Speeches throughout history have inspired many to do good and bad. Political figures are expected to be some of the best speakers in the world and are expected to deliver speeches quite frequently. Some are better than others and some speeches are more inspiring than others, some speeches are a lot better than others, and some are just historical. Ronald Reagan was a popular president and he was considered a very good speaker. His Address to the Nation on Challenger is one of his better and well known speeches, the speech addressed the nation during a time of agony.
This speech was given instead of the planned state of the union speech given annually by presidents. On January 28th 1986 a space shuttle took off on the coast of Florida and it did not make it to space, it blew up and as a result it killed 7 astronauts. The State of the Union Speech was postponed to a later date and President Reagan made this speech instead. It was on national television and took place in the Oval Office of the White House. The purpose of this speech was to mourn the lives lost of the people who went on the space shuttle.
It was to commemorate their bravery and thank NASA for what they did for space exploration. It was also to inform everyone on what happened, as some people did not know about it until the time of President Reagan’s Speech. It was given the night of Janurary 28th 1986 at 5:00 PM and the space shuttle took off at 11:39 AM, so the speech came fairly quickly after the event. It was a shocking moment as most people expected the space shuttle to be fine. The speech was organized because it flowed very well, it was clear and to the point, no fabricating material.
He began by saying that the State of the union was delayed and why it was delayed. President Reagan also made remarks to the families of the victims and talked about his appreciation for everyone in NASA. Reagan made it clear and used language that was formal but not too formal. Everyone could understand what he was saying, but it used professional language with no slang. The main points were easily identified and someone with no prior knowledge on the event could infer what the speech was about after 30 seconds. I personally could identify the main points fairly quickly and after about a minute | could tell what happened.
The points were clear and they flowed very well. The language in this speech was formal, but not too formal. Anyone who read the text of the speech can tell that it was a person of power addressing many people. President Reagan had to use language that the majority of Americans could understand because it was on national television. The audience was probably the average American family watching the news at 5 o’clock, so it could not be language that only college graduates would understand. The speech was the right of amount of formality and casualness.
Reagan was reading his speech off a Teleprompters, as most presidents do. He maintained good eye contact with the camera and kept good body language throughout. There was no awkward movement of his arms or chest, he sat there with a good posture and faced the camera. The actual speech length was around four minutes and 30 seconds, which is a decent amount of time but not too long. The speech was very appropriate for the time and place. It was during a very important time because technology was advancing at a rapid pace and countries were eager to out due each other, especially on the race to space.
It was given the night of the incident and Reagan addressed everyone who was effected by the crash. He addressed the families, school children watching it, and he even addressed the Soviet Union by saying the United States space program is not secretive. By doing this he subliminally talks down to the Soviet Union, who the US was enemies with at the time. Reagan not only made a great speech, he helped his anti Soviet agenda along the way. In my opinion, it was a very good speech and it flowed very well. Not only was the flow good, so where the actually words that were said.
Reagan gave words of sympathy to the families in what was a very hard time for them. It was also successful because I did not hear any “um’s or uh’s” in the speech. Another reason why I think it was a successful is because it was the right amount of sympathy for the families. It was obviously a very hard time for them but President Reagan didn’t make it a five minute monologue saying how sorry he was and how much we should honor them. Instead, he said how great they were and how much he appreciates their sacrifice and bravery for the cause.
Personally, it was one of the best speech’s I have seen any president give. Ronald Reagan’s Address to the Nation on the Challenger is a great example of good public speaking. Reagan uses great language throughout the speech and puts people in a better mood about a very tragic event in American history. Throughout the speech he addresses the majority of the population and thanks people who were involved in helping the space shuttle reach space. His use of all these elements is why I personally love this speech and think it is a great speech for anyone to watch.