Sometimes our stories have a call to action attached to them, and we hope to inspire our audience into shifting their lives. But creating such a compelling argument can be intimidating. Using story techniques like robust characters, high stakes, and uncertain outcomes can help entice audiences, improve your brand story, and drive change.
Joel Bach is the Creator and Executive Producer of National Geographic’s Years of Living Dangerously. It is a TV show about the impacts of climate change. Joel and his team investigate how the world has been negatively affected by our warming planet, how soon permanent changes might happen, and what we can do to stop it. Their goal is to entertain, educate and engage through sustainable storytelling.
Joel is an expert at using high-powered personalities to help spread his message as an effective brand story strategy. Every episode of Years of Living Dangerously features a Hollywood celebrity discovering new information. This has included: Jack Black learning about the impact of sea level rise in Miami, David Letterman investigating India’s radical move to solar energy, and Arnold Schwarzenegger on the front lines of more frequently occurring wildfires.
Joel talks about how to use celebrities in storytelling to educate and entertain while not positioning them as the experts to enhance your brand story. He also shares with us the most priceless advice he ever received from Don Hewitt, the creator of 60 minutes. And we talk about the important story techniques including character, high stakes, uncertain outcomes, and the theme or point of your story.
- Why compelling stories start with great characters in the middle of action
- How to utilize celebrities to support your storytelling without calling them experts
- How to keep your audience’s attention with uncertain outcomes and high stakes
“If you tell them a compelling story that will stick to their ribs.” —@bachchoy (click to tweet)
“It’s hard to know what someone cares about until you ask them.” —@bachchoy (click to tweet)
“What makes for a good story is a compelling, riveting character who is trying to do something.” —@bachchoy (click to tweet)
Mentioned in This Episode:
- Joel Bach
- Joel Bach on Twitter, @bachchoy
- Years of Living Dangerously
- 60 Minutes
- Don Hewitt
- David Gelber
- An Inconvenient Truth
- United Artists
- National Geographic
- Katharine Hayhoe