Maybe you listened to “Let it Go” one too many times and now, quite frankly, you’re about to explode. Your it has sneaked up behind you, tapped you on the shoulder, and punched you in the face the moment you turned around. The gloves are coming off. You’re taking this outside. You wanna go? Your it taunts. Oh do you ever…

You will need:

  1. Blank page
  2. Something to write with
  3. Feelings
Photo: derya - (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Photo: derya – (CC BY-SA 2.0)


Let’s start with #3. Okay, okay, not ALL of #3…just the ones that seem to come easiest.
If this part seems harder than math then it may be good to explore some things you’ve suppressed.

Last time I talked about how telling a story is a way for you to find healing. This post is a practical exercise towards that. So…

What are you suppressing?

Was your father present?
Do your parents fight?
Have you made a mistake and regretted it ever since?
What do you find yourself struggling with?

No? Perhaps something happier…

What are you passionate about?
What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
How do you feel about coffee?
Where did you go on your first date?

Gateway Lines

Summarize whatever question you answered into one sentence. This is your ‘Gateway Line’ which we will use as a foundation for the rest of the slam. This serves as the theme and can exist at the beginning as a sort of header, in the middle, or at the end to add punch (it also doesn’t have to be stated directly). It’s possible to build an entire slam around a single gateway line (this is why these are important). Note how they confront the audience with the topic, not just introduce it. Keep in mind that this confrontation can be done with your tone and inflection – you don’t have to just be limited to adjectives.

Here are some examples:

1. “No taxation without representation”
2. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”
3. “History is doomed to repeat itself”
4. “Math is hard”

Creativity is In the Telling

If I were to ask what you think gateway lines one and two ‘lead’ to…what would you say? British colonies? Economics class? Sure. Easy enough. But what if I asked you what they could lead to?

Here are some ideas for each

#1. Human trafficking.
#2. Dating.
#3. War in the Middle East.
#4. Education in Sierra Leone

Wake People Up

Slam is about taking something that matters to you, and making it matter to your audience. After you get your gateway up, all that’s left is to walk through it (which we will totally go over in later posts!!).