Techniques and Methods

Techniques and Methods

"Because people learn in different ways and on multiple levels, using a variety of techniques is more effective than using just one or two over and over again."— Handles, Helping Visitors to Grasp Resource Meanings: A Survey of Interpretive Techniques, Peggy Sherbaum, National Park Service

By using the interpretive technique most effective for conveying a particular message to an audience, a guide or interpreter ensures that they relay information that will engage and help the visitor relate to the topic. Often, skilled interpreters weave together various techniques to create interpretive opportunities yet take care to not let the technique overwhelm the message–or the listener.

In this Unit, you'll see examples of specific techniques at play. Lesson 3.1 about the use of analogies as a technique for making climate change relevant to your audience. Lesson 3.2 focuses on using questions and answers about the exhibit or the audience's experiences to help them relate to broader ocean issues, weaving in self-referencing to personalize the message. Lesson 3.3 explores the power of storytelling, and how personification can make global warming relevant to your audience. Lesson 3.4 gives ideas for how to move your audience towards taking action to help with pressing ocean challenges by "making the ask." And Lesson 3.5 models how to facilitate a lively discussion about climate change with a group.