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There is power in a great speech.

There is power in the individual thought.

That power only works when you do something important.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a speech, a Blog posting, an episode of a Podcast, a Twitter tweet, a phone conversation, a presentation to a prospective client, or an act of kindness.

Make it about "them" and not about "you".

The only way to move "them" is to make it about "them".

"This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you."

Involve your audience. Shift the responsibility of power to them. Give them the tools and hope to make a difference.

Make it about them. Empower them.

There is a bookful (and more) of great Marketing, Communication and Presentation insights about tonight. From the power of leadership to the ability to embrace change.

What was your biggest Marketing insight about tonight?

You can read the full speech here (and I strongly recommend it): This victory belongs to you – a speech by the new president of the United States of America, Barack Obama.


  1. My biggest insight tonight is that one can be both gracious in victory and in defeat. As evidenced by President-Elect Obama and Senator McCain.

  2. Great post, Mitch. If anything’s going to bring me back to speechwriting, it’ll be tonight’s speeches.
    BTW, Nick Morgan has a speechwriting book in which he argues that the speech that doesn’t aim to change the world isn’t worth making. It’s well worth a read.
    To all of this, I’d add: tell a story in which your listeners can recognize themselves – or, better yet, the people they could be if they dream and strive. Stories are how we organize and imagine experience; they are at the heart of every great speech I’ve heard.

  3. There is power in presentation … in demeanor … in tonight’s historic event, ‘being presidential’. He has brought new meaning to that phrase..perhaps what the definition should have been all along. No Fleetwood Mac closing music — but truly presidential. It’s the culmination of a campaign that was clearly *the* best campaign *ever*. As you said, Mitch, involving. Moving. Accessible. Relatable. Strong. Now, *that’s* a book that needs to be written: inside the campaign, on the road to the presidency, what they did, how, when, etc. That story could inevitably feed those of us involved in marketing.

  4. It’s actually about “us” — not just you or them, but both. It’s mutually beneficial.
    A leader isn’t a leader without his people, but the people need a leader… to lead.
    Obama has used examples from his personal life (hence, you) and stories of Americans (hence, them) to great effect.

  5. Rhetoric (and by extension oratory) is as old as the concept of democracy itself. It seems fitting that Obama’s win relied a lot on his skills as a communicator.
    “As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.”
    Quotes like that stir the soul, move people to thoughts and deeds.
    The Ancient Greeks would have been proud.

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