Barrack Obama's Inagural Speech: Clarity in action

Today Barrack Obama delivered his inaugural address.
It was clear.



In addition to his great timing, musical oratory style and presidential mannerisms he followed a few of the clarity rules:
  • He had one point which was: The US is in a crisis and getting out of it will be hard but possible.
  • His points could be structured into a logic tree (see Logic Tree post #1 and #2)
  • He signposted - telling us where he was in his logic tree. (after talking about the war, the economy from various perspectives, health care, schools, the housing slump and energy policy"These [things I just discussed] mean crisis is hard")
  • He didn't waffle around an unpleasant message
  • He linked his central idea to an emotional theme: (repeatedly invoking "The values of our forefathers", which saw the US through crises in the past)

Watch his speech again, paying attention to those things he did deliberately to make it simple and clear:
  • See if you can construct the underpinning logic tree.
  • See if you can imagine his speechwriters storyboarding out the structure points.
  • See if you can see them ticking off the pointed emotional appeals to various stakeholders.

Politicians are often derided for talking lots but saying nothing. Spouting political doublespeak and leaving their audience obfuscated and wondering what was actually said.

Not so yesterday.

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