Training Presentations

Tom and Barbara are available to provide training in various aspects of curation, interpretation and interpretive techniques, and history. These can be delivered virtually or in person, location permitting, using a combination of slides, videos, and live activities. Training can be customized for every site and delivered at any time. Costs range from between $100 to $400 depending on time. Contact us if you’d like to discuss something personalized for your needs!    

“The programming team at the Nanaimo Museum have completed two training programs with Tom and have thoroughly enjoyed both of them. The training is engaging, inspiring and actionable. We have taken what we learned and are now using it in our programming planning at the museum. I would highly recommend Tom’s training and will think of him first for future training needs.” Sophia Maher, General Manager, Nanaimo Museum.

“Tom’s “STRATHcategories and the Fine Art of Research for Interpreters” and “Everyone’s a Critic: Evaluating Interpretive Programs” sessions were such a valuable learning experience for my team and for myself. The sessions were interactive, sparked discussion, and prompted us to look at our own work differently. His use of collaborative brainstorming activities, rating games, and videos of actual interpretive programs made this training engaging and effective, and take-home activities made the training actionable as well. Definitely recommend!” Steph Keveton, Program Coordinator, Nanaimo Museum.

“Tom’s engaging style and interactive presentation was concise and meaningful to our volunteers” Laura Nichol, Core Programs Manager, Fort Edmonton Park.

CONNECT 4: The Interpretive Equation in Four Simple Sessions

Length: 4x 1 hour web-based presentations

Recommended audience: 4-20 persons

Delivered via: Zoom, Google Meets

For a well-rounded training experience for heritage interpreters and museum programmers, consider this package. You’ll not only get the two presentations above, but also special guest presenter Kevin Baron will add two more. The National Parks Service of the US uses this equation to break down training into four components:

(KA + KR) x AT = IO

KA is Knowledge of the Audience, KR is Knowledge of the Resource, AT is Appropriate Techniques, and IO is Interpretive Opportunities. Our sessions are as follows:

  1. Knowledge of the Audience: What are they doing here? Knowing the visitor in living history
  2. Knowledge of the Resource: STRATHCategories and the Fine Art of Research for Interpreters
  3. Appropriate Techniques: But how do you do it? ‘Appropriate techniques’ in living history interpretation.
  4. Interpretive Opportunities: Everyone’s a Critic – Evaluating Interpretive Programs.

My co-presenter Kevin Baron is a museum educator and interpreter with eleven years of experience in the field, including as supervisor and trainer. Click here for more.

STRATHcategories and the Fine Art of Research for Interpreters

Length: 45 minutes – 1 hour. 

Recommended audience: 3-10 persons

Delivered via: Zoom, Google Meets. 

Interpreters are a trusted source, and we must strive to be worthy of that trust. This webinar will take participants through a range of research practices and resources, including primary, secondary, and tertiary sources as well as the importance of creative experiential research. Participants will participate in two activities and be given a research plan outline at the conclusion. This webinar is based on the National Association of Interpretation’s curriculum for the Certified Interpretive Guide course.

EVERYONE’S A CRITIC: Evaluating Interpretive Programs

Length: 45 minutes – 1 hour. 

Recommended audience: 1-10 persons

Delivered via: Zoom, Google Meets.

Hockey teams constantly review video of their games in order to reach the next level of greatness and there’s no reason interpreters shouldn’t do the same. This webinar will use that same principle to engage participants with evaluating several different interpretive programs, equipping them to better self-evaluate in the future. Participants will learn NAI’s POETRY model of program evaluation and put it into practice so that every program can strive to be purposeful, organized, enjoyable, thematic, relevant, and reflect your site’s values and strengths. This webinar is based on the National Association of Interpretation’s curriculum for the Certified Interpretive Guide course (which Tom is qualified to instruct). It also reflects the National Parks Service’s “Interpretive Equation” and can be purchased as a package with three other elements (see above).

INTERPLES TO INTERPLES: The Interpretation Training Game

Length: 1 hour. 

Recommended audience: 3-10 persons

Delivered via: Zoom, Google Meets. 

“Sufficiently advanced learning is indistinguishable from play.” In this spin on the popular card game “Apples to Apples”, Tom will help your site develop personalized playing cards before the session even starts. Your site’s tangible buildings, artifacts, and activities will turn into our red cards and intangible themes, ideas, and visitor types will turn into our blue cards. Then our hour is devoted to playing the game! As a bonus, you keep your cards afterwards, to play during training or use as flash cards. You won’t believe how much fun interpretation training can be!

A cut-out ready Interples card

From The Great War to Queer History: Case Studies in Living History

Length: 45 minutes to an hour (with time for questions)

Recommended audience: 4-20 persons

Delivered via: Zoom, Google Meets.

Tom shares case studies involving several public history and museum projects he’s been involved with from small to large. Hear about the multi-year building and launching of a historic wooden boat, or the process of interviewing community groups and turning their favourite stories into historical webcomics. Learn and become inspired by a grant-funded queer history project that shined a light into lesser known stories of Edmonton’s past and how to navigate their collection and depiction. Relevant to any museum or group of interpreters.

Fill out this form if you’d like to inquire about booking a training session:

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