By Kerry Roberts

If you didn’t get a chance to catch President Obama’s State of the Union last night you can still view it on Youtube.  While watching, I wanted to check out what people were saying as he spoke and so fired up my laptop (I know, how Millenial of me!!).   I was so impressed with Obama’s team’s use of technology (again) and wanted to share a few of my thoughts and screen grabs showcasing the ability to allow people to participate more actively.

  First on the speech itself:

  • I personally thought it was an interesting approach.  Less laundry list of policies and more an inspirational “let’s go get em” locker room style approach trying to fire up the American people (stop whining about how powerful China is – we have less people and 3X the economy – but they are innovating faster and educating better and we need to get our mojo back).
  • I loved the use of stories to articulate and the everyday heros in the audience as a reminder either of what is broken, or what is great about the American spirit.
  • Having recently watched a youtube video on storytelling in presentations ( ).  In the video Nancy Duarte shows that you can graph all amazing speeches against a similar shape:  Line goes UP to ‘what could be’ and back DOWN to reality several times and she shows this using Steve Jobs launch of the iPod and MLK’s I have a Dream speech.   Worth watching and then reflecting on Obama who follows this pattern to a T. 

 And, the use of technology was incredible – I took a few screen grabs last night to share:

  • When I went to Google home page there was a line telling people that President Obama was taking questions live – before I even searched for it.
  • The link took you to a Youtube channel that was streaming the speech. 
  • All along the left margin people were feeding questions.  I believe they got over 70,000 questions and votes on the questions closer to 700,000.  WOW. 
  • How it’ll work:  Obama’s team is going to select the questions and then the President is going to give a Youtube exclusive interview 2 days after the speech on January 27th. 
  • At the end of the speech, when you Googled ‘State of the Union’ – the first site that popped up was Obama’s new Campaign “Win the Future” asking you to sign up to help make America great again.


 Click on the images to see them full size 


Gone are the days of writing a great speech and getting applause – Obama’s team’s ability to harness social media is a great lesson to any marketer / brand.