The speech that will be analyzed in this paper is George Bush’s Official speech on the War on terrorism, which was spoken to the Defense Department of the United States in 2008. It is particularly pertinent to the topic and nature of this paper as it demonstrates how a simple speech can have such a dramatic effect and influence over a large crowd with differing opinions and perspectives on America’s war on terrorism. The speech was further chosen for analysis as it incorporates a number of integral components that assist presenters in making their presentations and speeches more powerful and effective. Furthermore it acts as a final summary or evaluation to George Bush’s extensive focus on the War on Terrorism throughout the 21st century and his term in office from 2000 through to 2009. This paper will analyze his speech by focusing on its purpose, audience, persona, tone, structure, evidence, strategies and additional features. It can be argued that the tone and structure of the speech are its most effective components with regards to connecting with the audience of the presentation.

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The purpose of the speech is to reinforce the significance of the War on Terrorism and to provide additional background information, which supports this. This can be supported by Bush’s opening statements in which he alludes to the commencement of the War on Terrorism and how it has already affected thousands of people – “On this day in 2003, the United States began Operation Iraqi Freedom” (Bush, 2008). The speech uses historical references to highlight the significance of the topic and its purpose. Without these references, there is little context and there is also a large risk that the audience may not understand the intent of the speaker.

The audience of the speech is American citizens with particular reference to the Defense Department, who have been responsible for initiating and carrying out America’s War on Terrorism. Bush makes this very clear when he directly addresses the audience with statements such as “American can and must win”, as if he is drawing together all citizens and providing future direction (Bush, 2008). This effectively establishes the identity of the audience in the speech and also further provides substance for the speech as it becomes more descriptive and analytical in nature.

George Bush addresses the audience in first person and is very assertive and structured with regards to the opening, body and conclusion of the speech. The persona of the speech remains constant throughout in order to demonstrate its serious tone and style and intent to highlight just how significant the War on Terrorism is. For example, “Thanks for coming, Thanks for Wearing the Uniform” exemplifies this structured persona and the fact that the speech is tailored towards appreciating the efforts of American servicemen as much as providing historical references and supporting the President’s overall agenda with respect to the Defense Department and the ongoing war (Bush, 2008).

The tone of the speaker is very patriotic, direct, assertive and persuasive. George Bush throughout the speech, is drawing the audience in and mesmerizing them with respect to the efforts of American servicemen, how strong and willing America has been throughout the War on Terrorism and how it is an absolute necessity that America continue in its fight against terrorism. For example, in the line “The men and women who crossed into Iraq 5 years ago removed a tyrant, liberated a country, and rescued millions from unspeakable horrors” is informative, yet very patriotic and complimentary of the main topic of the speech (Bush, 2008). There are no instances where Bush backs down from the main purpose of the speech and the tone very much follows this same pattern of appreciation for American servicemen and patriotism at the highest level.

Structure and Strategies
The structure of the speech, as has been reiterated throughout this paper, is centered on providing the audience with sufficient evidence to further support the War on Terrorism but also focusing on the hearts and minds of the American audience overall. For example, numerous references to the gallant efforts of American servicemen combined with the sustained efforts and positive outcomes of the War support the main agenda of the speech and sustain a structured and very patriotic approach. As the speech continues, Bush continues to draw out very relevant and pertinent points towards the later part of the War. Towards the end of the speech, there is a quick diversion towards the future and how previous and current efforts are going to provide a solid foundation for future developments and peace overall. Therefore, the audience starts to understand why the war commenced, what it has achieved and how it is going to affect their lives on a positive note in the future. This also confirms that the speech has extensive structure and a very consistent tone and focus throughout. There are also no references supporting a change in the tone or any humor used throughout the speech and this ensures that the audience remains extensively focused on the agenda of the speech and the significance of the War on Terrorism.

The speech analyzed throughout this paper exemplifies the significance of structure, tone and a number of different strategies and how they can mold and help to establish a sense of patriotism but also significance amongst an audience, who may have very little or a large connection with the main speaker. In this instance, consistency and an official and patriotic and style and tone are effective in demonstrating the advantages of a very negative and horrific event in American and world history.

  • Bush, G. (2008). Remarks on the War on Terror (March 19, 2008). Miller Center,
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  • Dlugan, A. (2008). Speech Analysis #1: How to Study and Critique a Speech.
    Retrieved from Accessed on 24th January 2016.
  • NCTE. (2015). Speech Analysis Questions. Retrieved from Accessed on 24th January 2016.