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Best Public Speakers: Ronald Reagan and Barbara Jordan

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(Photo: Ronald Reagan, Bradenburg Gate)

During the Cold War period, several Presidents of the United States visited to Berlin and emphasised their political will in a sense of supporting human rights, fundamental freedom, and liberty. In this light, I would try to examine Ronald Reagan’s Remarks at the Brandenburg Gate, 1987 in this article.

Maybe because Ronald Reagan used to be the actor of the Hollywood, he could understand where is best place and suitable for his speech. In other words, making a public speech is more than the meaning of itself, but also other external environment around as well. It is every significant to choose a great place for a great meaning of the speech. It of cause made the listeners to feel something important inside the speech as important as the place itself has values to the public. From this point of view, Ronald Reagan decided to choose Brandenburg Gate as the background of his podium. Therefore, the environment around the place had already provided some significant credits to the speaker before starting the speech. In this connection, Ronald Reagan could gather attentions of the audiences toward his languages addressing in accordance with his political agenda.

In addition, Ronald Reagan also had his ability to project his remark in order to attach with the audiences at large. Inside his speech, we can see he used several sentences in German as this technique is effectively drawing the listeners to feel even more excited and meaningful. The German sentences would cause the German people to think that they were warmly addressed and appreciated by the speaker. Meanwhile, it also reflected the significant message where the speaker really wants to emphasis on as well. Moreover, in his speech he also underlined the importance of his visit in Berlin as because this city is older than his home city in which his purpose was trying to give some compliments in order to closely make a connection with the audiences before addressing on the other main topics that he actually wanted to note on. While at the same time, he also addressed other listeners who were listening through other means other than the place where he was remaking his keynote address in Berlin. Therefore, every listeners had received a count in his address.

Furthermore, more than the values of the place to present his speech and his ability to have a great attachment with the audiences, Ronald Reagan also used other rhetorical devices to make his speech sound impressive. In this respect, he used Personification Metaphor to compare in his speech. For instance, “From the Balic South, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete, god runs, and guard towers.” He actually tried to paint the colour of picture between two sides of the wall by comparing what was happening at that time for the audiences to take a consideration on what the difference between the achievements that been done by both governments, the West and the East.


(Photo: Barbara Charline Jordan)

Another public speaker that I would also try to examine is Barbara Charline Jordan, “1976 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address.” Barbara Jordan is the African American politician who was also elected to be the Texas Senate. She was serving as the civil rights leaders who fought against the discrimination, promoted human rights, and sought for freedom. This speech had significantly provided some inspirations which Barbara Jordan delivered her messages for the concept of the national community. There are several points that keeps the speech as the great speech among others.

First of all, Barbara Jordan is the African American women who had first opportunity to present her opinion first time ever in such an important event. It was unusual that Republican or Democrats provides any chance for people of colour to deliver his or her address in that occasion. Therefore, this was the greatest moment ever that both audiences and herself as speaker had never had such an experience before. In this light, she demonstrated herself as an evidence to show the audiences about the tremendous progress that had been achieved by her party’s policy provided for her opportunity.

More importantly, she also mentioned about what the Republican President said as well in her speech. In this sense, she wanted to make a central point where both political party actually have the same goal of developing their nation. Therefore, this speech is more than providing value to one particular party, but it has projected to gather the unity of whole population regardless their political tendency.

Last but not least, she also used many rhetoric devices in her speech which highlighted the important agenda in her address. For example, she used Anaphora which is the to repeat the first phrase of the sentence, “I have confidence that we can form this kind of national community. I have confidence that the Democratic Party can lead the way. I have that confidence.” While at the same time, she also used rule of three which could manage her speech sound powerful. She said, “It’s tough, difficult, not easy.” This sentence actually can be also considered as the Asyndenton which the speaker doesn’t use “and” to link with the last word.

Seoul, July 30, 2014

Khov Ea Hai


Download Ronald Reagan’s Remark: Ronald Reagan’s Speech at the Brandenburgh Gate (1987)

Download Barbara Charline Jordan’s Remark: 1976 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address



2 comments on “Best Public Speakers: Ronald Reagan and Barbara Jordan

  1. get blackhat
    November 14, 2014

    Very interesting information!Perfect just what I was searching for!

  2. sdorttuiiplmnr
    July 3, 2015

    I do believe all the ideas you have presented on your post. They’re really convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too quick for novices. May just you please extend them a little from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

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This entry was posted on July 30, 2014 by in History, Learning, World, World History and tagged , .
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