Obama’s SPEECH at 2020 DNC, Deconstructed
Once again Barack Obama gave a pitch-perfect, luminary presentation at the 2020 United States Democratic National Convention.
Overall, Obama’s most powerful channel was not his words, cadence, voice or body language. But his feeling tone.
It was a feeling tone that conveyed his deep concern, sadness, pain, frustration and hope.
Here is analysis of certain segments of the presentation:
2:04 – 2:10 minute mark: Use of the literary technique of ellipsis; ‘…marched for, went to jail for, fought for and died for’
2:53 – 3:14 minute mark: Use of the literary technique of anaphora: ‘No interest in putting in the work; No interest in finding common ground, No interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends.
3:23 – 3:28 mark: Moist eyes and a facial expression of anguish, sadness and anger when uttering: ‘… and the consequences of that action are severe’.
11:10 mark: An audible out-breath conveying frustration and concern after saying ‘…and that’s what is at stake right now – our democracy’.
15:07 – 15:34 mark: A mixture of anger, pain and sadness conveyed through the face and a voice pitch break when talking about black Americans.
Obama feels deeply – so we the listeners, feel deeply.
As the poet Horace maintained ‘If you want me to weep, you first must of all feel grief yourself’.
16:56 -17:04 mark: A tear and an audible out-breath conveying anguish when saying ‘… so no black child in this country feels the continuing sting of racism’.
Through the presentation Obama liberally used a thumb-to-index finger gesture to underscore key points. His delivery was punctuated by extended pause gaps, signally the gravity of his topic.