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Straight Talk vs. Great Talk: Does Speaking Style Matter?

No one can deny that the two presidential candidates have distinct speaking styles. John McCain goes off script at town hall meetings, while Barack Obama holds stadium services. But this question remains: Does it matter to voters?

Some may appreciate McCain's bluntness (aka straight talk), but others see Obama's inspiring deliverance indicative of his inspiring message. I tend to think that voters will approve the style that corresponds to their presidential choice.

But, a particular style might give one candidate an advantage. If so, do you think Americans respond better to straight talk or great talk?


Join The Conversation
Fo-show317771 Fo-show317771 8 years
Being compared to great leaders such as Lincoln and Kennedy are characteristics that make someone presidential. Bush speaks better than McCain.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Yeah, it's more than half over at this point. I've missed a couple of the best climbs.
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 8 years
Dave- You'll have to book your ticket to France ASAP for that Tour de France :)
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 8 years
Regarding speaking style, mine has evolved over the years. When I was younger I actually spoke much more formally. I noticed that actually made it more difficult to make my point. When I scaled it back to a folksier approach, I was actually more personable and clearer. I still see this at work, now; my immediate supervisor is a very smart and talented guy, and amiable, but people's eyes glaze over in about 5 minutes because he tends to talk just a little over their heads. YY, your comment #23 made me think: What do we all consider key characteristics that make someone "presidential"? That might make an interesting discussion....
Jillness Jillness 8 years
There are so many Obama speeches that contain TONS of nuts and bolts. The media doesn't like to focus on them, but that doesn't mean that they aren't there!
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Hey, I like that idea. I've always wanted to see the tour de France.
em1282 em1282 8 years
"Don't they say that when someone prefaces their statements with things like "I'll be straight with you" or "to be honest," it usually means they're lying?" Sounds like my ex. ;) Thanks for reminding me what an awsome word "onomatopoeia" is, rac. :cookie: Personally I do agree that substance matters, but I think a lot of how you say it also have to engage people in a way to get them thinking about what you're saying. Otherwise, your ideas will fall flat as well.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Anyway, I have too much work to do! Sugar is distracting me. Have a great day, all!
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 8 years
I will only go to France if we don't go to Paris... the smog kills me!
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
So it's settled. Let's all go to France this afternoon!
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 8 years
haha Kim, kind of like Chris Martin saying more than just Americans should vote in the U.S. election?
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Since the whole world likes to stick their noses in America's business (as we stick our noses in theirs), I don't think including more than just U.S. voters would rule out the partisan issue.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I've seen McCain give very eloquent speeches. We have to understand too that Sen. Obama has the added benefit on top of his natural oratory gifts of the excitement of his position in history and the nostalgia of a nation that can't help but harkin back to a time when another great African American orator captured our attention in the spirit of hope.
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 8 years
Yesteryear, no the comment is not directed at you and I am sorry if you felt it was and no you are not peeving me :) (I had 110 14-15 year old students this last year, I am thick skinned :) ) What I was trying to say is that what really bothers me is the idea that people only like someone because of their party. I come from a family with a mother who is a Democrat and a father who is a Republican. We were encouraged to form our own ideas and beliefs and to vote based off that, not party. So when people are so blind because of a party (as with some people here), that is going to irk me.
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
no its an objective question: who is a better speaker. i suggested including more than just US voters to rule out the partisan issue.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
The problem with that poll is that it's only the US voters that count.
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
hmm, hunter, hope i'm not peeving you! i have the ability to look at both sides and i don't have blinders on in any way. mccain does freak me out because of his war talk (i'm not the only one who feels this way), but if he were a better speaker i'd be able to admit it. but... he's not. i think if you did a poll, that included more than just US voters, most would agree with me.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
:highfive: to Undave! I concur.
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
Okay, could I use "ear" more in one post? That has to be a record. Where is my intern, Jimmy! JIMMY! :jimmy: Do you even proof read these? You're fired. Seriously, get your crap and get out. NOW!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Hmmm...I think you get both sides of the coin with McCain. I'll admit Obama is better in large venues, but I think McCain does well in them, also. I think McCain does better in small venues, but Obama does well in them also. I think since people are pretty much split on this, it's not accurate to say it's obvious that one is better than the other.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I agree YY, the answer is obvious. We are all biased towards the candidate we want to win...
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 8 years
Again, it is in your opinion that Obama is the better speaker. There are many people on this thread that so eloquently spoke of praise for both candidates. My biggest pet peeve in politics is those who vote and speak with only blinders on and refuse to see another way because of a blind passion for an ideal/person.
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
Hey! Stop beating on YY! One comment is enough! I don't care which one wins, but in terms of rhetorical style and cadence, Obama, to my ear is more pleasant on the ear. It has nothing to do with what they're saying, Obama uses more oratory devices to make his speeches more pleasant to the ear. Alliteration, repetition, and onomatopoeia - these are the hammers that Obama uses to forge his ideas on the smithy of his soul!
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 8 years
Right, there are people who vote straight party ticket.
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
nah, it's just because obama is a better speaker. he does fine in small settings and one-on-one interviews. like hypno said earlier, with obama you get both sides of the coin. THANKFULLY this isn't all that voters will think about when they go to the polls though, right?
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