a clear voice and a non-hesitant attitude while looking directly at the audience. He used his hand gestures and stage expressions very openly and engagingly. In critical moments, he explained the principal arguments with a measured tempo, volume, word emphasis, and modulation to make the message even more powerful. Just one small area of improvement might have been a tendency to speak too fast at some moments, though this might have been related to the general excitement of the day. If I were giving a piece of advice to Obama, it would be to relish the occasion more – to pause and let the audience experience the gravity of the moment before getting into the rest of the speech. However, in general, it was a highly professional speech.

      For any speaker experiencing anxiety before a big speech, I would recommend that they thoroughly practice the content to build up confidence, breathe deeply to suppress nerves, envision the successful delivery to augment mental preparation and concentrate on making genuine contact with the audience to drive nervous energy into an exciting performance.

 

Reference

CNN. (Nov 7, 2012). 
Raw Video: Barack Obama’s 2008 acceptance speech [Video]. You tube.

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