Originally Posted by AlexS
But I think aside from politics, he is a wonderful speaker - maybe the best I have seen. His speeches are truly inspirational. If you can set politics aside, how do you feel about him as a public speaker?
He is a good political speaker, but not a particularly good public speaker overall. I'm sure you realize that poltiicians at that level do not write their own speeches - they have speechwriters. So you cannot attribute the content to the speaker other than their editing to personalize the speech. Even mid and higher level government officials often have their speeches written by people that have a lot of political savvy and truely know how to capture an audience. I wrote many speeches for government officials - most of them are pretty clueless.
As far as the delivery, I would rate him as so-so. He reads well, which is a big help, but his pauses are too often and poorly timed, he cannot seem to mask his arrogant expression, and his eye contact is poor, which goes along with the arrogant expression - he looks down too much and up too much rather than at his audience, which demonstrates a lack of willingness to look his audience in the eye and questions his honesty, and which elicits a lack of trust on the part of people that are truly listening to what he is saying rather than just listening unthinkingly to something they want to hear. You can always tell when he is lying or uncomfortable with what he is saying by looking at his eyes. As you know, I was a Public Affairs Officer for a federal agency for many years, and as such had formal training provided by the government - similar to the training most politicians undertake, and I am a little surprised, considering how smart Obama is, that he makes as many mistakes in his delivery and body language as he does. Yes, he inspires people, but he only inspires people that agree with his politics and hear what they want to hear and see what they want to see. His biggest problem when speaking is the inability to hide his arrogance and the fact that he talks down
to people - not to
them. That is what he is, of course, but there are easy ways to conceal it...