Mic Check Volume 24: Family lore
What a weird day to talk about storytelling, huh?
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One of the weird things about having a Friday newsletter is that at least once per year, your email is going to be woefully irrelevant as most of the country eats leftovers and cruises the web for deals.
Challenge accepted—if for no other reason than to make good on my promise to use every opportunity to become a better storyteller.
Here’s the opportunity I see: I don’t know about you, but I absolutely treasure the bits of family lore that usually bubble up during holiday gatherings. Grandparents’ childhood memories, how people met, hometown histories. It all comes together in an encyclopedia of oral histories that (hopefully) will outlive me.
The fact is, though, that most of these stories have been woven into my consciousness through osmosis. Remembering them (and even hearing them in the first place) has mostly happened by accident. Why not do it on purpose?
Many of us are spending this weekend in close quarters with family and friends who we don’t often see. What an opportunity, then, to practice pulling story out of others—ask questions you’ve never asked before, fill the story in with detail, and commit them to memory.
Hey, at the very least, it’s better than what you’re probably doing right now on your small or medium screen. And if you’re solo today, listening to a StoryCorps episode is a fantastic stand in.
Raman at Rhetoric
📚 What’s made me a better storyteller this week
✨ What I’m trying next week
One of the concepts I often forget to pull from story into my communication strategy is the idea of choosing one (yes, just one) climax to build the rest of my presentation around. If everything is important, nothing is important.
Next week, before I step into a meeting or presentation, I’m asking myself: if they forget everything else, what is the one thing I need my audience to remember?
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