My Story in 4 Faces: Using Photos to Recall Stories

Almost any presentation, even business presentations, can be enhanced by using personal stories to anchor your points.  But, how do you recall and apply those personal stories?  One technique is to look at photos, specifically photos of yourself and try to recall where you were at in life and/or the story behind the photo.  Often one photo can result in multiple story ideas.  In preparation for a workshop that I’m giving on Saturday,  Storytelling for Business, I dug up my old photo albums (I’ve only digitized a few photos taken prior to 2001) and dug up some memories.  The four photos above and their brief explanations below will give you a flavor for the concept.  That, and you will see some of the very fashionable glasses that I’ve worn over the years!

Every face tells a story.

Age 11 I am in 5th grade and am about 10 years older than my brother.  We are about to have a formal picture taken, probably at Kmart.  My mother took lots of pictures.  I think it was to preserve the fantasy of a happy family.  My parents were not happy together.  I would go to my basement room and tune out their arguments by playing my violin.

Themes:  Fantasy vs. Reality, Tuning Out the Negative

Age 22 This picture was taken right before I left for my first day of work as an engineer for General Dynamics in San Diego.  I look so young and innocent.  I had no idea about the realities of being a woman in a male-dominated field.  Or, how ill-prepared I was by college.

Themes:  Being Different, Discrimination, Experience vs. Head Knowledge

Age 27  I became a full-time mother and homemaker, while at the same time building an Amway business with my husband.  We were going to be rich and have perfect children.  I became an invisible woman—my husband’s wife and my children’s mother.

Themes:  Managing Multiple Priorities, Identity Crisis, Unrealistic Dreams

Age 48  This is my first photo for my professional speaking business.  I didn’t have much money to spend because our technology business wasn’t doing well.  At the end of the year, we had declared bankruptcy.  I smiled to hide the pain.

Themes:  Starting a business on a Shoestring, Dealing with Loss, Rising from the Ashes

Need a story to anchor your point?  Try looking at some pictures!

 

 

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About Diane Windingland
I speak for organizations that want their people to have better, more profitable conversations.

3 Responses to My Story in 4 Faces: Using Photos to Recall Stories

  1. joe coffee says:

    ” La Vita Bella”

  2. Bob Bauman says:

    Happy Birthday!!!

    Today is my brother’s birthday as well.

    Hope you have a great day. Hopefully Kim takes you out for dinner.

    Bob

  3. Glenn Rogers says:

    I totally agree that photos are great for triggering memory. Recently posted a WordPress blog on my thoughts. http://photoorganization.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/photos-memory-triggers/

    Cheers,
    Glenn Rogers
    DBGallery Product Manager

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