There are a lot of reasons why Sen. Barack Obama made history last night.  A terrible economy. A brilliantly run campaign. A message that connected with a lot of voters. The nation’s changing demographics. A genuine desire for change by a lot of Americans.

But one major reason for his victory was Obama’s extraordinary ability to communicate with listeners, connect with them, and move them. 

Much has been written about his skills as an orator. To be sure, the man has a wonderful voice. He could make the contents of a bottle of Nyquil sound interesting. And he’s got wonderful speechwriters.

But he’s also a heck of a storyteller. 

Below is a clip from YouTube that shows Sen. Obama on the campaign trail giving us all a wonderful lesson in how to tell a story.

He does what all good story tellers do. First, he sets the theme. “It’s a story that shows the importance of one voice.” Then he tells the story in a straight line, relating a simple chronological series of events. That’s the easy part.

The art is in the clever selection of details to bring the tale to life. My favorite is the description of Edith Childs’s hat.  Little details like that bring a scene to life.

Finally, he ends by reiterating the moral, how a single voice can change the world.



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