Larry Smith

• Creator of the Six-Word Memoir Project

• Editor of 10 crowdsourced books; featured in Oprah Mag, The New Yorker, TED.com

"Smith is on a quest to spark the creativity of aspiring writers."

- Oprah Magazine

Larry Smith is the founder of the Six-Word Memoir® project, a bestselling series of nine books, live event program, board game, and a global phenomenon engaging people at conferences and staff retreats, inside classrooms and boardrooms, at festivals and houses of faith. Larry originally launched the Six-Word Memoir project in November 2006 in partnership with Twitter with a simple challenge: “Can you describe your life in six words?”

Larry speaks on the power of personal storytelling at conferences and conventions of all affinities and descriptions, and he has been invited to work with teams such as Intuit, Nationwide, JPMorgan Chase, Levi’s, Snapchat, Dell, OhioHealth, Shutterfly, ESPN and Google, nonprofits including the Zen Hospice Project and Dress For Success, as well as foundations and schools across the country. He’s a frequent speaker at events such as TEDx, ESPN’s Storytelling Summit, PopTech, Summit Series (called “Davos for the Millennials”), the AARP 50+ Convention, and teaches the class, “What’s Your Story? How to Deliver an Authentic Elevator Pitch” in private sessions and on-site at companies.

Oprah Magazine has called Larry, “On a quest to spark the creativity of others.” He has been named “the most interesting person of the day” on CNN, and has been interviewed on storytelling and the wild success of the Six-Word Memoir project as a form of personal and professional self-expression and focus on NPR, The CBS Early Show, The New York Times, and elsewhere; visit Larry’s press page here.

Follow him on Twitter @larrysmith

Speech topics

Strengthen & Support Your People in This Strange New World

You’re doing your best to keep your association members feeling connected, supported, and focused. But it can be hard in this virtual and highly dispersed world. Zoom and Google Meet sessions are necessary, but they’re also challenging. Disconnection, fatigue, and mission drift can set in. Now, companies and associations of all size and description are asking: What can we accomplish right now? And how can we use this moment to prepare for the future?

Larry Smith, creator of the Six-Word Memoir project, will lead your group in a 30-90-minute session that will ask and answer these questions. In a high-energy and interactive talk, Larry will take you on a journey from the small-town pharmacy where his grandfather “Smitty” inspired his love of storytelling to his work creating a tool for focused self-expression for individuals and organizations.

Larry’s six-word approach crowdsources solutions from your own team or association members—those who know the world they work in best. These interactive sessions can incorporate breakout rooms for larger groups.

Goals:

Reconnect everyone to both their individual roles and to their shared mission, as they offer six-word responses to prompts such as:

“Why do I do what I do?” and “What is our shared mission?”

Focus your members or employees during these uncertain times by sharing six words that answer the question, “What can we accomplish right now?”

Bond everyone in the (virtual) room as they get reacquainted with each other by sharing a Six-Word Memoir, the short story of their life.

Larry will leave your group more caffeinated and grounded, focused and forward-thinking—and primed to use six-word storytelling immediately and effectively at work and at play.

Focus, Creativity & Community: In Just Six Words

​In just 30-60 minutes, Larry Smith will train your group to use a tool that they can (and will) apply to their work in countless and unimaginable ways. That tool is the Six-Word Memoir®, a short form storytelling process that organizations of all types and sizes have "installed" to great success. Larry's high-energy, interactive presentation will take your team a journey from the small-town pharmacy, where his grandfather “Smitty” inspired a lifelong love of storytelling, to the creation of a narrative platform that is effective at improving internal communication and enhancing external marketing. Larry’s inspirational talk will help you figure out just who you want to be as individuals and as an organization as a whole. Simple to grasp, easy to implement and enjoyable to learn, the Six-word Memoir® seminar is a staff- and skills-building experience like no other.

Note: This talk can be expanded into a 90- 180-minute workshop with multiple points of interaction, tailored to the client’s needs. It also can be done as a smaller-group seminar to follow/complement a keynote talk by Larry.

Finding Focus: Company’s Mission, Motto & Story

From the CEO to the administrative assistant, short-form storytelling expert Larry Smith believes every person in your organization must be able to convey your company’s mission in 30 seconds or less—or even in just six words. As the creator of the internationally renowned Six-Word Memoir® concept, Smith has harnessed the power of creative constraint and has been a trailblazer in the art of short, sharp, memorable storytelling. This high-energy, content-rich session leads audiences as they clarify their personal and professional brands, mottos and missions. Smith will offer simple, accessible instruction about why short-form storytelling works—and how to do it. He’ll lead the audience in interactive six-word prompts and responses throughout the talk, providing one of the most useful and energizing hours your organization can share together. By the end of the talk, everyone inside the room will have a deeper understanding of their company’s mission—and an invaluable new tool to convey that mission to the outside world. Working with Larry in a corporate or conference setting is a great way to reacquaint your group with the value of simple stories to forge better connections with teammates, constituents and customers.

Note: this talk can be expanded into a 90- 180-minute workshop with multiple points of interaction, tailored to the client’s needs.

Creating Team Culture Through Personal Storytelling

Companies large and small have tapped into the power of storytelling by inviting Larry Smith, founder of the Six-Word Memoir® project, to lead employees through an engaging, interactive presentation that’s instantly effective for internal team-building. After sharing background on the Six-Word Memoir project and reasons for its success, Smith leads the audience through personal “Six-Word Memoirs” and “Six-Word Company Mission” exercises. Everyone participates, everyone gains a better understanding of the collective strength of their team or association, and everyone leaves armed with practical ways to foster team culture when they return to the office. Company after company report how Larry’s approach has permeated their culture and engagement long after the workshops, leading to a lift in engagement and personal commitment.

Note: this talk can be expanded into a 90- 180-minute workshop with multiple points of interaction, tailored to the client’s needs.

Books

Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure


The Best Advice in Six Words: Writers Famous and Obscure on Love, Sex, Money, Friendship, Family, Work, and Much More


Six Words About Work


Six Words Fresh Off the Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity, and Coming to America


Things Don't Have To Be Complicated: Illustrated Six-Word Memoirs by Students Making Sense of the World


Six-Words Memoirs on Jewish Life


The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous & Obscure


Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: by Writers Famous and Obscure


Request booking info