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Why Obama still shines in state of the Union address

 In Learning from Luminaries, Politicians

Barack Obama expertly mixed gravitas and inspiration in his State of the Union address this week. Obama’s perennial gift is the extra 1/2 second and 2/3 of a second, pause gaps he takes between his thought groups. He does this especially well after he has made a pithy comment or statement – which allows the comment/statement to touch and dwell in the listener more deeply.

His other gifts are his comfort in his own skin, his ‘light touch’ and his lack of taking himself too seriously, while taking his job seriously. This allows him to inject humour – which he did in the Address –  in a natural, unaffected way.

The ‘how to apply’ for this post is: During the next week allow yourself a fraction of a second pause gap after you have made an important comment/point during an interaction or meeting – and then note its impact on your listener(s).

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