ECU speech expert takes closer look at Trump’s inaugural address

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – After millions tuned in to President Donald Trump’s 17-minute inaugural speech on Friday, 9OYS talked to a speech expert at East Carolina University who evaluated the effectiveness of his message.

“We can look at it technically to see what he did well or maybe what he didn’t do well,” said Dr. Pamela Hopkins, an associate professor at ECU who studies speech communication.

Hopkins said there are many things that can determine whether a speech is good or bad; one being posture. She said another one is the energy the speaker brings to the speech, and the mannerisms they use

“All the movement has to come from your face and from your gesture, and one thing that President Donald Trump does is, if you notice, he’ll gesture with one hand,” Hopkins said.

Dr. Hopkins said hand gestures are good, but she has some advice.

“I would just say maybe those gestures could change a little bit,” said Hopkins. “You could emphasize occasionally instead of so frequently.”

Hopkins did say Trump was successful in his rate and articulation.

“The fewer times you can use ‘I’ when you’re a speaker is great,” said Hopkins. “He used ‘I’ three times in the entire speech.”

She said his use of alliteration and metaphors is what took it over the top

“He also used something that Abraham Lincoln used in the Gettysburg address, and that’s called the tricolon, or the rule of three.”

Hopkins said he would have passed her class.

“I think that actually this speech technically was pretty good,” Hopkins said.

But she said the perception of good or bad lies in the eye of the beholder.

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