Your life story, in just six words
A worthwhile challenge for everyone
Most people I know find it difficult to talk about themselves. They would rather stand in front of a client and share a presentation than walk through their experience and life story during an interview. Why? My guess is that we know too much. It’s hard to position our background, expertise, and interests into something succinct. As the expert on my life story, how do I talk to a novice who knows nothing about me? Naturally, I end up keeping things too high-level, avoiding specifics to save time, and ultimately, underselling my value.
One concept I love (and is credited to Ernest Hemingway) is called the Six Word Story. In just six words, how would you tell an entire story? This is not easy and is eerily similar to those difficult moments when you need to distill your life story to 90 seconds during an interview.
Refining this takes work. Every word needs to be meticulously selected, adjusted, and then replaced. It forces you to prioritize your story based on your audience. The goal is that the six words are the tip of the iceberg - the audience realizes that there is much more depth and is left wanting to hear more. I highly recommend taking 10 minutes and writing out a few of these. And if you’re proud of what you pulled together, share it with NPR.
Related to this, we’ve been playing around with a cool concept for Rhetoric around interview preparation. Interested in hearing more? We’d love to have you alpha-test it.
Raman at Rhetoric