Say It Like Obama and Win! | Shel Leanne

Summary of: Say It Like Obama and Win!: The Power of Speaking with Purpose and Vision
By: Shel Leanne


Discover the power of speaking with purpose and vision by delving into ‘Say It Like Obama and Win!’ by Shel Leanne. This book summary explores the charismatic and persuasive speaking style of former U.S. President Barack Obama, whose oratorical excellence is often compared to Bill Clinton, Martin Luther King Jr., and John F. Kennedy, among others. Learn how Obama employs emotive language, charisma, and rhetorical structures to connect with millions of people and unite disparate groups through uplifting and impactful messages. In this summary, you will uncover the importance of body language, voice control, and proper use of props, as well as various techniques for persuasive communication.

Obama’s Mastery of Oratory

Barack Obama’s leadership and speaking skills are often merged, making it challenging to differentiate between them. His charisma and magnetic presence have often been compared to some of the most prominent politicians of different eras. He has a unique ability to control his baritone voice and use different tones to express different emotions. Obama’s messages are uplifting, and he understands the importance of symbolical and rhetorical devices to convey his vision and goals. His mastery of delivery style has helped him connect with millions of people and make him one of the most compelling orators of our time.

Obama’s Keynote Address

Barack Obama delivers an impassioned and engaging keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Throughout the speech, he uses body language, emotional tone, and rhetorical devices to connect with the audience and convey his message of unity and hope. Obama shares his personal story, including his mixed-race background and his family’s role in American history, to bridge the gap with mainstream Americans and showcase the American Dream. He emphasizes the importance of effective leadership and repeatedly drives home his ideas through repetition and contrast. By the end of the speech, Obama has inspired his audience to take action and support Senator John Kerry’s bid for presidency.

Captivating Charisma

Barack Obama’s charisma was a significant factor in his 2008 presidential campaign. Charisma includes energy, conviction, passion, and command, which can influence audience interpretation before even speaking. Obama creates an excellent first impression with his smile, distinctive walking style, and acknowledging audience members. His voice tone and inflection also contribute to his charisma. Additionally, props can aid in helping a speaker achieve a specific message. Obama often surrounded himself with American flags to show patriotism during controversial moments.

Barack Obama’s charisma was one of the major factors that contributed to his success in the 2008 presidential campaign. Charisma is not a single trait, but rather a combination of energy, conviction, passion, and command that can influence an audience’s interpretation before a speaker even begins to speak. For instance, Obama created an excellent first impression through his distinctive walking style, smile, and acknowledgement of audience members. Additionally, the tone and inflection of his voice contributed to his charisma, helping to emphasize his most important ideas. Certain props, such as flags, helped him achieve his desired message during controversial moments or speeches on foreign policy. By mastering these simple techniques, speakers can develop and improve their charisma with practice and training.

Uniting Through Connection

Barack Obama’s successful presidential campaign was built on authentic connection and bridging gaps. He did this by sharing his personal experiences, using relatable examples, and demonstrating emotional understanding. Obama avoided numbered points and instead repeated phrases to maintain an emotional connection with his audience. He addressed controversial topics by showcasing an understanding of his audience’s hopes and fears without losing momentum. Ultimately, Obama’s approach to leadership emphasizes the importance of trust, ethics, and confidence.

Communicating with Impact

Effective communication is key to leadership, and Obama’s ability to reframe historical events in a contemporary context highlights this. Using the “backward loop,” he explains the lesson of past successes and applies it to current challenges, inspiring people to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. With a focus on word imagery, he creates mental pictures in the minds of his audience, using symbols and physical attributes to make his ideas tangible. By sharing his vision through powerful storytelling, Obama shows how leaders can use effective communication to motivate and inspire action.

Techniques to Improve Your Writing

Improve your writing using rhetorical techniques such as conduplicatio, anaphora, epistrophe, mesodiplosis, asyndeton, polysyndeton, and triadic extension. Obama commonly uses these techniques in his speeches to create an impactful delivery. These techniques involve repetition of words or phrases to emphasize important ideas, using conjunctions to build drama, and grouping ideas in threes to create an image or emphasize a point. By applying these techniques, writers can captivate their audience and make their content more engaging.

Persuasion and Leadership

Leaders who use rhetoric and logical thinking alongside persuasive techniques can succeed in guiding and influencing others. In his speeches, Barack Obama employs parallelism, juxtaposition, and antithesis to convey his orderly thought process and emphasize the differences between ideas. He also uses the “idea-pivot-contrasting” structure to present and transition into his preferred position. Additionally, leaders should dress, act, and gather the right props to present themselves as leaders. Providing information that leads others to the same conclusions is the best way to persuade.

Mastering Controversy

Learn from Obama’s success in navigating controversies by facing them directly, acting humbly, taking responsibility, and resolving them quickly. Identify your goals and let them shape your response, including your body language, vocabulary, and apology timing and location. Re-establish your integrity to retake the high ground. Follow Obama and maintain eye contact, demonstrate ethical standards, and show neither defiance nor weakness.

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