Delivery of the speech


Good communication is not just about the words being said. It is easy to overlook the significance of the delivery of a speech - perhaps because we often work with speeches in transcript form when analyzing them. However, it will often be highly relevant to study the video of the speech (if there is one available), as it lets you do some interesting analysis work with the visual and auditory aspects of the performance.

Political speakers tend to be especially aware of their body language and general appearance when making their speeches. Most prominent politicians receive extensive media training, where they are taught how to seem calm, confident and sympathetic when facing the media and potential voters. In short, political speakers are often very good at using their body language and tone of voice to influence their audiences in a favorable way. Of course, you may also study speeches where it is clear that the speaker has not had much professional training, which might often be the case if the speaker is someone without a political background.

If you need to find video footage of a modern speech, YouTube is often the first place to look.

Body language

Body language plays a significant role in human communication, and it can greatly affect how trustworthy we perceive a person to be. When examining body language, it can be relevant to look at the speaker’s gestures (especially how she uses her arms and hands) and facial expressions.

The more active a speaker’s body language is, the more passionate the speaker appears to be. It is important to find a good balance, though, as excessive body language can distract from the contents of a speech, and may even give the impression that the speaker is not fully in control of herself.

However, very limited use of body language also carries a risk. When used well it can present an image of a speaker who is calm, confident and fully in control, but the speaker also risks coming across as indifferent to the topic and the audience.

In some cases, it may also be relevant to consider the speaker’s physical appearance, as most professional speakers carefully consider their appearance before going on stage. Specifically, elements ...

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