Please follow these steps in order.
1. Listen to some StoryCorps stories to see quality stories. Here are a few good ones. What do they have in common?
2. Now choose the oldest person in your family or any other person with a good story. Your job will be to record their BEST story. A good story has a beginning, middle, end and evokes a powerful emotion in the listener. It will be full of golden details that paints a picture for the listener. It will be sincere and meaningful to the storyteller.
3. Storytellers usually don’t know their best story or are not able to tell it from the top of their heads. This is why you must interview them about their lives. The goal of the interview is to identify their best story so that you can record it at a later date. Make a list of five interview questions.
Here is a five page list of great questions that you can ask anybody:
4. Now that you have an interviewee and a list of questions conduct an interview with the aim of getting STORIES from your subject. Make sure that you get a clear recording of the interview. Here is a list of my best interview tips. Follow them.
5. Immediately after the interview, write down what you think is your subject’s best story. Are their any gaps in the story? Do we need more detail in any area?
6. Schedule a time and place to record your subject retelling the story in loving detail. Let them know about any added details that you want them to include. If they tell a very long story let them know that you have a three minute limit.
7. At the interview, make sure that the audio recorder is within a few inches of the subject’s mouth. If you can monitor the sound quality with headphones, do that. Don’t have the storyteller launch directly into the story. Have a relaxed conversation with them so that they can get used to the recording equipment. Have the subject tell the entire story beginning to end at least three times. Do not interrupt them, but if they forget something or if you have questions ask them after they have completed their story. Make sure that you actively listen to their story, though try not to make any noise. Don’t leave until you record a good, clean story. A three minute story may take up to one hour to record.
8. After you are done with the recording get a good picture of your subject in their natural habitat. If they are talking about a person, object, place or event, try to include something from their story in the picture. Look at this pic for an example:
8. Record an introduction in the StoryCorps style. Make sure you introduce your subject and a brief introduction to set the scene.
9. Edit your introduction together with your best recording.
10. Upload your recording to SoundCloud. Include the photo. Embed the link into our Blog.