5 public speaking lessons from Obama’s farewell address

Millions watched the commander in chief’s final address to the nation. Here’s what PR pros can take from it. 

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Countless others joined in to watch on digital media channels. For PR pros, Obama’s speech offers many lessons for connecting with our audiences.

Here are five you can apply to your own presentations:

1. Know your audience.

Obama knew his audience. That’s an important element to connecting, says Krysten Copeland, founder of ‎Washington, D.C.-based KC & Co Communications.

“Throughout the years, Obama has proved that he’s very much in touch,” Copeland says. “He understands some of the key words and phrases that will spring his audience into action.”

One of the warmest moments of Obama’s farewell address was when he left the hall with his family, greeting people he recognized in the crowd. At one point, Michelle tapped him on the shoulder to point out what might have been an old old friend from their pre-D.C. days in Chicago.

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