Today, we decided to head straight to Dr. Rod Berger in Nashville, Tennessee in the United States. Firstly, you won’t believe his humility and how welcoming he was for our proposal to feature him on Kampala ET. Let’s get into the life of this storytelling journalist, as he calls himself. Brace yourself for an incredible story! Follow him on Forbes Magazine, Entrepreneur, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Parents Mag.

Who Is Rod Berger PsyD?

Rod Berger is a storyteller traveling the world in search of interesting people, paths, and stories that focus on impact. He considers himself a bit of a Forrest Gump character who has worked in a number of sectors.

Consequently, he has contributed to companies and professionals from around the world. “I initially focused on psychology,” said Berger to Kampala ET, “and that led me to healthcare and education. The whole time I had been thinking about the media. It would keep me up at night. I loved to write, and I was consumed by the power of questions. If I look back, though, it probably started when I was a student. I began public speaking in high school at the nudge of a thoughtful educator. I excelled at public speaking and began earning money for speaking.”

For the passionate writer, that was an eye-opener because he just spoke about things he was passionate about. Fast-forward – speaking opportunities led to hosting a radio show that flipped into hosting a podcast that turned into opportunities to write for an international audience.

How did he begin his journalism career?

This question mesmerized the highly qualified storyteller, “I should clarify that I think classic journalism is dwindling away from what it used to be. I fashion myself as a storyteller. I greatly appreciate classic reporters and investigative journalism, but it isn’t where I feel most at home.” Rod Berger did some writing for Scholastic years ago, and he really enjoyed the work because it combined podcasting and interviewing with writing. He told our reporter that he set his sights on larger publications. Now, Berger is thankful to be given the opportunity to share stories about compelling people and companies through several outlets worldwide.

Rod Berger in Jordan on location

What is storytelling and what does it mean?

According to Berger, storytelling is about capturing the essence of someone. It is about their energy when you sit across from them. It is about asking questions that bring out the most interesting elements of your guest. “If I’ve done these things correctly,” he explains, “then I have the opportunity to go into the ‘lab’ and stitch together an article. It will be informative, inspirational, and authentically representative of my guests and what they are truly about.”

Berger’s notable podcast, HeadRoom

He also says it’s compelling when he is interviewing someone in Sub-Sarahan Africa, and during the interview, they reveal a challenge or an obstacle. At this point, Berger thinks to himself, ‘…that is the same challenge someone in Los Angeles is having.’ He says, “We live in a very small world and often share similar human experiences – it’s just that we experience life against different backdrops. In the end, there is a reason why we all claim the same species. I believe the documentation of shared experience just might be the most powerful and unifying thing storytellers can share.”

Rod Berger with Wyclef Jean at Formula 1

Rod Berger shares his experience visiting Africa

Berger had been told that he would fall in love with Africa. Some call it catching ‘African Fever.’ “I can attest that I was infected, and I couldn’t be more appreciative!” he confessed. Rod had experiences that he will treasure for the rest of his days. He met young children who were attracted to his white skin and curious about its texture.

Dr. Rod in regional hospital in the Tambacounda Region of Senegal

“It is hard to put into words,” Rod is speechless, “what it is like for a young child to approach, pull back, and then return to share a brief touch of hands. Powerful is really the only way I can think to describe it.” The Senegalese, according to Berger, were incredibly gracious and gentle people for the eight days he spent trekking across the country. This painted a picture that secured permanent residence in Berger’s mind’s eye. He actually calls himself that ‘truly #LuckyGuy,’, especially on his social channels.

Rod burger
Berger with the famous rapper Vanilla Ice (Getty Images)

What are his biggest projects so far?

In 2022, Dr. Rod Berger reports that he was fortunate to travel the globe to document stories. We say fortunately because that brought him into the audience with Pope Francis and United Nations officials in Rome. Other people he met were legendary music producers and artists in Stockholm, Sweden, covering the Denniz Pop Music Awards, and Jordan in the Middle East. This was intended to examine the power of innovation, family, and culture.

“I have also had pinch-me-moments interviewing Sammy Hagar of Van Halen,” he proudly reveals, “and Charles Barkley and going behind the scenes at Formula 1 with the Williams Racing team. One of the most exciting projects was when I interviewed UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov inside the octagon on-camera. His fighting style is legendary, and the fear he instilled in his competitors was second-to-none. I can actually say that I was in the octagon with the famed fighter and lived to tell about it [laughs].” For the prominent storyteller, 2022 was an incredibly busy year as he conducted over 50 on-camera interviews. Additionally, Berger has published over 75 articles among publications to date and published 107 podcast episodes. “I’m either a gluten for punishment or truly immersed in storytelling,” he smirks. Dear reader, please decide in the comments section:).

Rod Berger
Berger on location in Rome in St. Peters Square

What Does Rod Berger Intend For The Future?

Our guest told us how he looks forward to traveling to Kosovo in 2023 to interview the country’s President. This will happen during the country’s Independence celebration. While it might look usual, the veteran storyteller considers this opportunity a wonderful honor to shed light on a country steeped in tradition and lite on global awareness. “Incredible people call Kosovo home, and I look forward to sharing their stories with my audience.”, he added. Berger says that #StoriesTravel is when he promotes his work. Whether he has been racking up airline miles to far-off destinations or engaging the power of Zoom, this has been a year to remember.

Berger poses for photoshoot for NBC News article

What is storytelling, its goals, and its objectives?

Storytelling is actually quite basic as an art form, and Rod Berger believes it starts with establishing the main character. From then, it involves identifying the supporting characters. Some stories naturally pit the interview guest as the main character. However, other times it is the topic of expertise they hold that should actually be the focus of the article. The main characters and supporting characters are interchangeable from story to story. It really is just a concept the professional writer uses when he thinks about his interviews and overall approach.

Rod Berger and DJ Cassidy
Rod Berger post-interview with DJ Cassidy in Austin, TX

“My ultimate goal is for the interview guest to feel heard,” spills the writer, “and for the subsequent article or podcast, etc., to accurately reflect the essence of who they are. This includes their vulnerabilities because good storytelling unapologetically goes to the edge. Simultaneously, it brings the audience along while maintaining respect and humility for the life and story profiled.

What does it feel like writing for Iconic Publications?

When we asked this question, we realized that the passionate storyteller is actually a freelancer. “It is an honor to contribute to any publication that has the potential to reach beyond the horizon of life. Forbes Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Parents Mag are all fantastic publications that provide opportunities for stories to take flight,” said Berger.

Berger on location with Williams Racing and Formula 1

Does Rod Berger Collaborate with Others For His Media Projects?

Berger is a big proponent of collaborative partnerships that provide mutual benefit. One such partner is Matt Millstein, owner, and operator of Old Soul. It is a social media and podcasting-producing agency based in the U.S. Collectively, the tandem has produced over 100 podcast episodes, traveled to Africa, and collaborated on several media projects. This appears to be a classic win-win for Berger and Millstein and reflects Berger’s desire to generate impact with every relationship.

It has been great to collaborate with Matt along this journey. Surely a true partnership of creativity and collaboration,” says Berger. 

Millstein echos the affinity for teamwork, noting Berger’s unique approach to storytelling. “Whether he’s [Berger] interviewing an NBA Superstar, Grammy Award Winning Artist, or a parent of an elementary school student, Rod is able to find the common thread in any story that brings us, the audience, along for the ride.”

Final advice for the young people in the world?

Unlike most people, the senior journalist declined to act like a Guru, but here are his exact words.

I am not sure I have one piece of salient or sage advice for the generation on the come. I would say that what has worked for me is to say ‘yes’ to the majority of opportunities floated in front of me. The word ‘yes’ is powerful. The word ‘yes’ is accepting and forgiving and inspires collaboration. 

Rod Berger PsyD
Rod Berger next storyteller
Rod Berger at Formula 1 behind the scenes with the Williams Racing Team

Additional Details About Rod Berger

Dr. Rod Berger is a communication strategist and on-air personality. He engages with global and iconic companies, individual brands, celebrities, professional athletes, and award-winning entertainers. Berger writes for Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine. In 2022 he has been to sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East (Jordan), Sweden, Norway, Toronto and from Miami to Los Angeles. While there, he was covering stories – most notably, he visited with the Pope in Rome to discuss the global refugee crisis, and in 2023 he will be in Kosovo to interview the President of the country.                   

Highlights of Interview Guests & Stories – 2022   

1. United Nations Officials & the Pope on the Refugee Crisis – Rome | Italy   

 Rod Berger with Pope Francis fall of 2022

2. UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov inside the octagon – Miami | U.S.A.                                                   
Direct Descendant of the Prophet Muhammad – Jordan | Middle East   

3. Denniz Pop Music Awards – Stockholm | Sweden      

4. Tambacounda Region – hospital and school openings – Senegal | Africa                                                           
5. Sammy Hagar of Van Halen – Los Angeles | U.S.A.

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