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Speaker Topics - Treasure Chest of Memories

Speaker Topics

Helping you tell the stories of the past

Looking for speaker topics to help your audience write their own or personal stories? Need a little help with apps or social media? Author Laura Hedgecock welcomes the opportunity to speak at your function.

Laura Hedgecock Speaker with a variety of speaker topics

Storytelling Topics


Proven Storytelling Techniques to Improve Your Family Narrative

Learn how to apply classic elements of storytelling to family and ancestor stories.

From Old Photos to Meaningful Conversations AND Family Stories

Not your average oral history interview lecture. Participants will learn to apply concepts from User Experience Design, photo Reminiscence Therapy, and intergenerational communication to turn “oral history interviews” into memorable family get-togethers that harvest great family stories.

Not Just Historical Events: Weaving Different Types of Context into Family Stories

Are you looking to make your stories more compelling? Also known as Better Writing through Research, this talk delves into finding rich context that makes both personal and genealogical stories more intellectually and emotionally impactful, while leaving a more accurate understanding of history, as well as of “characters” of the past.

Storytelling and How to NOT Reframe the Past

Learn when revision increases accuracy and how writers can avoid unintentional reframing of historical events. This covers why truth and accuracy matter in storytelling, particularly in family storytelling; how accurate stories are compelling; and strategies to keep us as accurate as we can be.

Beyond Dry Facts: Telling the Stories of Your Ancestors

Have you researched your ancestors but don’t know how to transition from researcher to writer? Learn how to convert researched facts into compelling ancestor stories that can engage imaginations and connect hearts.

Bring Your Family Tree to Life with your Own and Family Stories

Are you interested in fleshing out the genealogical facts with your ancestors’ stories? This talk discusses breaking down the obstacles to preserving family stories and covers practical tips for impactful genealogical storytelling.

Choosing the Details: The Secret to Compelling Stories

Do your stories seem to lie flat on the page instead of bringing the characters to life? Learn how to include the right—and right amount—of details in your stories to engage hearts, curiosity, and imaginations.

Creative Storytelling Techniques Borrowed from Photography

This TED-style talk uses Laura Hedgecock’s amateur nature photography to illustrate beginning and intermediate storytelling techniques family historians can use in their stories.

Snapshots of History: From Old Photos to Family Stories

If a photo is worth 1000 words, why aren’t all boxes of photos keeping their stories to themselves? This talk breaks down finding the stories behind all those photos, including, but not limited to, reminiscing with loved ones.

How to Include Yourself in the Family (History) Portrait

Are you like the family snap-shooter, who seldom finds themselves in the frame of family photos? Also known as Putting the Genealogist in the Frame, this talk has down-to-earth tips and strategies on adding your own memories to the family story collection.

How to Write the Stories of Your Life

Want to leave a legacy of your memories and stories for loved ones? This talk focuses on how to start telling and preserving the episodes of your past and offers practical tips for starting and keeping up the momentum.

Group Reminiscence to Spark Personal and Family Storytelling

Looking for something fun and interactive? This workshop guides participants through various brainstorming prompts. Since memories beget memories, there’s time for sharing as well.

Practical Tools for Family History Writers

Ready to explore software tools to help you write your stories? This session will show a range of software, smartphone apps, and websites which help writers find context, come up with and develop ideas for family and ancestor stories, and hone writing skills. Participants should have some familiarity with web browsers, word processing, and smart phone apps.

Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life (Workshop or 3-part series)

Do you have an audience that wants to delve deeper into documenting their past? Similar to How to Write the Stories of your Life above, this interactive workshop can also work as a series.

Writing Your Family’s History (also as a 3-part series)

Do you have countless binders and folders of research and feel overwhelmed by the prospect of compiling a family history? This talk looks at practical strategies to start documenting the facts and the stories of your ancestors.

Why Genealogists Need to Tell Family Stories

This TED-esque talk illustrates how family stories can connect descendants with their ancestors. In addition to inspiration, Laura Hedgecock offers some practical strategies to get started preserving family stories.

Virtual Only:

From Shock to Understanding: How to Examine an Write about Uncomfortable Family Discoveries

Laura Hedgecock and Cheri Hudson-Passey Co-Presenters:  Family historians often stumble upon ancestors’ less-than-shining moments. Learn how to process, interpret, and share records and how to write about ancestors in a way that increases understanding and accuracy.

Beyond Dry Facts: How to Examine Records for Information that Leads to Great Stories

Laura Hedgecock and Cheri Hudson-Passey Co-Presenters will use three record types (Federal, State, Local) to demonstrate 1) how to harvest facts about ancestors and 2) how to convert those facts into a compelling narrative.

Social Media and Blogging


Blogging for Family History

Is blogging for you? Learn how blogging can help you connect with your past as you share and collaborate with others. We’ll discuss how to choose a blogging platform, generating ideas for content, promotion, and blogging versus other writing.

How to Leverage Social Media to Accomplish your Family History Goals

(Developed with Elizabeth O’Neal) Learn simple yet effective strategies to share your family history, bust down brick walls, find cousin-collaborators, and make new genealogical discoveries via social media. We’ll also discuss the advantages (and idiosyncrasies) offered by various social media platforms.

Makeover Secrets for a More Beautiful and Functional Blog

(Developed with Elizabeth O’Neal) Learn how to tweak your society website or blog to make it more professional and visitor-friendly. Maximize your site’s reach. An outdated or difficult to navigate web design could drive potential visitors away from your great content.


Laura’s Genealogical Speakers Guild Members page  includes recent engagements.

Share a Story; Share a Treasure!
© 2013 – 2020 Laura Hedgecock

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