Saturday, December 24, 2011

Parlez-vous Destination, Enrichment on les Cruise Lines?

Article 4 - Interpreting Facts Creates an Emotional Bond.

To spark an interest, interpreters must relate the subject to the lives of the people in their audience. Beck and Cable 2002, principle one, Interpretation for the 21st Century   
Tilden stated “interpretation is relation”. When a good speaker creates an emotional connection it will cause people to act upon the information shared.  It will cause a response of astonishment, wonder, inspiration or action.

The cruise lines books three types of people for their enrichment programs. They are destination speakers, special interest speakers and those who can do arts and crafts.
The destination speaker is not bound to only the one particular spot the ship may be in port next but the geographical area the ship is traveling through. What vast resources of these areas are available for you to connect to your audience? Consider Venice, Italy, renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. Can you tie the art of the Venetian painters when docked at Venice to your audience today that creates an emotional bond, a bond that goes beyond you? Can you start the process of thinking about supporting the arts, to visit the various arts not only in Venice, but the geographical region they hale from? “A great Venetian painter, Titian, was known as the fleshly painter for the beautiful portraits he painted during the 1500’s.” This factual statement is a recital of facts; it is informational in literature or a presentational power point of the painters of Venice.  However if you were to state, “A great Venetian painter, Titian, was known as the fleshly painter for the beautiful portraits he painted during the 1500’s but even he had to “delete” his portrait of Isabella d’Este and start all over again. Ahhh the vanities of women who view a picture they think unflattering of themselves.” Now you have everyone’s attention, probably everyone in the audience has had to deal with someone wanting a picture deleted they think is unflattering. You just made a connection from the past to the present. You related the subject to the lives of the people in the audience; this is the spark in the first principle of Beck and Cable.  Now when using your power point and you show Titian’s portrait of a woman painted 40 years younger than what she was, it is personally intriguing. An audience member may feel the need to view this portrait and others in Venice.  For the cruise lines this means booking an excursion to see the paintings in Venice.  Interpretation on destinations is more than dates, who did what and a list of what there is to see or names of trees, plants or animals of the area.

The special interest speaker finds himself in the role of interpreting the interest of his field, to set forth the meaning of the information that connects to the audience. If your specialty is movie stars or stars of universe how does good interpretation connect to your audience? How do you make that emotional bond? Interpretation is about connections from the past to the future, from current and past information to connections to themselves. Do they see themselves repeating the mistakes or emulating the good qualities of the movie stars? Do the stars of the night sky connect to their view of order in the universe? A sense of connection is critical in interpretation; otherwise you are a dry text book reciting facts.
Arts and crafts are charged with the same edicts of interpretation. They should be able to combine a physical activity with an emotional tie in. For the cruise lines the bonus would be tying a craft to the maritime, geographical, cultural history, art or science of the area.  Your crafts must create an appreciation for history, the arts or science. Research suggests that people learn through their five senses: sight, 75%; hearing, 13%; touch, 6%; taste, 3%; smell, 3%. Definitely the interpreter doing arts and crafts has the advantage for passengers retaining information using the sight, hearing, and touch, they will retain 94% of what they learned and had fun doing so. Our brain will appreciate a physical activity combined with facts and the cruise lines will appreciate you.

As a presenter you are the catalyst, the person responsible cause a spark. Tilden stated this as one of his first principles “Any interpretation that does not somehow relate what is being displayed or described to something within the personality or experience of the visitor will be sterile” And who wants a sterile presentation? Certainly not the cruise lines!
Another guideline in the next posting! For more information on interpretation I would encourage you to check out National Assoication of Interpretation.  For information on the nuts and bolts of how to begin speaking on cruise ships I would refer you to Daniel Hall’s, Speakers Cruise Free Program. Daniel's program does cost to join but Daniel’s program will get you on the ships; NAI will keep you on the ships as a successful speaker/interpreter. As far as I know Daniel Hall's program is the only agency that has a program you must go through or it is best to go through to be considered for speaking on cruise ships. They will work with placing you on board a ship. There are other placement agencies; Compass Speakers and Entertainment, Inc. , Sixth Star Entertainment and Marketing , Tim Castle, and To Sea with Z . I mention all of these agencies (there may be more) for you to check out the opportunities with each company, however there are cruise lines that will allow you to book directly with them. There are certain protocols one must observe to do direct booking.  If interested in cruising or would like more information feel free to contact me.  The bottom line though, you need NAI type of skills to be successful.

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