Do you know
how to interview an older family member?
Where do you start? What questions should I ask?
How do you learn which topics they want to talk about and which ones are off limits?
It used to bother me as no one wishes to
offend and, finally, I came up with the idea of Memory Cards™.
I started using these cards many years ago and they have helped me time and time again.
The real secret
lies in letting your subject choose what they want to talk about, after all it's their story so let them
choose the topics for which they wish to be remembered.
Purchase a set of Memory Cards and receive a
FREE copy of my eBook "Unlocking Your Family
Usually AUD$47 (+ p&p), now AUD
$27 (US approx. the same)+ postage.
Click here to order direct
I leave the cards with the person to be interviewed and ask them to look through the cards and jot down any
memories or thoughts inspired by the 50 different titles. I suggest they do this 4 or 5 times at least and I
call a couple of weeks later to check how they are going.
No one will
complete all 50 topics but they will write down the things that are important to them and this allows you to
conduct a person specific interview- your interviewee's stories told in the way that they want to tell
What does this
do? It means that you don't have to ask endless questions to uncover key stories. Memory Cards give you the stories that matter so you can conduct an interview as
opposed to an interrogation.
Take a look at
the cards in the picture; you can see I was a nurse so this opens up lots of follow-up questions like " I
see you worked at the RPH (Repatriation Hospital), who did you nurse and what was it like?"
Note: They were returned servicemen from WWII, Korea and Viet Nam and the stories of their
experiences and courage first made me aware of the importance of saving life
Why is this
Experience has proven that memories flow best when your interviewee is engrossed in the conversation as opposed
to answering a string of questions in what can turn out to be an interrogation.
Each pack comes with a complete list of
instructions to make your interview both enjoyable and memorable.