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Communication Style Of Barack Obama

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The purpose of this essay is to evaluate the communication style of Barack Obama by observing his speech after become the first black Presidential election.



The purpose of this essay is to evaluate the communication style of Barack Obama by observing his speech after become the first black Presidential election. This essay consists of summarization of the entire speech of Barack Obama. Furthermore, this essay consists of communication analysis of Barack Obama. In order to analyze the communication style of Barack Obama, this essay emphasizes on how he use language for influencing the audience. The way Barack Obama has communicated with the audience shows that he does not prefer discrimination. Moreover, he can communicate with mass population with assertiveness, which allows him to establish his viewpoint without hurting others’ point of view.

Task 1: Summarizing the speech

“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer”

The victory speech of Barack Obama for being the first black president of United States of America shows that Obama is a person who can influence huge crowd with his communication. In this speech, he stated that he would be the responsible person for clearing all doubts of the citizens regarding democracy. In his speech, he not only mentioned his viewpoint, but also he has spoken from the viewpoint of the crowd.

“It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled”.

This statement shows that Obama is a person who believes in equality rather than discriminating people. He has mentioned all cultural people in his speech, which influences the crowd effectively. Moreover, he mentioned that Americans are not just a group of red states or blue states people. In addition, he promised a revolutionary change to political environment of America.

Obama has also appreciated the people those who has supported him to achieve success. In this occasion, he has mentioned the name of Joe Biden (vice-precedent), Governor Palin and the first lady of United States, Michelle Obama. He has shows the gratitude to the person who helps his to be the first black president of America. He has also shows gratitude to the people who has elected him to achieve this position. 


Task 2: Use of Language in Obama’s Speech

Crystal analysis refers to the process in which Devid Crystal has analyzed Obama’s speech for identifying its strengths and weaknesses. This analytical tool consists of different features, which helps to understand communication style. In case of Obama’s speech, Crystal analysis shows that Obama has used a set of questions at the beginning of his speech (Jennings, Galarza & Warner, 2016). This model further describe that an ordinary person can understand until five sequences. However, Obama has reaches to the seven sequences while giving the speech. The starting statement of Obama consists of seven data, the second statement consists of six data and the third statement consists of four data. Following is the features of Crystal’s analysis in tabular format.




This feature helps to establish own viewpoint without harming others’ way of thinking. In this speech, Obama shows his assertiveness for influencing the audience. 


The president has shows a non-discriminative approach wile mentioning every group of people. According to Obama, “It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled”. Therefore, it can be said that Obama influences the audience with his unbiased characteristic.



The way Obama has communicated with the audience shows that he has used 7 sequences of sentences. This kind of statements are difficult to understand and therefore, it can be said that Obama has a fearless approach while communicating with mass population.

The way Obama has presented the information is difficult to understand. However, Obama has ended the statement with a small sentence tonight is your answer. The linguistic procedure followed by Obama was successfully answered all questions of the crowd. The way he mentioned all the questions of the crowd shows his ability to communicate with each cultural people (Song, Hyunjin, & William, 2015). As Obama mentioned, “who still doubts, still wonders and still questions” helps the audience to clear out all the questions they might have. However, a person could use these phase at once for presenting the statement. However, Obama’s communication style refers to the process of addressing all individual while communicating (Gilkerson, Nathan & Brian, 2016). While listening to this type of communication, people do not require deeper thinking, as they can easily understand the rationale from the communication of Obama.

After summarizing the speech of Obama, it has been determined, that he has mentioned the name of the people those who helped him for holding the first black president of America. The way he mentioned all group of people by continuously using the word and, shows that every group has been contrast with the other or opposite group. In this manner, he shows his ability to addressing each cultural group while communicating with a crowd (Karlsen & Enjolras, 2016). However, he has omitted some ands between gay and straight, which is probably for omitting contrast within those groups. He has also applied this theory while mentioning black, white and other group of people (Blumler, 2016). The using of pairs in the initial stage of the speech was very encouraging for the crowd and therefore, it can be said that Obama’s speech was just not for conveying information to the people. It was for addressing questions of the crowd my mentioning each group individually.

The communication structure used by Obama is known as rhetorical structure in which he has followed a balanced length of the paragraphs. In his second paragraph, he has provided a set of acknowledgement to the people. The sentences used in this section are smaller than the other statement. In this section, rhetorical communication structure is not required and therefore, no such stricture has been used in this section (Bimber, 2015). In this section, Obama has mentioned many personal sequences with very down-to-earth vocabulary. Moreover, Obama has mentioned several sections with different context and the most important part is every context is interesting.

The final section of this communication was consisting of thanks giving session, which was probably the end of the communication. However, the communication was not ends and continues to the future aspect of the country. The overall communication was very reciprocating from the viewers’ point of view (Bimber, 2015). The speech was consists both questions and their relevant answer with proper justification. This kind of verbal communication does not require a second party of communication. In other words, there is no need to build a two-way communication because the speaker is well aware of the other party’s doubts and quarries.

The way Obama speak to the audience was successfully influences the audience. The audience was simultaneously communicating with Obama by shouting like – ‘Yes we can’. The final stage of the speech was a bit tricky. It was as the speech was at the end; however, the tail was not ends there. He also mentioned the future aspects of United States of America for encouraging the crowd even more. After reviewing the speech, it can be said that it was the most impactful political speech. 


Task 3: Commenting on Crystal’s analysis            

Crystal’s Analysis process refers to the five step process in which arrangement, ideas, style, delivery of speech and memory are the major components (Sevenans et al., 2016). The communication of Obama consists of all these components and therefore, it can be said that this analytical theory helps a lot to analyze communication style of Barack Obama. This analytical theory further assists to understand in which extent speech of Obama influences the audience emotionally and cognitively as well. In his speech, Obama has used several sections regarding his personal experience, political view, future development and acknowledgement session. This analytical theory further helps to understand the way in which Obama has used his innovative ideas for making the content more interesting for the audience (Blumler, 2016). Apart from that, the chronological order followed by Obama was very constructive and therefore, it is easy to recall and understand. The acknowledgement section was just for showing gratitude to the people who have supported him for achieveving the position he holds.

The way Obama has recall his speech without any written script shows that he must have proper knowledge regarding how a speech should be categorized (Gibson et al., 2016). On the other hand, the Crystal’s analysis process assists to categorize the communication for recalling in an appropriate manner. Evaluating this communication theory is effective for analyzing the way in which Obama has communicated with mass population from diverse culture. Communicating with huge population from diverse cultural group is not an easy thing. Forgetting one particular word may harm sentiment of a group of people (Karlsen, Rune, & Bernard, 2016). Therefore, it can be said that Crystal’s Analysis theory helps to understand how Obama influenced emotional aspects of the audience. The prepositions used by Obama for starting his speech was ‘if’ and ‘tonight is the answer’. It means he was prepared his speech for influencing questions of the crowd followed by answering the same. The Crystal’s Analysis model fails to analyze whether the answers was answers or just another statement of the elongated speech (Jennings, Galarza & Warner, 2016). Obama has mentioned different answers to the audience, which was accepted by the crowd in an effective manner. However, the answers were just another viewpoint, which may lead the discussion further. This process was adopted for avoiding disrespectful statement for any cultural group.

After going through the speech of Barack Obama and Crystal’s Analysis process, it can be said that it helps allot to understand the communication style in an effective manner. It is difficult to state a long sentence. Listeners may face difficulties to follow a long sentence; however, Obama has differently presented long sentences for making the entire statement transparent. Crystal’s Analysis shows that appropriate use of pause and start makes the entire speech more interesting to the audience (Carpinella, Colleen, & Kerri, 2016). Moreover, the arrangement of the ending phases such as ‘tonight is your answer’ and ‘change has come to America’ makes the audience engaging towards the speech. The acknowledgement section is hardly commented by Crystal because of its diplomacy of Barack Obama. In this section, he has given his speech in a diplomatic manner. For example, he has mentioned rock of the family and love of his life both while addressing the first lady of America. The use of rock as love is completely belongs from different category and therefore, commenting on a diplomatic statement will not be justified. The Crystal’s Analysis theory avoided the use of ‘we’ while celebrating the victory. This particular process influences people emotionally in an effective manner (Iosifidis, Petros, & Mark, 2016). Therefore, it can be said that Crystal’s Analysis helps to identify the cognition of the communication; however, it fails to analyze the emotional aspect of the speech. 


Task 4: Limitation of focusing on language alone

In order to analyze someone’s speech, it is highly important to focus on the linguistic capacity along with the use of arrangement and ideas. Focusing solely on language is not sufficient for evaluating someone’s speech. It is very common that someone will use attractive vocabulary. However, it is highly important to consider the ideas Obama has utilized for framing a lengthy speech (Song, Hyunjin, & William, 2015). Obama has presented his speech in a constructive manner by arranging the context chronologically. In case of Crystal’s analysis, he has gone beyond the language of Obama and analyzed the entire speech by considering the ideas. Moreover, considering the use of pause and start helps Crystal to identify the rationale of the context used by Obama (Gilkerson, Nathan & Brian, 2016). The most important section of the President is where he has diplomatically addressed his wife. In this section, the president shows the level of diplomacy while acknowledging people.

Crystal analyzed all these aspects for identifying the communication process of Barack Obama. Therefore, the analysis shows that Obama has successfully conveyed his information to the audience without harming anyone’s dignity. The way Obama has used linguistic power to influence the audience is highly effective (Carpinella, Colleen, & Kerri, 2016). In order to address every individual from a mass crowd, it is highly important to use appropriate wording. The way Obama started the speech was encouraging and engaging in nature as well. The starting paragraph was for addressing the requirements of the crowd. The discussion ends with the short answer, which is actually for attracting further interest of the audience. Language is defiantly the key element of a constructive speech (Blumler, 2016). However, linguistic capacity is not enough for performing in front of crowd. Moreover, presenting an elongated speech is not possible without support of innovative ideas. For instance, Obama has used different context for delivering the speech for being the first black president of America. The contexts were categorized as per priority; however, the length of each context was too similar. Therefore, it can be said that the speech conveyed by Obama was not just relying on language; it was a well constructive mixture of language, ideas and categorization. 



After completing this essay, it can be concluded that Barack Obama has successfully conveyed all required information to the audience during the victory ceremony. In this occasion, Obama has used different context in chronological manner for making an impactful effect. Obama has played with efficient language for influencing people in an effective manner. Additionally, Crystal’s analysis theory shows that Obama just not used linguistic support for communicating with mass population; he has also utilized the power of ideas along with the pause and start skill. This essay shows that Barack Obama has successfully influences the crowd with skillful knowledge in communication. The way Obama has mentioned each cultural group during the speech shows the proper way of delivering speech as a political leader.  



Bimber, B. (2015). PS 267: Political Communication. Journal of Communication, 1, 238-266.

Bimber, B. (2015). What’s next? Three challenges for the future of political communication research. New technologies and civic engagement: New agendas in communication, 215-233.

Blumler, J. G. (2016). The fourth age of political communication. Politiques de communication, (1), 19-30.

Carpinella, C. M., & Johnson, K. L. (2016). Visual Political Communication: The Impact of Facial Cues from Social Constituencies to Personal Pocketbooks. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 10(5), 281-297.

Gibson, J. L., Pereira, M. M., & Ziegler, J. (2016). Updating Supreme Court Legitimacy: Testing the'Rule, Learn, Update'Model of Political Communication. Learn, Update'Model of Political Communication (March 8, 2016).

Gilkerson, N. D., & Southwell, B. G. (2016). Interpersonal Communication and Political Campaigns. The International Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Communication.

Iosifidis, P., & Wheeler, M. (2016). Modern Political Communication and Web 2.0 in Representative Democracies: The United States and the British Experience. In Public Spheres and Mediated Social Networks in the Western Context and Beyond (pp. 95-121). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Jennings, F. J., Galarza, R., & Warner, B. R. (2016). Political Communication and Affective Polarization in the 2014 Midterm Elections for the US Senate: The Cases of Iowa, North Carolina, and Georgia. InCommunication and Midterm Elections (pp. 83-97). Palgrave Macmillan US.

Karlsen, R., & Enjolras, B. (2016). Styles of Social Media Campaigning and Influence in a Hybrid Political Communication System Linking Candidate Survey Data with Twitter Data. The International Journal of Press/Politics,21(3), 338-357.

Sevenans, J., Walgrave, S., & Joanna Epping, G. (2016). How Political Elites Process Information From the News: The Cognitive Mechanisms Behind Behavioral Political Agenda-Setting Effects. Political Communication, 1-23.

Song, H., & Eveland Jr, W. P. (2015). The structure of communication networks matters: how network diversity, centrality, and context influence political ambivalence, participation, and knowledge. Political Communication,32(1), 83-108.  

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