Michelle Obama Shows Us How to Give a Speech

Michelle Obama Speech Expert Grade: A+

WOW! Warmth, brains, beauty, substance, storytelling, repetitive phrasing, good use of Teleprompters. You name it, Michelle Obama displayed it. None of the shouting, trying to get the crowd into a false frenzy, staring at the Prompter….or any of the common mistakes that will be shown over and over at these conventions. HINT: Notice how Michelle used details to make her stories come alive. She told of her dad using 2 canes to walk cross the room to kiss her mom. Can’t you just picture that? It’s the details that make you feel as if you are in the same place, living the experience.

My Dad was our rock. Although he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in his early thirties, he was our provider, our champion, our hero. As he got sicker, it got harder for him to walk, it took him longer to get dressed in the morning. But if he was in pain, he never let on. He never stopped smiling and laughing – even while struggling to button his shirt, even while using two canes to get himself across the room to give my Mom a kiss. He just woke up a little earlier, and worked a little harder.

HINT: Notice how she subtly closed her eyes at one point, as if to think and imagine what she was going to say. This was a technique, because it was already written out. But she used this so naturally, I almost thought she was adlibbing!

Watch tonight and compare Michelle’s warm approach to Hillary’s usual strident approach. Hillary has shown she can tone it down, even cry on cue. We’ll see if she learned from Michelle and exhibits that style or if she plans to use the Teddy Kennedy/typical political speaking approach. I wonder which Hillary will show up tonight.

If you’d like an expert assessment of your speaking style, drop me an email at

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1 Response to Michelle Obama Shows Us How to Give a Speech

  1. By the way,

    In case you want to follow a few more speakers than the big netwits (pardon me, networks) allow you to hear, move your dial over to PBS or CSpan. They allow for less commentary and more gavel to gavel coverage.

    These sites also have smaller or non-existent scrolling screens at the bottom – our Rocky Mountain PBS station has only a logo in the bottom right can’t promise what yours will have). CSpan has awfully close to gavel to gavel speech coverage – allowing you to study the speaking abilities of all the speakers, not just Bill and Hillary.

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