Government & Politics

Obama: The Speech That Charmed the World

In our offices, we’re always talking about content. Content, content, content… we can’t get enough of the stuff and it seems America feels the same, judging by President Obama’s victory early this morning, UK time/late last night, US time.

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Although Obama will have to prove his worth in his actions, not his words, I can’t help but feel that it’s the latter (his content) that has gotten him this far. He’s arguably one of the best orators the White House has ever seen, let alone the world and by choosing his words so carefully, he’s made his way into a second four-year term.

So, what made this latest speech so intoxicating?

He accepts the good with the bad

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Obama is typically open with his words. Like we’ve said before, he admits when things haven’t gone so well, but is quick to praise his administration after each victory. This morning, he said: “We’ve got more work to do.” He’s right – America’s issues with its deficit, employment levels and immigration processes need to be resolved. To do this, he conceded that “difficult compromises” are necessary; he knows the road ahead is tough, but also acknowledged that so much has been done already.

Obama made a point of confirming that the economy is recovering and the war in Iraq is coming to an end. This was by no means an ego-boosting exercise; instead, Obama appeared fair and ready to improve on his past work.

What’s more, he encouraged his supporters in attendance and the rest of America to make the necessary compromises together, which brings me on to my next point…

He unites his nation

Good speeches (good content, too) inspire hope and a sense of unity amongst listeners. In his speech, Obama said:

“The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us; it’s about what can be done by us together, though the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government…”

He went on to express his delight at the sheer “spirit” of the American people and their fight to make their nation better. This wasn’t subtle, but nor did it sound insincere. Obama spoke to his supporters, encouraged them to fight for themselves and each other – but also reaffirmed his willingness to fight with them.

He does this all the while respecting that each citizen is an individual with their own needs; using this as a tool to urge unity as opposed to segregation.

What can we learn?

The truth is that I could go on and on about this speech all day, such was its brilliance. However there are two key lessons we and any content marketers out there can learn from it: honesty and balance.

Be truthful in your content, but don’t be afraid to celebrate your achievements. Strike a balance between speaking to each member of your audience and working hard to keep them united as a community. It takes effort, but it’ll be worth it – just look at Barack.

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