Ann Nixon Cooper from Atlanta, 106 years of age – Obama tells us about a woman who has experienced the progress and regression of a century of American history. She was born shortly after the end of slavery, when she as a black woman was not allowed to vote due to her sex and skin color. Obama reminds us of the big events that occurred in the last 100 years and tells us the story of a single voter – a small piece of the great picture.
Why we love his stories: Obama takes a backseat and turns the voter into the true hero of the story. He talks about real people and their lives. These catch the audience, make him look authentic and most of all trigger emotion. He does not make his electoral victory his personal success, but a collective progress à la Yes WE Can. Of course, Jon Favreau played a role, since he was Obama’s speech writer at that time. Favreau is not only convinced of Obama’s skill as a speaker but also believes in five key features for successful speaking and storytelling: a message, the story around it, the conciseness of a speech, knowledge about the audience, and big emotions.
2. “Four More Years”: Storytelling in 13 Characters
Three words and a simple picture: Obama is celebrating his second electoral victory together with his followers on twitter. Employing a rather simple twitter post “Four more years.“, the then freshly re-elected president set a new record on twitter: more than 500,000 users shared his tweet immediately (roughly 950,000 retweets until today). That way, Obama made it to number one of the most popular tweets that were ever sent via the microblogging channel.
Why we love his stories: Short and on point in 140 characters: Barack Obama knows how personal branding works. With a clear message, strategically striking words and underlined by the picture with first lady Michelle, the post catches the reader’s attention. The whole election campaign is summed up in an easy way and means yet so much: solidarity, hope, unshakable confidence, pride and great relief. Obama’s preceding post “This happened because of you. Thank you.“ demonstrates again that he does not see himself in the role of the hero but in the role of a mentor. We say: Storytelling at its finest.
3. Faces of Change: The ObamaCare Campaign