3 Secret Oratorical Techniques Used by Obama and Soekarno Part 2 of 2

This article is a continuation of Part 1 which was published last week. We analysed the first secret to becoming a great orator. Now, lets dive into the other two techniques used by Obama and Soekarno.

Repetition of Words

The second secret is repetition. Mechanical repetition of words is deliberately done by Obama and Soerkarno to give emphasis and reminders to the audience. This technique will reinforce the message and in turn becomes an effective message delivery technique.


We want our children to live in an America that is not burdened by debt, that is not weakened up by inequality, that is not threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.

(Paragraph 18 Obama Victory Speech 7 November 2012)


Ditengah-tengah (amidst) nyalanya api, ditengah-tengah (amidst) menggeledeknya meriam, ditengah-tengah (amidst) menghebatnya kekacauan, kita harus menjalankan, memperlengkapi, menyempurnakan pemerintahan kita.

(Paragraph 18 Independence Speech Soekarno August 17, 1946: Sekali Merdeka Tetap Merdeka)

You see how the two men are very skilled in the repetition of words. Conventional writing wisdom would require us to remove the “that is not” and “ditengah-tengah” in order to shorten the sentence and get to the point quickly. However. these great orators chose to deliberately repeat these words in order to drive home a message.

Using Body Language and Vocal Variety

The third secret is using appropriate body language and vocal variety.

Obama and Soerkarno understood the importance of the word intonation. They sometimes used fiery vocals for uplifting, and at other times spoke rather slowly with appropriate pauses to give a more profound effect to the audience.

READ  Cutting to the Chase in Public Speaking

Both these leaders’ body language in speech was just as good. They waved and pointed toward the audience, sincerely smiled, raised their hands in the air, stood upright with a sharp stare, and sometimes portrayed the facial expression of a soft hearted leader.


The expertise of Obama and Sukarno did not just happen. The two had mastered the techniques of great orators. Their expertise is not something that is gifted, but something that is learned and practiced continuously. You also can train and perform the technique.

You and I may not have the ambition to be the President of a country. However, these techniques may provide a lesson for us all. We may be required to speak in public one day. The use of emotionally charged words, repetition, as well as appropriate body language and intonation will certainly make us good motivational speakers or assume leadership roles.

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