For many years I’ve made it a policy not to talk politics in the workplace. When conversation in the kitchen turns political, I either quietly retreat or look to move the topic onto something less divisive (money, religion, football teams).
Strange then that my first blog of 2017 should focus on a politician - President Barack Obama. As the World prepares for the inauguration of Donald Trump, we’re reminded of the many faces of Obama.
…and Obama the Orator.
No matter what your politics, it’s difficult not to recognise his ability to engage an audience, clearly state a message and then deliver it with focused passion. This ability to connect with audiences goes deeper than the natural charisma required of any prominent politician – much of his success came from the fact that President Obama and his speechwriting team worked damned hard at it.
The web is littered with analysis of his presentation style, timbre and speech rhythm…and I have no intention of adding to what has already been said. There is one element of his presentation style that I do feel is worthy of celebration - his storytelling.
Take a look at the following video of his ‘Fired up, ready to go’ story.
Through one story, he engaged and enthused his supporters. He demonstrated a humility on the campaign trail and, a rarity among politicians, used it to show that he was fallible. That's right - the man who aspired to lead the World's most powerful country wanted to show that he didn’t have all the answers and was learning lessons every day.
If the outgoing POTUS valued and used the power of storytelling ignite audiences and prompt change, don’t you think it’s worth trying to weave story into your next presentation? Just a thought...