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Inaugural Address by John F. Kennedy - Speech or Presentation Example

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The paper “Inaugural Address by John F. Kennedy” evaluates one of the shortest presidential inaugural addresses ever given, which was also meant to persuade the audience to agree with the Kennedy administration’s views. The speech is considered to be one of the best given by Kennedy…
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Inaugural Address by John F. Kennedy
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Download file to see previous pages Written by Kennedy himself, along with his speechwriter Ted Sorenson, the speech is considered to be one of the best given by Kennedy as well as one of the best given by any United States President. The primary audience of the speech was, indeed, the United States public, however, the speech also addressed the citizens and governments of the world at large, touching on universal themes of peace and justice. The speech opens with a very effective hook, by talking about the victory of his party, Kennedy draws the audience in by proclaiming the event to be a beginning of change as well as the start of renewing the rich traditions of United States. The memorable speech opening clearly established the basis for the main body of the speech. The speech was focused – clearly and effectively touching on themes of a need for a new beginning in the face of the then present stale relations between the two Cold War opponents (the United States and the Soviet Union). Recalling images of the glorious past of the United States, and the ideals on which it was found, the speech employed metaphors, especially religious ones, as well as symbolism, and that too having religious undertones. Kennedy talked about the metaphorical torch that had been passed to his generation when he spoke of his presidency. It was, altogether, very easy to follow the speech as it flowed, and was organized, quite logically, with Kennedy ensuring that the conclusion of his speech was concise, memorable and a call to action. The now famous words “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” (Kennedy) were part of his inaugural address. Kennedy relied on words alone to deliver his message. No visual aids were used in the speech, the only mental imagery was evoked in a bid to get the public excited and hopeful about the future in general, and the Kennedy administration in particular. Kennedy sounded a bit nervous, although his enthusiasm shows through in the choice of his words as well as his hopeful tone for the change he sought to bring about with regard to the United States itself and its relationship with the outside world. Kennedy accomplished this by maximizing the role of the audience in the change to come by using inclusive language as well as by addressing the audience directly (i.e. using you and we focused language). The audience cheered during the speech and clapped, however, other than that there was no audience interaction. The tone of the speech was somber and serious, there was no levity or humor worked into the speech. Moreover, Kennedy stayed on the podium during the whole speech and did not move around or use the stage to augment his words. Overall, Kennedy seemed very confident, although a little bit nervous. His posture showed his poise and assurance, though he did not use gestures to supplement or stress his words. Though Kennedy was reading the speech as he had not memorized it, yet he tried to keep as much eye contact as possible with the audience. Since he did not have any distracting mannerisms, his lack of constant eye contact did not take away from the speech.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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