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  • Writer's pictureRain Bennett

The Storytelling Lab - Ep26: Moving Your Audience To Action with Jaz O'Hara

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

We’re heading back into the nonprofit world with this week's guest, Jaz O’Hara, founder of The Worldwide Tribe, a nonprofit dedicated to sharing stories and raising awareness of the global refugee crisis. We discuss how to share the stories of the people you help, combat negative narratives in the news media, and use video to move your audience to action.



Sometimes when I’m giving a speech or workshop on storytelling, people have doubts.

Are stories that powerful? Can they really motivate people to take action? How much storytelling is too much storytelling?

This week I spoke with someone who is the embodiment of all the power and magic behind the art and science of storytelling.

Jaz O’Hara was working in the fashion industry when her parents decided to adopt a child from the “Calais Jungle.” Calais is a region in France where thousands of refugees congregated and built a community.

Before long, the media began spreading dehumanizing narratives about the refugees and reporting back stories of how horrible the camp was and how something needed to be done about it.

Authorities destroyed the area, yet the refugees had nowhere else to go. So they came back, even though the homes they had built were gone, and slept where they could, surrounded by industrial waste.

When Jaz found out about her new brother, and read all the news about the Calais Jungle, she decided she wanted to find out for herself:

Were the headlines true, or was there more to the story?

She wanted to learn more about the people, where they came from, and why they were fleeing.

So she went.

Here’s what she had to say:

That first trip changed my life. Never had I met so many amazing, inspirational, heroic people. People that had been through the worst trauma, yet still welcomed us with open arms. People who lived in tents in the mud with nothing, but still they shared cups of tea, the little food they had, and their stories with us…

When she returned home, she had to share her experience. She wrote a Facebook post on her personal page that went viral. People were messaging from all over the world asking how they could help. That post has now been seen over 30 million times.

This reaction, and the subsequent trips where she was already planning to offer aid, inspired her and her brother to create The Worldwide Tribe, a nonprofit organization that produces creative content to bring a personal, human perspective to the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time…the Refugee Crisis.

Jaz is a force.

I am blown away by the work she is doing and I think you will be, too.

In this episode, we discuss how to share the stories of the people you help, combat negative narratives in the news media, and use video to move your audience to action. This is a great episode for anyone looking to learn how to raise awareness through storytelling!

Some highlights of our conversation:

  • Jaz’s podcast

  • How Jaz realized that stories were important -- Her experience going viral

  • Jaz’s work with refugee camps

  • How to combat negative narratives: the way news media speaks about immigrants

  • Fight the fear based narratives by putting out a different story and by being vulnerable and authentic

  • The World Wide Tribe: Jaz’s nonprofit organization, dedicated to sharing stories and raising awareness of the global refugee crisis

  • There’s an inherent desire in all of us to do positive change in the world

  • How to amplify the voices of the people you want to help

  • How social media gives us greater access to have our stories heard

  • Interacting with people of different cultures and backgrounds

  • The importance of timing and consistency when releasing content

  • Why you always have to be inventive and new with your content -- people will get bored or overwhelmed if you are sharing too much of the same thing

  • How to pick which stories to tell

  • How videos are a great way to tell your story & grab your audience’s attention

  • Why you should think about core questions you want to answer in your film before you start

  • Why it’s important to make a personal connection with your subject -- your audience will be able to feel it

  • Taking the time you need to recharge -- you can’t help others if you aren’t caring for yourself

  • Only committing to what you believe is feasible

  • Setting boundaries for yourself

  • Sticking to a schedule

  • Focusing on your subject’s “sequence of events” -- how did they get to where they are? How can you best tell the story of their journey?

  • How and why it’s important to follow up with your subject after you’ve shared their story

  • Why it’s better to share stories of resilience instead of playing the victim -- it brings your audience hope & makes them want to show support

As always, I hope you enjoy the episode!

Peace and Love,



Follow Jaz on Instagram @jaz.ohara

Follow The Worldwide Tribe on Instagram @theworldwidetribe

Follow The Worldwide Tribe on Twitter @worldwide_tribe

Learn more about The Worldwide Tribe at

For more storytelling tips and tricks,

Follow us on Instagram @sixsecondstories

Visit our website

Hosted by Rain Bennett (@rainbennett | Twitter) (


MORE related content:

- The Global Refugee Crisis 2019

- Help support The Worldwide Tribe

- Check out Jaz's Talk at TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWells

#podcast #thestorytellinglab #storytelling #valuesfirst

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