We sat down with Larry Smith, our coach for tomorrow’s What’s Your Story? course, to talk about work, life, and presenting it all in just six words.
What is a Six-Word Memoir®?
Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. As the legend goes, he wrote: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” In November 2006, at the online storytelling community I founded called SMITH Magazine, we gave the six-word story a personal twist, calling it a “Six-Word Memoir.” (And partnering with a little-know company called Twitter for what was supposed to be just a one-month contest to win an iPod). The idea is as simple as it sounds: tell the story of your life in exactly six words. Those six words can be an attempt to sum up your whole life — think of it as the title of your autobiography or epitaph on your tombstone, as Mario Batali did when he wrote, “Brought it to a boil often” — or one aspect of your personal life (“According to Facebook we broke up”) or professional life (“I tell amazing stories in PowerPoint”).
How does it help professionals refine their personal brand?
The parameters of just six words help you get to the essence of who you are and what you do best. Ever notice that the higher up you get on the ladder, the shorter your emails and meetings can be? Being brief, precise and very much in tight control of your own personal story is a boon for anyone in any part of their life — from your online dating profile to your resume. Read More →