August 1, 2012

HOW TO TALK TO GUESTS: LATEST FROM ECOTRAINING AT ERINDI GAME RESERVE, NAMIBIA (1 AUGUST 2012)



Facts galore get shared and imparted daily by EcoTraining’s highly experienced instructors that stand in front of students in the different wilderness camps across Southern Africa.  Once stored inside the grey matter, how do you get this across to your guests in a fun and exciting way and without just merely regurgitating the facts? MJ Kirsten, who together with instructor Ralph Kirsten are currently running the 28 day FGASA Level One field guide course in Namibia, shared her expertise in presentation skills with the students. She reports from the field:


Over the 28 days our students will be exposed to more concepts, information, theories, figures, folklore and scientific facts than they can comprehend. The question is, now they have all the information, how should they communicate that to their guests?

EcoTraining considers presentation skills and the ability to communicate effectively with guests as an integral part of their syllabus. Students will learn what 'good' looks like, by exploring body language, eye contact, the use of tone, structuring information and engaging their guests. This is just a few of the topics covered.

According to the office of national statistics (ONS) presentations was the number one thing feared by people in 1995, there's no wonder many of us become anxious when we are the centre of attention.

Students are asked to present to their fellow students on a nature related topic, then they can practice their new skill in the bush until they feel confident and ready for their practical assessment, by which time we're hoping even Sir David Attenborough himself might be impressed!

(Thanks MJ for the update and Ralph for the photo! If you were wondering about the kudu bull trophy on the wall – Erindi use to be a hunting farm and this is from those days.)
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