People are still recovering from the first lady’s emotional speech at the Democratic national convention. About 26 million people tuned in last night to watch Michelle Obama deliver her mesmerising speech as it was streamed across the world live from Philadelphia. The speech was incredibly well-received and led many politicians to ponder the possibility of her running for president in the future. Obama focused her speech around two people. No, not Clinton and Trump, but Sasha and Malia Obama. She shared with us her fears of raising her children in the public eye under of constant scrutiny that “could truly make or break them.” And not just talking about them as her children, but as two “poised young women” whose futures will be shaped by the outcome of this election. Emotion doesn’t just happen in a speech; there’s a structure behind it. There are several ways that speakers can incorporate emotion into their presentation, and Michelle Obama used every one of them.
Ever since her husband’s landmark victory, Michelle Obama never stopped amazing crowds with the power of her words. There is quite a lot of work that goes into it. More than we think. Speechwriting and speech-giving are forms of art in much the same way that cooking is art.
What we first notice.
It does not take an expert to realise how nicely constructed and powerful the speech was delivered. There are some basic things that we instantly realise after hearing the speech that have contributed to the making of such a memorable speech. For instance, The speech was short. When carrying out an emotional speech, it is important to keep the speech fairly short when conveying emotion. People tend to tune out and get bored when speeches or presentation are lengthy. Michelle Obama’s speech was 14 min, which is an ideal amount of time to transfer emotion to an audience. There’s a reason why some of the most famous speeches in history fall within the 15- to 20-minute range. TED Talks, for example, are 18 minutes. TED organisers found that 18 minutes is an appropriate time to get your point across without putting people to sleep. The speech was also easy to read and deliver. It has readability score of 83.6, which means the sentences are short and the words are simple. It was written in conversational English which makes it more personal and easier for the audience to connect with her. One rhetorical tool that people notice often is storytelling. It assists in making an emotional connection with another. Her speech was personalised with stories. She told several personal stories about Hillary Clinton, her husband, and her daughters. By doing that, it became more than just a speech. It is as if she is having a one-on-one conversation.
A rhetorical device is a use of language that is intended to have an effect on its audience. Michelle Obama made sure
Michelle Obama made sure to use imagery by applying vivid and descriptive language to add depth to her work.The use of descriptive language helps the audience create vivid images in their minds. In the following example, Michelle Obama helps the audience imagine the way in which Sasha and Malia Obama influenced their parents and reinforced their determination to be role models for them and for children across the US. It instantly imprints itself on the audience.
Allusion is brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance. She appeals to ethos as she notably refrains from mentioning political opponent Donald Trump by name. This actually works heavily in her favor, as it demonstrates the “they go low, we go high,” mentality, she advocates for both herself and the Clinton campaign. This heavily contrasts the campaign of Trump. As a result, Michelle Obama effectively makes her point to the audience by grasping the moral high ground her opponents failed to reach. She tells the audience “don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this right now is the greatest country on earth!” here, she quietly refers to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign’s motto: “Make America Great Again!”
The use of Ethos,Pathos, and logos.
Ethos means credibility. Pathos means empathy or emotion, and logos means logic. The study of the modes of persuasion were originally discussed by the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Let’s explore how they are applied in Michelle Obama’s persuasive speech. Starting of with logos. Michelle’s use of logos was limited but her speech wasn’t concentrated on facts. However, it could be argued that she used logos to present Hillary Clinton as the logical choice for a presidential candidate. She lists Clintons accomplishments in law and child advocacy. An important part of Michelle Obama’s speech relies on ethos. She builds ethos for herself and for her husband, whom she portrays in a loving way. for example, “Remember how I told you about his character and conviction, his decency and his grace…the traits that we’ve seen every day that he’s served our country in the White House.” In this example, she also builds on the credibility of having spoken at the Democratic Convention before and on the success of Barack Obama’s two terms in office. She established her credibility. She has lived in the white house for eight years and has directly witnessed the experience of running the country. Having seen this, she has the credibility to say who she thinks is a perfect fit for the job. Finally, she mostly relied on pathos to get her point across.She used it a lot in her speech by telling real stories about her and her family. By doing this, she is relating to every parent in the country. She is using their emotion and love for their children to explain why Hillary Clinton would make the best president. Michelle Obama explains how the children of the country need a strong leader who is resilient to lead them into a path for a better future, what every parent wants.