Article 5 – Passion! It’s the sweetstuff that should be driving your personal life,your career and speaking on cruise ships. Passion may be the last principle of Beck and Cable in their book, Interpretation for the 21st Century, but if this guideline is not present your audience will know. I think passion should be one of the cornerstones of your abilities for interpretation. Beck and Cable list three areas one must be passionate about: the resource, the people and inspiring others.
· You must love your subject! Audiences will forgive a couple of slides in a power point out of order as long as they know you are passionate about your subject. Now this is not a license to put together a poor presentation, but passion has to be the basis you build on. If you are using your subject matter as a means to cruise but don’t love your subject it will show in your presentation. You can expect the passengers to rate you as mediocre and you may not be asked back again to be a speaker on that cruise line. Yes, the passengers are asked to rate all aspects of their cruising experience and the Enrichment program is part of that experience. If you are passionate, love your subject, good news travels fast on a ship and you can expect a good number at your presentations.
· Part of the resource for speakers on cruise ships, is the ship itself and the company it represents. Cruising does offer an excellent way to travel and take a vacation, but you represent the cruise lines. You are not an employee and you are not staff, but you do have full passenger status. Consider yourself an ambassador, you are there to do a job – you were hired on to enhance the experience of the passengers. Do your research on the cruise line you are representing. What type of passengers generally sail with them, what age bracket are they, what do they expect of the speaker? Look at the ship’s excursions, the lay out of the ship; it will give you a feel for the type of passengers they are catering to. Try to have an affinity or love for cruising. If you have never cruised before and not sure if cruising is for you, at least have a love of travel and people.
Tilden states in Interpreting our Heritage, we must be in love. Tilden considered love, a “priceless ingredient” Not a mushy love, but a love of our audience and our resource, this type of love is considered a brotherly love for our audience. The Greeks call this love, agape (ah-gah-pey).
· The cruise line had an interest in your subject and that is why you were brought on board. You may have great knowledge about your presentations, but chances are there may be a few passengers on board who know more about the arts, science or history that coincides with your talk. If they share with you, embrace them as one you can glean nuggets of information from. This means you must be humble about your subject and love your fellow passenger’s insights.
· There is a certain amount of notoriety being the speaker on the cruise ship. You may become a mini-celebrity. People may seek you out for comments, conversation and company. If you love your subject you will enjoy sharing your knowledge with others. Some cruise lines expect more visibility as a speaker. Some expect you be a host at a dinner table; be available at a “coffee” time to interact on a casual basis with passengers. Other cruise lines expect nothing more than doing the presentations. You need to be a people person and love the passengers, their comments, their questions and their curiosity. Please do not become a bore when visiting with others. Remember as soon as you leave the ship your mini-celebrity status evaporates around your family and colleges and your 15 minutes of fame is gone and forgotten.
Through the love of your subject you could be the spark that ignites passengers to delve more into your subject. You will be influencing those in audience, for good or a ho hum drum way. You will be introducing passengers to something you love. Your interpretation of your subject will inspire those to learn more or to visit a historical structure when they go ashore. The cruise lines are looking for you to inspire or enrich the passenger’s experience. When passengers book on to a cruise it is generally to escape the cares of the world they left ashore. If they choose to come to your presentation and did not go to Bingo, dance class or sit around the pool they are looking to be inspired, enriched and to some degree, entertained. If you are passionate about your subject you will be interesting, sometimes witty, engaging and naturally inspiring. You will love people and people will love you.
The following quote sums up what love and passion should be. As a speaker, I now cringe at the image of gongs and cymbals. Check your agape meter; it’s a dose of reality that should add some humility to your life.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love (passion), I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. I Cor 13:1
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn't love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. I Cor. 13:1