In the course of leadership, speech or dialogue with the masses embodies one of the best approaches through which various messages can be passed as well as elicit distinct or envisioned reactions from the target groups. The relevant individuals are recognized to employ a diverse array of speech elements in order to deliver the message and ensure that the desired end goal is achieved. One of the individuals who are recognized to have mastered the art and technique of content development and speech delivery was Barack Obama. In the year 2015, the delivered an end of year speech that embodies all the aspects of power content as well as delivery.
The speech was delivered at the close of the year 2015 and was meant to offer a summary of the achievements made within that year. In essence, there are various pledges made by the government at the start of every year or goals that the various department aim at achieving both at an independent as well as collaborative manner. Subsequently, the key government representatives are tasked with the responsibility of presenting to the masses the progress made towards the achievement of the various goals as well as any shortcomings that may have been encountered (Domonoske). The context of this speech was that Barack Obama was nearing the end of his term, and hence the had to present to the public what he had managed to achieve within his tenure as well as the hindrances that he faced that obscured him from attaining a greater degree of success. In addition to this, various individuals had criticized him for failing to fulfill the pledges he had made at the beginning of his second, a mentality that would have detrimental implications on the democratic party as the American election was one year away (Domonoske). In this regard, the possibility of winning over citizens during the elections hinged on the capacity of the president to depict to the nation that his administration, and by extension democratic party, had delivered on it pledges to serve the American people and advance the society from various dimensions including economically, socially, and politically.
In essence, the speech was presented before the white house staff who work collaboratively with the president to serve the American population. Nevertheless, the staff at the white house serve as the representatives of the president to the masses, and hence by addressing the attendees, he was essentially addressing the nation. There are various benefits of undertaking presentations in this approach, especially considering the diverse interests of the American people, which are embodied by the distinct stakeholder groups (New York Times). Each of the participants represents a distinct interest group, and hence, as the president addresses the group, each of the members takes note of their areas of interest and can subsequently inform the individuals he or she represents the take of the government on their issues. The scope of the speech, therefore, surpasses the white house environment and reaches the different user groups hence exerting a greater degree of influence.
This speech offered a vivid description of the various approaches through which the government has addressed the needs of the public during the tenure of leadership. In essence, at the start of the administration’s tenure, there were various issues or challenges that the American population was facing, and that needed to be addressed urgently to guarantee that economic and social progress was attained. Through the speech, Obama effectively managed to present to the public the various measures that his administration had taken to alleviate the pressing issues and augment the population’s well-being. In addition to this, Obama also indicated the measures that his administration had set up to guarantee that that progress that had been achieved would be maintained in the long-term as well as in the subsequent administrations.
Obama’s speech has all the characteristics of political dialogue, which is comprised of the speaker seeking to reassure the listeners of the authenticity of the administration to fulfill in its promises through the presentation of the relevant facts or statistics. In line with this, the speech also presents the possible solutions to future challenges that may arise hence setting the platform for favorable outcomes in the subsequent elections. In essence, the terminology utilized as well as the links between promises and achievements made by Obama serve as a means of verification of the validity of the government as well as the suitability of the move for re-election. However, one of the key aspects that the speech fails to address is the reasons for failure to attain success in some of the promises made as well as the measures that will be taken in the future to avoid such undesirable outcomes. This ambiguity can be linked to the fact that the president had already exhausted his two terms and hence would pass the issues down to the subsequent administrations.
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos
The speech is packed with numerous rhetorical elements that are meant to increase the effectiveness of the message being passed. One key rhetorical element is the ethos, which defines the perceived character of the speaker. Obama being the speaker, in this case, seek to enhance his authenticity by indicating that the American people elected him for a purpose as he had proven capable of fulfilling his promises (Obama). In addition to this, Obama also refers to his historical achievements in the past positions that he occupied, including his senate position as well as the developments in the key aspects of development that he had promised (Obama). In addition to this, he seeks to portray himself as a family man by indicating the need to be with them later on. This personal depiction portends to the listeners that he is an actual citizen and that he understands the need of families.
Ethos seeks to establish an emotional connection with the listeners. In order to accomplish this, Obama asserts that he understands the level of suffering and need that the population is in, especially in relation to healthcare. In essence, he indicates that his administration is concerned with the healthcare needs of the masses and has hence established suitable mechanisms to suitably address the needs. Logos seek to depict the logical dimension of dialogue, an aspect that he achieves effectively. In essence, Obama undertakes to present statistics of the number of individuals who have benefited from the healthcare measures implemented by the government. One of the statistics presented is that an excess of 17 million additional Americans have been covered through the measures or programs presented by the administration (Obama).
Domonoske, Camila. Obama Wraps Up 2015 With Year-End News Conference. (2015). Retrieved from < https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/18/460288786/obama-wraps-up-2015-with-year-end-press-conference>
New York Times. Obama Discusses Difficulty of Detecting Terrorism at Year-End Conference. Retrieved from < https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/19/world/obama-white-house-press-conference.html>
Obama, Barrack. Barack Obama End of Year Press Conference. (2015).Retrieved from <https://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/12/18/obama-press-conference-acosta-dnt-tsr.cnn>
Obama, Barrack. Full transcript of BBC interview with President Barack Obama. (2015). Retrieved from < https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33646542>