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. 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!