"To date, there have been 44 United States presidents - on January 21st Barack Obama delivered the 57th Inaurgural Address."
Here are excerpts from eight (8) lessons the author, Margaret M. Perlis, learned from the best and worst of the inaugural addresses including:
Keep It Real: James Buchanan, our 15th president, was one of the worst in American history, when the issues of slavery and secession were reaching a boiling point. While Buchanan rejected slavery...he refused to challenge the constitutional establishment...and states that were threatening secession.
...His inauguration speech ...diminish(es) the severity of impending conflicts by peppering it with words like “simple” or “happy.”
Know Your Audience, Understand Your Outcome:
Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address was delivered to a war-torn and weary nation. ...Lincoln’s brief 600-word address, ....one of the most powerful in U.S. history ...spurned triumphalism, instead choosing a tone of magnanimity: “both sides read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invoked His aid against the other.”
Read the full text here.
For examples of the power of story, see these two examples:
A personal and a human story of overcoming adversity via a classic from Deb's blog: