JOHN F. Kennedy is held up by many to be one of the best speakers of the 20th century. He inspires a lot of people who seen his speeches, whether it's on television on YouTube or experienced it live if they're old enough. But a lot of people don't know the story behind john F. Kennedy's speaking. He was actually an extremely nervous public speaker. Even as president when people stood behind him. They said you could see his hands shaking his knees knocking together.
He made it look natural with a smile on his face. But it didn't come naturally. Now. I'm not old enough to have seen john F. Kennedy when he was president. But I am old enough to have met with people talked with people who knew Kennedy and saw him back when he was a congressman in the 1950s and would come up here to New York, and give fundraising speeches. And they tell me he was awesome.
They said he would come in, head down reading, all you would see is this thick shock of hair, absolutely nothing remarkable. nothing particularly interesting or captivating about him. But he learned, running for congress than for the Senate, then president. He advanced at every stage and he decided he was going to get better at this. And even though he felt nervous, he wasn't going to let that show. Now one of the things you'll see and I've selected his inaugural address here, there's a lot of classical rhetorical devices, asked not what your country can do for you ask what you could do for your country.
These are formalistic ancient rhetorical devices that were quite effective. Now, one of the reasons why he did this, according to experts, is that he was Kind of insecure about being so young running for president really not having accomplished much in his political career. So by using ancient rhetorical devices or technical devices, he would make himself appear to have more stature. Every once in a while if you want to use a rhetorical device, something that's formalistic classical, you can get away with it. You do too many. it'll seem overly formal, stuffy, artificial, contrived, I think it worked for him.
I don't think this style would work for most politicians most of the time these days, but still, take a look. Figure out what you like or don't like and enjoy, post your comments in the q&a section.