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What can we learn from the show “Last week tonight with John Oliver”

...when it comes to data storytelling? 🧐

In case you have not ever seen an episode of this comedy show, check out the YouTube channel and be ready to submerge into a rabbit hole. Come back when you’re done! 😉

First of all, the topics that John offers to talk about are at the moment of broadcasting very present in the public eye. 👀 (Mind you, the show is created for a US-audience 🇺🇸.) Sometimes even, topics that hit a nerve, such as death penalty, police violence or gun control. So, the choice of topic alone already stirs up the emotions of the audience.

Plus: He gets away with it, too! He presents the most difficult topics and asks very critical questions and yet, one watches the show, laughs and feels entertained but also: educated. 🤭

There is a certain pattern that makes the show work. Content is delivered together with humor in a zigzag. Fact – joke – fact – joke – fact – joke etc. ⚡️

John uses humoristic analogies to underline the meaning of the fact. This method not only brightens the mood, while talking about very difficult topics, thus opening the brains 🧠 to absorb more content, it also paints a picture of the fact, so that people can relate to it better and understand how that fact needs to be interpreted.

🎙️There is a frequent change in the media used. Mainly, John speaks and is supported by pictures or text displayed next to him, similarly to how you would see a slide next to a presenter. And then it is interrupted by showing video content in full screen mode to support his arguments or story flow.

John is very passionate on how he brings the content across. I sympathize a lot by the outrage he displays when, at times, he speaks about the absurdities the research on that respective topic had revealed.

Wouldn’t it be fun if we had this kind of infotainment in our daily business meetings? 🥳

So, in case you want to see a humoristic and very fast take on data storytelling, watch “Last week tonight with John Oliver” and learn!

What would you adapt from John Oliver in your data stories?

(Photo source: Foxtel)

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