Telling your life story in six words

Ars longa, vita brevis – Hippocrates

Can you tell your life story in six words?

Hemmingway Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words.

His response?

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Last year, SMITH Magazine re-ignited the challenge by asking readers for their own six-word memoirs. They sent in short life stories in droves, from the bittersweet (“Cursed with cancer, blessed with friends”) and poignant (“I still make coffee for two”) to the inspirational (“Business school? Bah! Pop music? Hurrah!” ).

In an age when Twitter messages are spreading like wildefire, this summary form might have a rosy future.

Try this: When planning your next speech, strategic plan or business venture, aim to capture the essence of what you want to say in six words or less. Get to the core of the story. Advertising copy writers – who know a thing or two about grabbing your attention – do this all the time. This excercise will distill verbosity and quiet the chatter in your mind and between your executives.

You could then set the text to music and images and create a Vision Statement to post on YouTube – what fun!

My own life story in six words:

“First England, now California, still dreaming.”

What’s yours?

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Public Speaking Blogosphere: Week in Review [2008-02-09]…

Another Saturday, and another review of the best public speaking articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.
Just a few of the topics featured this week are:

practicing;
nervousness;
humor; and
Toastmasters.

[Before we begin, did you ca…

Extend Grace: Always the Best Choice

Trust me, I did my best.

Wonderful website devoted to the genre: http://www.sixwordmemoirs.com/index.php



Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)



nine × = 63