Barack Obama's Elements of Charisma

Elements of Charisma in Barack Obama’s Political Speeches

Elements of Charisma in Barack Obama’s Political Speeches


Barack Obama is a magnificent orator and speaker. Mesmerizing his audiences, he speaks for almost twice as long as the average political speech – 20-30 minutes longer than most political speakers. His audiences come away deeply affected by the experience. Since a new election is close, it is time to talk about the elements of charisma and how he uses them. Maybe we can learn something.

As good an orator as Barack Obama is, we believe that his brilliant speaking skills and his overwhelming charisma is not just something one is born with, it is something that can be taught. As good as he is,Obama’s oratorical skills are certainly no better than John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and others who have been trained in NLP. Most important to understand is that there is nothing that the President does that you cannot learn to do yourself.

You can become a truly magnificent speaker.

In this article we will look at a few of Obama’s many skills and techniques and how you can use them in your speeches and presentations. Assuming there is some interest, we will take the time to do a series of articles and breakdown what he does so skillfully. We will look at what he does specifically and how you can do it too.

First of all, some things you need to know. In NLP jargon, an anchor is a technique where the speaker programs his audience to respond in a certain way from a specific stimulus. The anchor can be a word said in a certain way (usually changing tonality) or a gesture or both that will mark out the internal feeling that the audience is feeling at the time for later recall, creating a response. A speaker can anchor certain internal feelings and states that the audience will recall on cue.

It is also evident that Obama uses the NLP Milton Model, Hypnotic Language Patterns. Called conversational hypnosis, these patterns have been in the hypnosis literature and in NLP since the mid 1970’s. The first pattern is called Pacing and Leading. The President tells you several things that you have been doing or thinking (pacing) and then leads you somewhere. In order to do this he has to be vague or ambiguous in the first part of the sentence. Here is an example:

1. First he makes a statement that is undeniable but vague such as, “the country is going in the wrong direction”, “the economy is bad”, or “we need to get an education for every child”. This is undeniable to the listener – he is pacing the listener’s thinking with a Yes-Set. So, with each statement Obama makes the listener says “yes”.

2. He then follows it up with a Phrase Anchor like “Change” so he anchors the Yes Set. “Change (an anchor) is what we need.”

3. “And that is why” (linking the previous to what follows)…

4. “I will be your next President.” He has taken the Pace (1, 2, and 3) to a Lead in 4.


Do you need more examples?

Here is another example of the above that Obama used in the campaign and set up a future event he hoped would occur: “a light will shine down from somewhere, it will light upon you, you will experience an epiphany, and you will say to yourself, ‘I have to vote for Barack.’” (In fact, you can see this one in a McCain campaign advertisement on You Tube at:

Are the anchors used and the phrase anchors and the hand gestures used just a sign of a born orator? DO the hypnotic language patterns he uses just come naturally or are they learned and used for a specific purpose. We believe they were learned for a specific purpose, and that he like other Presidents was trained in NLP. In fact, on July 24, 2009, the New York Times reported that President Obama said that he “could have calibrated” his words more carefully. “Calibrated” is a part of NLP jargon. The only people who use that word have been NLP trained.

If you want to know how President Obama does it, we can teach you. We have taught the best of the best. It is all inside the NLP Trainer’s Training. If you really want to be the best, it is worth the effort! Great charismatic oratorsare not born, they are made. And we know how to do it! More soon…

Adriana James

About the Author: Adriana James

NLP Master Trainer, Hypnosis Master Trainer and NLPCoaching Master Trainer. She is the author of the book Values And the Evolution of Consciousness - a book about how to take advantage of the massive changes which the world is going through and  Time Line Therapy® Made Easy - an introduction to Time Line Therapy® techniques easy to master by everyone. To read more about Adriana go here.

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