Speeches from the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions

The hoopla is over, the streamers and confetti have been swept up and the delegates have returned home. Yes, the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in the United States have concluded, but not before treating us to a Smörgåsbord of speeches.

The speeches were full of stories of personal triumph over adversity, rhetorical barbs directed at opponents, the occasional bending of the truth, and an overall trust-us-not-them flavour. There were good speeches, so-so speeches and slightly bizarre speeches—I’ll never look at an empty chair on a stage the same way again. And through it all, the party faithful cheered like hyper-caffeinated college students who have just finished their final exams. In other words, it was pretty much par for the course.

The New York Times has done a wonderful job of assembling the main speeches of both conventions and analyzing the key ones. For speeches from the Republican Convention, click the elephant below; for speeches from the Democratic Convention, click the donkey.

And, as an interesting bonus, be sure to see the New York Times’ interactive analyses of (a) key words used in speeches at the Republican Convention; (b) key words used in speeches at the Democratic Convention; and (c) a comparison of key words used in speeches at both conventions.

Photos courtesy of DonkeyHotey / Flickr

About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
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5 Responses to Speeches from the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions

  1. Pingback: Speeches from the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions | Manner of Speaking « DonkeyHotey

  2. Brent says:

    Thanks John. Finally getting through all of the speeches myself. The keyword search is fantastic.


  3. Greg says:

    I agree, the speeches made very interesting viewing. Even the one to an empty chair. I could just imagine Clint had the idea of how he was going to say everything when he went out and imagining the response, but yes, the rest is history.

    Even though I am not American (Australian) I particularly liked Clinton’s speech. Although he used a teleprompter it was described how he ad-libbed like a great jazz musician.


    Additionally, the use of metaphors, antithesis and repetition in the democratic speeches. This article here gives a great breakdown. I have already used some of those methods at my toastmaster’s club.

    • John Zimmer says:

      Thanks for the comment, Greg. Like you, I am not American (Canadian) but found the speeches fascinating. And like you, I thought that Clinton shone above the others. Thank you also for sharing the links.


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