Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” Speech Analysis Report

April 4, 2022 by Essay Writer



The purpose of the speech is to convince the audience that he is the man who can make people live better.

Speaker’s background knowledge

The speaker possesses all the necessary information to dwelling upon the problems he does.

Influences (traditional, cultural, historical)

The stress is made on the cultural significance of the USA. The “different” (African American) leader may be chosen to bring the country to the change.

Listener’s background knowledge

The listener should be aware of the country’s general political situation to understand the speaker.

1.Analogy The speaker points at the changes which are going to be seen with his elections. The difference can be seen as what the speaker wants to do cannot be compared and contrasted with any other situation
2.Emotion The speaker pointed at the changes which are going to be conducted, trying to appeal to the personal feelings of the audience. For example, “Our new American majority can end the outrage of unaffordable, unavailable health care in our time,” “We can stop sending our children to schools with corridors of shame” (Obama) The reference to personal aspects which do not have anything in common with political issues.


Repeated words

  1. no one could imagine;
  2. something is happening; something has happened;
  3. different;
  4. change;
  5. we can.

Emphasized words/phrases

  1. Yes we can;
  2. Thank you;
  3. You can be the new majority;
  4. Yes, we can to justice and equality;
  5. There is something happening.


The tone is changing; sometimes, it is strong and convincing; sometimes, it is grateful and admiring.

Word choice (positive or negative language)

Positive words even while dwelling upon the negative aspects.

Rate of speech (fast, moderate, slow)

Rate of speech is moderate.

Appropriateness for the audience, subject, occasion

The speech is appropriate for the place and time. It is the speech of the future president to the nation.

Non‐verbal gestures

Eye contact: the speaker views the audience using the three spots technique (left zone, forward, and right zone)

Facial expressions: natural, the desire for victory is seen.

Gestures: impressive, strong, not too numerate, and appropriate to the said

Pauses: The pauses are in the correct places.

Increases or decreases in speaking volume.

Overall Impression

  • Speaker: impressive and convincing.
  • Speech: effective, encouraging.

Was the speaker effective overall? Was the speech convincing?

Having listened to the speech by Barak Obama, it becomes obvious that the person who says it is a real orator who can convince anyone. Moreover, the words used in the speech make it stronger and closer to each of the listeners. The speaker thanks everyone at the beginning of the speech. That makes everyone to consider him/herself the contributor to Obama’s success. The speaker applies all the possible measures to attract the listeners’ attention.

His gestures are not too numerous, and he uses those in a restricted manner to make sure that the speech is what impresses people. The words the speaker uses are full of meaning. He applies to personal feelings of people referencing to healthcare and children, the themes which cannot leave different anyone. The speaker looks effective and self-assured that helps consider him as convincing. The same is the speech he has prepared. The themes discussed there are up to date, and the audience can see personally how they are dissatisfied with the current estate of affairs and see that the speaker can do something to change everything.

Reference List

Obama, B. (2008). Yes We Can. YouTube. Web.

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