Episode 71 : Prompts & Topics for Your LifeStory

by Ian · 1 comment

in Audio, Genealogy, Interview, Motivation, Oral History, Podcast, Prompts, Sharing Stories, Storytelling

The best method to remember what you’ve forgotten.

A LifeStory, memoir, biography or autobiography is agreed by everyone as a great idea but a moment later when someone starts to make it happen they’re challenged with where to start and, “What would I talk about?”

I constantly hear requests for Prompts and Topics on  the survey associated to the download of your free copy of Recording Life Stories, so I’ve created a new approach to an old problem.

The traditional method of long lists of questions to prompt the conversations was both boring and generic and simply didn’t work. It missed the personal and didn’t promote the real passions someone has in their life. Over the years I had been using a different method when I connected with people which I knew had real power but I had to get it across in a way for you to understand.

A new strategy

A Topic will have some stories of your life and
the Prompt is a reminder of that topic.

Prompts for BiographyThe normal strategy to help people remember the topics they want to talk about is to start at birth and list out a lifetime’s experiences chronologically or copy one of the long… Loooong… list of questions and prompts. And there are plenty of these lists on the internet. The problem with them is they are general, often asking questions biased from the point of view of the interviewer or subject. This is not you! They’re simply a chronological list of your life.

After months of mulling the ideas of how we communicate, particularly when we first meet someone and start to explore and understand their life I hit upon the idea of approaching Life Stories in the same way.

A totally new, innovative way of personalising the prompts and topics for a Life Story biography or autobiography using simply, natural methods we all use every time we meet someone and want to learn more about them.

It’s about the reminders of life

This new book is not about telling stories or how to edit them but many ideas for that will evolve by understanding this new way of approaching your Life Story.

Prompts & Topics for Your Life Story is a way of jogging your memory, of all the interesting experiences in your life. It’s a strategic approach to re-explore your life in much the same way as someone would get to know you.

Rediscovering your life!

Too often we forget events only to be reminded when something appears in our life. The goal of Prompts & Topics for Your Life Story is to jog your memory of the things you’ve forgotten or things you didn’t even think of as important. Even the mundane memories are fascinating to the younger generation.

By following the advice in Prompts & Topics for Your Life Story you’ll create a long list of prompts to remind you of the interesting topics of your life. Then with these memories you’re away telling the stories and sharing your lifetime.

Start big then dig into the details

When you meet someone you’re introduced to a broad generalisation of who they are, then over time you get to know them better and in more detail through listening to the stories about the topics of their experiences.

This is the same approach Prompts & Topics for Your Life Story uses. Start with a generalisation of who you are then work down through the shared and personal eras, eventually to the individual stories which explain the topics of your personal Life Story. From this careful exploration of the interwoven topics of your life a long list of prompts are generated to remind you of what to talk about. Then it’s just a case of looking at a prompt, remember the story and turn on the recorder. Away you go…

This is not an approach for compiling your Life Story project but a strategy for discovering the topics to talk about. By taking this approach of exploring your life then capturing those memories, the obvious method to help explain it will evolve and aid you with the eventual formatting of the biography

Sneak-a-Peek at Prompts & Topics for Your Life Story.

Get underway

Too often the challenge with any project is getting started.
The moment you realise how easy it is to generate specific, individual, insightful prompts to the stories of your life, you’ll realise the wealth of knowledge you have to share. Then the excitement builds to tell of these stories.… But you have to start!

Click on Image to start discovering what you’ve forgotten.

In the Quick Start Guide to Your Life Story I show you how to get started with your Life Story project. Part of which is to create the list of Prompts & Topics for Your Life Story and then the list will grow almost organically as you scan your life and realise how much you have to share.
And with the growing list of prompts, will also be your enthusiasm for your project until you’re bursting to ask the questions or tell the stories of this life.

Just having a long list of prompts shows you how much you have to say and reminds you of all the memories and stories you want to mention.  A list of prompts and topics is a huge motivator for your entire project.

How can you not be excited when you see all the topics you want to tell stories about!


Share you thoughts in the comments below.

Addition Links to help you further

Record Your Life Story

Record or Write, Your or My Life Story Biography

Click thu to iTunes

Use some of the ideas in the e-Book Recording Life Stories. Just sign up for it in the side bar form.

To get a kick start, get the Quick Start Guide to Your Life Story by clicking hereand be underway in just an hour.

To automatically receive this free podcast, click on the iPhone image to the right or search in iTunes for “Create Your Life Story” or Subscribe in iTunes by Clicking here. If you use another Podcast software Get the feed here.

Support Create Your Life Story by using one of these services from the top navigation bar, commenting on this episode with social network sites below or writing a review on iTunes.

Your Story podcast interesting life storiesLifeStyle Podnetwork← If you want to hear some other great stories about the interesting lives that people have, listen to my other podcast at Your Story or on iTunes.
…Or have a look at some other great shows available at LifeStyle Pod Network→


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I just found your website through Geneabloggers. The approach you describe in the post sounds like a great idea. I’ve been looking for ways to write down the life stories of my ancestors.

Regards, Jim
Genealogy Blog at Hidden Genealogy Blog

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