man watching TV wall

Opening lines are often underrated, and overlooked. But, don’t kid yourself, they’re vital. In TV newscasts, now, even in podcasts, you’ll hear an opening line from the interviewee before the show begins. The idea behind starting the show that way is to get the audience interested quickly in the story. Then the show open rolls…just like this…

Here we go with this week’s Fit Business Tip to put muscle in your marketing.

In short videos, there are three important storytelling stages: the opening, communicating the why, and your close/call to action.

This week we look at the opening. So, if you’re getting ready to launch some videos of your own, Think Like A Journalist, and try this strategy.

Use an action line. Think about the last time you heard a really good story from one of your friends. There’s likely a line in their story that really caught your attention. Maybe they were describing something sad, scary, or funny. Either way, the line was likely an action line. And if it came at the beginning of the story, you were probably hooked.

In video storytelling, reporters often begin with what we call natural sound or nats which is some ambient sound from the scene they filmed. They open with nats to set the stage of the story and to pique the viewers’ interest and pull them into the story. Sometimes, rather than using nats, an actual sound bite (a clip from an interview) is used to grab attention and spark interest in the story.

Here’s an example. In a recent travel story, I opened the piece with this sound bite, “I said yes. Exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point.”

The interviewee was a little old lady who was animated and clearly excited about something; you couldn’t help but wonder what was she referring to…it piqued curiosity.

Or another opening line…goes like this…Artist Kim MacConnel finds treasures in what others call trash…

Or another example is opening the video story with the sound of a drill into what looks like a sled. The opening voiceover then says, “Gustaf Rooth has drilled down to the core of his essence and found a place he not only calls home but also takes him back to his roots.”

The story is about an artist who opened a European-Style Design Haus and is living in it and making very unique wooden furniture out of wine barrels. You can visit post #15 to see the full video story.

I’m Phoebe Chongchua next time, I share how to effectively communicate the why in your story.

Be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel for more videos… and then visit to catch our podcast episodes each week. The Brand Journalism Advantage Podcast features thought leaders from around the globe talking about brand journalism, marketing, entrepreneurship, and inspiration. You’ll get a competitive advantage when you listen each week. Find us in iTunes and Stitcher.

Until, the next time…Go Think Like A Journalist.

Note:  Follow me for marketing and content resources to grow your company. Join the conversation by commenting below or by visiting  See the next Fit Biz Tip in this video series: What’s Your WHY?

Video produced by Live Fit Films.

Phoebe Chongchua is a multimedia Brand Journalist who teaches: Think Like A Journalist, To Increase Your Bottom Line. She is also the Host of The Brand Journalism Advantage Podcast which features interviews with thought leaders from around the globe on marketing, brand journalism, and entrepreneurship. After 15 years in TV News as an Anchor/Reporter, Phoebe founded PCIN.TV. The Internet TV Station airs video stories from her online publications: Live Fit Magazine and The Plant-Based Diet as well as curates content from other sources. As a brand storyteller, Phoebe produces  business videos, articles, and photos to engage consumers and create brand evangelists.  Learn

 Contact Phoebe to get started on your Brand Strategy.

Image courtesy of Naypong at


Phoebe Chongchua
Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is a multimedia Brand Journalist, Brand Consultant & Marketing Strategist who is revolutionizing brand communication with consumers. She makes companies remarkable using brand journalism storytelling to grow their online presence, build a community, and gain greater market share. Phoebe is a former TV News journalist who helps brands gain a competitive advantage by learning to "Be the Media". Phoebe is the host of "The Brand Journalism Advantage" podcast and a "Top 50 Podcaster To Follow". Listen in iTunes or at

What Do You Think?

Leave a Reply