Article 2 - The “Art” of Interpretation Interpretation is an art, which combines many arts, whether the materials presented are scientific, historical or architectural. Any art is to some degree teachable. Freeman Tilden
Interpretation goes beyond talking about your subject it is the story of your subject. The art of interpretation is weaving words, props and technology into a finely choreographed dance that captures the emotions and connects people to the subject.
You may have been to a party where new guests start sharing information of their travels and historical tidbits with wit and charm. They used great descriptive verbiage, pictures and mimicking that you found yourself wanting to go see “the tough guy monkey in Costa Rica on the stone bridge that was hand built by the natives in the 1883, in which there is much local pride. This tough little guy is tearing the stones out of this historical relic to throw at you.”
You enjoyed yourself so much you found the time flew by and it was later than usual when you left. What an enjoyable evening, what an entertaining couple with their stories. You learned some interesting facts; the evening was a pleasant surprise.
This should be how guests feel when they walk out of your presentation. What a pleasant surprise! Yes, they have been to other presentations on the various cruise lines as they travel. The talks are usually informative. But the person who was sharing information today made them welcome from the moment they walked in. The presenter was witty and engaging, his talk and slides followed in great order and he knew how to make the power point compliment his presentation. The passengers not only gathered facts, they found themselves wanting to see this site and its connections to humanity. It was pleasurable and they look forward to the next presentation.
This is what it is all about folks. This is the type of speaker the cruises are looking for. It’s not the fact that you may or may not have degrees after your name. Yes you know your subject matter but can you interpret your information where it connects history, cultural sites, science, and the arts with the individuals in the audience? Can you make an emotional bond? Can you do the choreograph dance? This is interpretation at its best. Destination, enrichment speakers and even arts and crafts can forge this bond. If you make that emotional connection, by the artful way you do your presentation, your audience will have a pleasurable experience, which makes happy cruisers, which make happy cruise lines. This is the beginning of the principles for interpretation. Beck and Cable call it a Spark. The next postings explore these guidelines and principles.