Ideas For Stories

1. Pick anything that you think would be helpful to someone else, especially something you learned or wish you'd known.

2. Tell me a story about how you were able to find more joy or more humanity or more connection or more insight. There are infinite ideas, and you know your stories best. Here are some ideas:

  • Managing conflict or disagreement

  • A time that you shifted your mindset or re-framed something. 

  • How you’ve worked to build more gratitude or to direct your attention to the things that are most important. How you’ve shifted your focus on the “good” more.

  • A time that helped you build or grow your compassion or generosity

  • A time when something from the past was really bothering you, and you struggled to “let it go.” What ideas/tactics did you use to stop ruminating

  • A time when you realized that you had assumptions about others that you wanted to overcome (examples include standing in someone else's shoes, overcoming first impressions or stereotypes, giving people the benefit of the doubt, assuming positive intent, and so on).

  • A time when you realized that you had assumptions about yourself that you wanted to overcome (examples include self-compassion and self-talk, becoming more humble, and so on).

  • Topics about being “in the moment”: How do you know when to be “in the moment” and when to reminisce or plan for the future? How do you help yourself engage in the moment? How do you bring all your focus to the person you’re with at the time? How did you build these skills--what specific tactics did you use and how did you stick with them?

  • Times you realized you were in “escapism” and avoiding some discomfort. How did you realize it? What did you do after realizing it?

  • There are countless topics, the topics above are a small subset. 

Here are some questions to help you reflect back in time: 

  • What was going on in your mind? Did you think about giving up? How did you help yourself do what you did? What did you believe about other people in the situation? What surprised you? How have you stuck with this (sticking with a change is one of the hardest parts). What advice would you have given yourself in a way that would have made sense to you, then? 

  • Include enough detail to set the scene (but skip the unnecessary details).

  • Remember this: A personal story is more powerful (and more effective) than advice. Think about stories you would share with friends, in the spirit of sharing wisdom. 

  • Is it engaging and effective? Is this story helpful to other people?

Tell me a story that makes you laugh or smile.

  1. Tell one of your favorite stories! Think of something that would be fun to share with people who don't know you.

  2. It doesn't have to be yours, it can be a story that you read or heard somewhere and has stuck with you. 

  3. Think about 1-2 stories to share. 2.5 minutes or less per story.

Recording a video with good lighting and sound:

  1. A spot with good lighting: Illuminate your face. Be careful of windows in the background, which can backlight you.

  2. A quiet spot: Be aware about background noise. Ideally use a headset with a microphone (or a lavalier microphone)

  3. Camera at eye level: Try to look directly into the lens (not the screen). Try to have it straight in front of you rather than angled up (not flattering for most of us!).

  4. Where you are on the screen: Place two fingers above your head--the video should have a little space between the top of your head and the top edge of the screen.

  5. Try a draft version to see if the lighting illuminates your face and the sound lets your voice come through clearly.


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