Using Storytelling to Engage

Health Communications Series Page

Making Data Count

Matt Jacob

In 2016, I formed Jacob Strategies LLC, a consultancy that focuses on the communications, training and marketing needs of public health stakeholders. I concentrate on translating complex, scientific content into messaging that is clear, concise and compelling—and comprehensible to policymakers or the lay public. I have delivered training related to communication and marketing for oral health stakeholders in more than 15 states. Previously, I managed communications and marketing activities for the Pew Children’s Dental Campaign and the Children’s Dental Health Project. For more than 20 years, I have helped nonprofits and advocacy organizations raise the profile of their issues, particularly in the areas of health and education. I have provided testimony or presentations to a variety of leading public health organizations, including the American Public Health Association and the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Health Literacy. Over the years, my communication efforts have been recognized or honored by a variety of organizations, including the Association of State & Territorial Dental Directors, National Public Health Information Coalition, and the New York Times.

Course Description

Learn how oral health professionals and advocates can use stories in their talks and presentations to illustrate the impact of poor health outcomes, deepen the public’s understanding and inspire advocacy. This session will walk through the key elements of a good story.


  1. Identify the 6 qualities of a good story
  2. Explain how a story can help galvanize support for an advocacy goal
  3. Identify the best practices for effectively delivering a story

Credit hours: 1.0 CEU

Teaching Method: Self-Instruction

Cost: Free

Matt Jacob’s Conflict of Interest

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Contact Information: Matt Jacob –

Date of Original Presentation: June 11, 2020

Date Reviewed: January 19, 2022

Date Released: June 26, 2020

Date of Expiration: June 26, 2023

AGD Subject Code: 770

The instructor has asked that you watch a TED Talk by Rita Pierson before the webinar. During her talk, Pierson tells three brief stories to a group of educators. Pay extra attention to the stories that she tells. Those stories start at about 2:20, 4:16 and 5:00 during her talk.
Pierson’s talk runs less than eight minutes.

Click below to access a video of her talk:

For more information and references on community water fluoridation please visit the Community Water Fluoridation resource page.

Texas Oral Health Coalition
Nationally Approved PACE Program Provider for FAGD/MAGD credit.
Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement.
7/1/2021 to 6/30/2024.
Provider ID# 346144


Technical Specifications

Funding for this grant is provided by the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation.

This learning series is a product of the Texas Fluoridation Campaign, a collaborative partnership between the Texas Oral Health Coalition, the Texas Health Institute, and the University of Texas Center for Health Communication in an effort to provide detailed information on how to create successful health messages to improve health outcomes.

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