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Running head: Speech Analysis

Skyler Clark David Stoddard COMM 1010-035 Speech Analysis 4.28.2013 Speech Analysis- Rose Garden Statement, April 17, 2013 A speech was given by President Obama April 17th, shortly after congress voted to oppose a bill that would make background checks mandatory for every citizen purchasing a firearm in any venue. President Obama gathered family members of a child who was recently killed in an act of gun violence at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown Connecticut in preparation for his speech. The father of this shooting victim spoke first, speaking of his family and the loss they felt at the death of his child. President Obama then used this opportunity, when the emotions of his audience had been stirred, and their attention captured, to begin his speech. Many may disagree with President Obama and his political actions or stances, but it is undeniable that he is a skilled public speaker. However as the past has shown us, he does indeed blunder at times. President Obama persuades his audience to adopt his views through facts, statistics and emotion. President Obama speaks with emotion, and captivates his audience through his tone, gestures, and facial expressions. He shows that he quite obviously has experience speaking, and can command the attention of his audience through the tone of voice he uses while addressing his audience makes them feel his emotion on the subject. He is either a good actor, or very emotionally involved in his argument about background checks. This emotional involvement enthralls his audience, making them more invested in his speech.

Speech Analysis

He qualifies himself as an authority on the topic though the facts and statistics used to support his argument. For example, he states that 90% of Americans support background checks for gun sales. The facts and statistics used by Obama are powerful persuasion tactics, regardless of their validity. He makes it seem foolish to not accept background checks on gun sales, and that those who do are in some ways at fault for future gun violence. Saying that millions of lives could be saved, he questions whether those that voted against the bill can possibly have a clear conscience on the matter. He claims that these back ground checks would make Americans safer by stopping harmful criminals, those with a history of domestic violence and the mentally unstable. He employs persuasion tactics in support of each of his arguments, working to persuade his audience to adopt his opinion. He uses emotional and logical appeals to a great extent. He argues that if action by congress could save one person, one child then that action would be worthwhile. He states that 90% of the American people supported the bill, 90% of democratic senators voted for it, and 90% of republican senators voted against it. He claims a minority to have stopped the bill, and that even 80% of republicans supported the bill. He uses many statistics to support his views; these statistics are however slightly skewed. One of the greatest problems with the statistics President Obama used is how these statistics are gathered. Not every American is asked to submit an opinion to form the statistic, but rather a sample group. When a largely anti-gun sample is used to take a poll, it is only natural for the results to be highly in support of any antigun measure. This also goes for much of the media coverage that has been used to report on the incidence, of which many have been papers run exclusively with a liberal or typically anti-gun agenda. These reports call the senators that resisted legislation shameful and cowardly.

Speech Analysis

President Obama may use lots of facts to support his views, but as with most politicians, it is often requisite to forge through his twisted words to find the simple truths. Be it through the facts and figures he has presented, the sources he has quoted, or the heart-wrenching stories of gun violence he tells, President Obama gave his full influence to persuade his audience to his point of view in this speech. He may not be the favorite figure of many, although he is indeed a hero for some; regardless, he is skilled enough at public speaking to captivate his audience and sell an idea quite effectively.