Yes, Trump did sound presidential. HEre's the science that shows why.
After watching Trump's unique "American carnage" inaugural address in January, my team and I discussed ways we could measure Trump's future speeches in a more meaningful way. On inauguration day, we ran some word count and some reading level analysis, but these measure felt far too simple.
But, we found researchers at the University of Texas at Austin who had been studying his speech patterns during the campaign. They had thousands of datapoints and were using a tool called Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC), a computerized text analysis tool that connects key vocabulary in speech to psychological traits.
I share this byline with another team member, who did the advance reporting about the UT research. I interviewed a researcher at the University of Virginia's Miller Center for more context about the State of the Union (technically only called a State of the Union in years where there was not an inaugural address; thus, Trump's speech was simply an address to a joint session of Congress).
After the speech, I called the UT researcher for reaction and analysis and we had the story ready in the wee hours for publication early the day after the address.