President Obama on Storytelling

President Obama had a long talk with The New York Times, and they spoke at length about his love of writing, reading, and the importance of storytelling.

Obama, “Look, I don’t worry about the survival of the novel. We’re a storytelling species.
“I think that what one of the jobs of political leaders going forward is, is to tell a better story about what binds us together as a people. And America is unique in having to stitch together all these disparate elements — we’re not one race, we’re not one tribe, folks didn’t all arrive here at the same time.
“What holds us together is an idea, and it’s a story about who we are and what’s important to us. And I want to make sure that we continue that.”

I think this past election has proved in a very stark way the importance of creating a narrative that connects with people, and the many–often counter intuitive–ways that can be done. Storytelling can be a simple manner of “once upon a time…”. Today though, where the listener/reader/viewer is so unconsciously savvy to the methods of communication, the teller must be more adventurous, and sure of themselves too. It isn’t enough to be right or true unfortunately, the story must also be bold and engaging.

Here’s a link to the article.

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