BIDEN – impassioned, GENUINE & statesmanlike in victory SPEECH

 In Body language, Delivery, Facial expression, Gesturing, Learning from Luminaries, Luminary, News, Owning space, Politicians, The Winning Voice, Voice

Joe Biden delivered an impassioned, genuine and statesmanlike performance in his 15:00 minute election victory speech in winning the presidency of the United States.

Biden’s performance brings to mind the quote I mention often, from the poet Horace:

‘If you want me to weep you already must be deeply grieved.’

Biden cares deeply about the thoughts he utters, so his audience (primarily the American people) cares deeply, too.

Here is my analysis of certain parts of the speech

  • Biden’s jogging to greet Kamala Harris, who had just introduced him seemed, staged and an attempt to inject the perception of his vitality, to counter the perception an old man aged of 77 years.
  • With Biden, what you see is what you get. He is un-affected. His folksy manner at the start of the speech, where he called out to various people in the audience was more akin to a stump speech than to a Presidential victory election speech. But those off the cuff remarks were genuine. After the remarks Biden caught himself, remembered the moment and began the prepared victory speech.
  • Powerful moments in the speech came when he spoke of a ‘time to heal’ and when talking of COVID, ‘built on bedrock science’. These phrases were paired with firm, forceful karate chop and thumb-to-index finger hand gestures.
  • His face conveyed controlled anger paired with thrusting gestures when he spoke of ‘ the grim era of demonisation of America end here and now’.
  • He owned and occupied the physical space in front of his body when talking of an ‘inflection point’.
  • Biden had several miscues in pronunciation. ‘Win the confidence of all of you’ became ‘Win the confidence of all you’.
  • The speech miscues seem related to Biden’s stuttering disorder.  He usually keeps the disorder under control.
  • One explicit example of stuttering came at the 12:38 minute mark of the speech ‘in the possibilities of this country’.

Here is the LINK to the speech


p.s. Here is a passage I recently read from journalist and satirist Malcolm Muggeridge, that made me stop and think. It might interest.

‘When I look back on my life nowadays, which I sometimes do, what strikes me most forcibly about it is that what seemed at the time significant and seductive, seems now most futile and absurd.

For instance, success in all of its various guises; being known and being praised; ostensible pleasures, like acquiring money or seducing women, or traveling, going to and fro in the world of up and down in it like Satan, explaining and experiencing exercises in self-gratification see like pure fantasy, what Pascal called, “licking the earth”.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to Behind the Voice

Regular insights, guidance and commentary on how communication influences business and the world around us

Thank you for subscribing