CA 103 PU Public Speaking a G

Comparing Notable Speakers


The purpose of this discussion is to help you to identify the various strengths of experienced public speakers by watching them in action. Many of you will find the messages of the speakers to be different from your own views. This will challenge you to concentrate on techniques, rather than content.


To begin, you are going to watch two speeches.

The first speech is Barack Obama delivering the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. At the time, Obama was an Illinois legislator virtually unknown to a national audience, or even within his own party. It was reported at the time that he wrote this speech himself, and convention organizers did not see a copy of the speech until one or two days before it was delivered.

The second speech is Arnold Schwarzenegger delivering the keynote address at the 2004 Republican Convention. Schwarzenegger had recently moved from a very successful acting career into the early portion of a political career as Governor of California. His popularity within his party was strong enough that some suggested changing U.S. law to allow him to run for President of the United States.

For the purposes of this assignment, I ask that you look BEYOND the politics and focus on the delivery techniques used by the two speakers. While you may have some very strongly held beliefs about the politics of either speaker, please try to see the value in both. I also expect your discussion to remain courteous and respectful despite differences of opinion

Click on the links below and watch both of the keynote speeches. Take notes on what each speaker does to enhance his message, keep his audience’s attention and to excite the audience about their cause.

Barack Obama
Text and video are both available at the link below:
Barack Obama Convention Speech

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Text and video are both available at the link below:
Arnold Schwarzenegger Convention Speech

**Choose only one of the two speakers and identify those things that enhance the quality of the delivery of the speech, such as:

eye contact;
facial expressions;
speech rhythms;
types of support;
word choice;
vivid language;
personal anecdotes;
gender-neutral references.

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