Saturday, 18 December 2010

Tips on writing family history: the reluctant interviewee

A little while back I blogged about Ian Kath's podcasts under the title Create Your Life Story. Apparently several people went to the site after reading my post as Ian was kind enough to mention Anglo-Celtic Connections in his next podcast.

Listening to some of the interviews available on Ian's yourstorypodcast site made me appreciate that his real strength is in drawing out stories from people. It's a real talent, one which many of us could benefit from as we try to get a relative to open up about some of their experiences, or aspects of your common family history.

So I was pleased to find Ian had produced a podcast episode titled You Can't Make Someone Tell Their Story on just this skill. Ian points out that while that's very true there is much you can do to develop an atmosphere during an interview that will increase the chances of getting someone to open up. He goes into the main skill, being an empathatic listener, in some depth.

If getting someone to open up is an issue for you listening to the podcast would be 42 minutes well spent. If time is critical a second best option would be to go to the site and read the podcast notes.

No comments: