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When there's nothing left but the story - interp. storytelling.

The Heritage Interpretation Training Center - New Course

When there's nothing left but the story…

Interpreting the stories of abandoned landscapes, cabin/homes, farm fence line, battlefields, archaeological ruins, heritage sites or artifacts left behind/abandoned by their owners and in need of a storyteller.

Our new course on helping interpreters develop their interpretive techniques, skills and story- telling planning to help them interpret the abandoned landscape, cabin, farm fence line, battlefields, archaeological ruins, sites or artifacts left behind by their owners, waiting to have their forgotten stories re-awakened, brought to life and revealed by the interpretive storyteller.  

So what is the "rest of the story" of these often forgotten places and sites?  They were an important part of someone's life or maybe hardships, abandoned industry or once commercial ventures.  Are there lessons to be learned from their past or messages for us today?  The interpretive story can be delivered by exhibit, interpretive panel, video, living history interpretation or by conducted live programs and tours by an interpretive storyteller.  This course provides some concepts and ideas to art of revelation of the rest of the story.

You can start and complete the course at any time.  Course materials include interpretive e-textbooks, handout reading materials, video examples and assignments to be sent to the course coach.  At the completion of the course you will receive a certificate of completion and 2 CEU Unit Credits.
Course tuition $200.00 USD.

Course Instructor/Coach:

Prof. John Veverka
HITC Certified Interpretive Planner and Trainer
40 years of interpretive teaching experiences.

Working in Saudi Arabia (archaeological village of Al Ula in
the background).  Stories of the abadoned waiting to be told.

Unit One - Concepts of how your visitors learn and remember in a recreational experience      
                 environment.  Ten learning concept and principles for preparing to tell your story to
                 your visitors in either personal or non-personal media.

Unit Two - Review of Tilden's Interpretive Principles (provoke, relate, reveal, theme and
                  message unity.  

Unit Three - Concepts of interpretive writing - painting pictures with words, active language,
                    emotions, analogies, metaphors, and more.  Scripting the story for emotional
                    objectives and memory enhancement.  Help visitors "feel" your story.

Unit Four - The story planning process.  Great stories don't just happen, they are planned.  Here is a simple planning process to help you create inspirational and memorable stories.
(Why, what, who, how-when-where), so what? and Implementation and operations.

Unit Five - Based on your plan, and considering what site, feature, person, or resource you
                   would like to create the "factual" story about, it's time to start and collect your          
                   research into the story you want to tell.  Research includes using historical society
                   museums, local historians, local or regional environmental experts, photo libraries,  
                   interviews, and/or other kinds of research you might need.  If your story will be in
                   a costumed/living history format, research into proper clothing, speech patterns,                                        and personal stories (maybe from diaries) and more.

Unit Six -   What site, feature, place, person or other resource have you selected to create your
                  story for?  What is your personal interest in selecting this resource to develop a                    story for?  Give me some background on your reasons for selecting this resource.

Unit Seven - Ready to develop your story presentation plan?  First, what are the objectives
                   (learn, feel, do) that you want your story to accomplish?  What is the major
                   interpretive theme you want your story to illustrate?

Unit Eight - Who will your story be designed for - what audience?  Will it be for school
groups, children, families, local residents, out of town tourists, etc?  The answers to this helps you think about vocabulary, analogies, metaphors to relate to that  specific audience, any teaching aides you might need, length of the presentation, etc.

Unit Nine - The program or experience scheduling.  How, when and where will your
                     storytelling experience happen?  Will this be a one-time program, a weekly
                     program, once a month or by request?  Where will you offer the program?  If
                     outdoors, any logistic issues such as parking?  And then scheduling  and advertising the                       dates as appropriate.  So for this unit - your HWW plan considerations.

Unit Ten - Presenting a story just by verbal presentation (for audio guides, web sites, audio
                   interpretive panels.  Listen to a few examples (not just for the content and format,
                   but how to use your voice to convey a message or create a feeling).

Unit Eleven - You are on stage - telling the stories live and in person to your tour group or
audience.  Planning your presentation, placing your audience for the theater you
create, teaching aides, personal experiences, your voice and modulation and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There is more to telling the story than your words, it's how you say them.
How to capture the total attention and imagination of your audience.  
Don't just tell the story, become a part of it - the spirit of the site, feature,                                                                                                                                                                                                        persons, or features. And  practice the story, record yourself and adjust if needed.
Unit Twelve - Putting it all together.  For this last unit you are asked to provide an summary of your Storytelling preparation to include:

     * Your site, feature, person, etc. your story is directed to.
     * A summary of your research into you story topic.
     * Your interpretive theme and objectives you want to illustrate and accomplish.
     * Your intended audience(s).
     * How/When/Where you will present your story experience.
     * So What?  How will you evaluate your presentation?
     * Implementation and operation.  Materials needed, budget, logistics planning.

That concludes the course.  I hope this thought process will help you plan and deliver really memorable story presentations.  If you can, have someone video your story presentation and post it on YouTube.  I will provide a link to your video for others taking this course to help them create memorable interpretive story presentation experiences.
You can start this course at any time and complete the course at your own pace.  Course tuition is $200.00,
which includes e-books, handouts, video instruction and contact with the course coach when you need to via phone, e-mail or SKYPE.

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