Storytelling and the Obama Presidency

September 1, 2020

Storytelling and the Obama Presidency

In an article in the LA Times, writer Mike Dorning spoke about Jon Favreau, President Obama’s storyteller in chief. Favreau makes it clear that one of the key elements that enables Obama to communicate so powerfully is story. “Favreau has explained their joint approach to friends simply: ‘Tell a story. That’s the most important part of every speech, more important than any given line. Does it tell a story from beginning to end?'”

It is becoming very clear to many professionals in my industry that the days of the quick soundbite are over (and thank God for that, I say). Think about this as it applies to any company’s marketing; is your story compelling? Does each individual piece add to that story, and does it tell a good story in and of itself?

As human beings we have evolved over millions of years to be attuned to, learn from, and remember stories. So a quick series of not-necessarily-related bites of information are much less engaging (read: a LOT more boring), than a narrative that relates the same information.

In a business setting, what does this say about your latest PowerPoint presentation? The content, the visuals, the presentation (the telling of the story), all need to come together and be mutually supportive. Only then…only then…will it have the ability to reach into the hearts and minds of your audience and have them respond to and remember your presentation a week later–heck, in four minutes.

Stories. Their power is being re-discovered. Sounds like its time to start telling more of them, eh?