State of the Union 2012: Top 10 Words

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A lot goes into a speech. Vocal intonation. Gestures. Dramatic pauses.

And then there’s the words.

It is not by happenstance that certain words are used more than others in a speech…especially not when it’s a Presidential address. So I thought it’d be interesting to put President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address into a Wordle to see what themes emerged.

Wordle takes a set of words and creates a “word cloud” that shows the relative importance of each word based on how often it is used.

The top 10 most used words from President Obama’s speech were:

  1. American
  2. America
  3. Americans
  4. Jobs
  5. New
  6. Energy
  7. One
  8. Every
  9. Tax
  10. Right

Interesting collection. The top five are no surprise. The relative position of #6 and #9 would seem to ¬†indicate that the speech had a longer-term focus vs. getting caught up in the week’s hot topics.

For mission-driven readers, #7 and #8 stand out as they spotlight a common conundrum–how do you speak to a whole while recognizing the importance of its parts? ¬†See, even the President has to use some messaging Aikido, on occasion!

What does list say to you?

Do you communicate as effectively as you think?


Do you communicate as effectively as you think?