We watched Obama’s 2004 DNC speech at a work training. We deconstructed it for message, tone, structure etc. But what I noticed the most was how much smoother he’s become. Notice how he constantly shifts his weight from foot to foot. His gestures are different. He leans in, lurches over the podium, and spreads his fingers to illustrate his point (rather than the steady karate chop of hope). There is also a strangle in his voice at moments that I’ve never heard before. I saw Obama speak a couple of times this election season and I can tell you he learned how to hold still, keep his eyes and hands focused, and project from his tummy.
There’s no greater political discussion about this. I’m looking at this in a Theater Kid Framework. Whenever I got “off book” for the first time I would relentlessly pace and move my hands. A lot of actors do this. There are countless drama exercises that I went through to nail my feet to the floor. It comes from nerves and wanting to mask whatever insecurities you have about being on stage. Once I got my feet and hands under control I could really focus, open up, and recite Shakespeare so beautifully I could make you fucking weep.
It’s neat to see politician develop their speaking style and confidence.
The point is: I could be president.