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Julia’s speech therapy

September 18th, 2011 at 03:51am

An email to 2UE’s John Kerr

Morning John!

I'm not in the least bit surprised that Julia Gillard has had some speech therapy and training as it seems to be common practice amongst political leaders, and fair enough, their job is to communicate, and if you speak in a manner which makes people want to throw their TV in to a lake (as Julia often does in that monotone lecturing tone of hers) then a bit of training might help. Regardless of the message, it is important that it can be listened to without annoying people…it should be the content of the message which annoys or delights people, not the way in which it is spoken.

In recent memory, it is well-known that John Howard had some speech training to assist in removing a stutter, and I'm pretty sure that Tony Abbott has had some training to remove some of the distracting "uhhs" and scratchy back-of-throat noises from the middle of his sentences. As for someone who I wish would have some training…Barack Obama. People say that his is a "great orator", well I'm sorry but I think he is worse than Julia Gillard. He has three modes: louder and louder campaign mode; loud and angry; and quietly angry and repetitive. I can't listen to him for more than a minute, and even within that minute I struggle. I have to wait for the transcript if I'm to have any hope of digesting his message.

Anyway, enough of my thoughts…if I go on any longer then you might start to think that I have something against Barack Obama…and I can't have you figuring that out so quickly.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

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  • 1. frank83  |  September 18th, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    You seem to dislike that Barack Obama is loud. People speak loudly when orating. Obama speaks quietly in conversation as is shown in his interviews.

    You seem to dislike the fact he speaks angrily. I note you are a great fan of Alan Jones. Do you think that Alan Jones does not speak angrily? Do you struggle to listen to him as well?

  • 2. Samuel  |  September 19th, 2011 at 3:10 am

    I suppose what I missed from that analysis of his manner of speaking is that he comes across as being incredibly insincere almost every time he speaks. For the speeches, I could just put that down to the teleprompter removing sincerity, but I won’t because I notice much the same thing when he is interviewed.

    I suspect that he has trouble with sincerity in most of his speeches and interviews because he knows that he is lying, and knows that people see through his lies. Perhaps I should be glad that he has trouble faking sincerity when he is lying.

    Anger has its place, but it seems pretty clear that more and more Americans have stopped listening to him. If he were to tone down the anger a bit, then maybe people would pay more attention to him. I doubt that they’d believe much more of what he says (the lies are very obvious) but it would give him the option to campaign on the basis of his niceness. At the moment he can’t campaign on his record because it’s a disaster, and he can’t campaign on the warm and fuzzy image he portrayed in the 2008 campaign because he keeps appearing to be a very angry man.

    You’re definitely the first person I’ve encountered to draw a comparison between Barack Obama and Alan Jones. You’re right that Alan Jones speaks angrily and gets himself very worked up a lot of the time, however I see a big difference. Alan Jones comes across as sincerely believing in what he is saying…whether he is right or wrong about a matter, he at least believes in what he is saying, and I can’t say that Barack Obama comes across in the same way.

    So yes Frank, I suppose I should have noted that Barack Obama’s seemingly limited manners of speech irritate me, at least in part, due to the fact that he lacks sincerity when he speaks. The various modes of speech just become irritating more quickly when overused without sincerity.

  • 3. padders  |  September 20th, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Like you, Samuel, I can only tolerate listening to Obama for a few sentences before I have to turn him off. Not that I dislike listening to him; it’s just that most of the time what he is actually saying, is hogwash.

    Barack Obama’s best asset is his speaking voice – as a mellifluous tone is extremely helpful when the message is inherently flawed, because it makes his views seem sound and well-considered. Obama’s gift is tone, not substance; and his reward is seeing ordinarily intelligent people turn into gullible suckers.


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