Clearwater Advisors report finds Obama wins public speaking contest with McCain but falls short of great oratory

Released on: August 22, 2008, 1:33 am

Press Release Author: Propeller Communications

Industry: Government

Press Release Summary: As Barack Obama heads in to next week's Democratic convention
with John McCain bearing down on him in the polls, he can take comfort in the fact
that scientists have confirmed he is the better public speaker. Senator Obama,
however, has still got a long way to go to become the perfect orator. His range of
facial expressions, in particular, needs to increase.

Press Release Body: Speech analysis of Senators Obama and McCain by the Vox
Institute for Clearwater Advisors found that the pitch of Obama's voice is excellent
and that it "reflects very clearly the emotional nature of each topic." McCain's
voice, in contract, is "low-pitched and very monotonous."

The good news for Obama, however, ends there with the research showing that concern
is the dominating attitude of his vocal style and that his facial repertory "is not
very varied". It concludes that the "absence of positive emotional displays is a
major feature of his facial expressions." McCain's facial repertory is also "very
poor", and, "most of the time he has a poker face."

James McBrien, Managing Director at Clearwater Advisors, said: "Non verbal
communication is more important than verbal communication in gaining the trust of an
audience. This research shows that while Obama's verbal communication is excellent,
his non verbal communication skills, particularly his facial expressions need work.
In terms of public speaking he already has a lead on John McCain but he needs to
expand his range of facial expressions to become a great orator."

The analysis was conducted by Dr Branka Zei Pollerman at the Vox Institute in Geneva
using samples of McCain\'s and Obama\'s voices. Four samples of each man were taken
for sampling delivering 'angry criticism', 'positive future prospects', 'sad facts',
and 'an emotionally neutral statement'. These were digitised and submitted to
acoustical signal analysis and facial analysis. Dr Pollerman used Facial Action
Coding Systems (FACS) developed by Professor Paul Ekman at the University of
California, to conduct the analysis.

During the research, Dr Pollerman also analysed the speaking style of Prime Minister
Gordon Brown. The results revealed that Brown has "perfect fluency" and "skillfully
chunks the information into sense groups.allowing for easy comprehension of his
messages". However his "voice does not reflect the emotional nature of each topic"
and that his "facial repertory is limited to a recurrent pattern combining the
expressions of sadness, anger and disgust."


Web Site:

Contact Details: James McBrien
Clearwater Advisors
Tel : 0207 420 6872
Fax : 0207 420 6801
Email :
Address :
27a Floral Street,
Covent Garden,

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