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Top Tips

Whoever your audience, whatever the farming story and however long you have with your visitors our Top Tips help.

  1. Know what you want your audience to remember

    It’s what’s remembered in the days and weeks afterwards that really matters. Decide on the messages that you want to share and plan how and when you will you do that. Repeating your messages during the visit, and again at the end, helps. Find out if your messages stick.

  2. Tailor to the audience

    Different ages, backgrounds and interests require a different approach. There’s no one plan that will suit all. Expand your repertoire of what you say, show and share through activities for the time of time of year. Then you can pick and mix to make the experience meaningful on the day.

  3. Use props

    Small or large, simple or complicated, props are a powerful way to make an impression. Pocket-sized props can be as exciting as a huge piece of machinery. Carry some props with you. Prepare others ready on location to use when required.

  4. Involve visitors in activities

    We all learn best by doing. Activities engage. Engage with activities. Even simple tasks increase the interest level hugely. Don’t just stand and watch. Join in. With the right build up – and with you involved as well – the activity is fun, deepens understanding and increases enjoyment.

  5. Choose locations on the farm wisely

    Make the most of different spots to tell the story and keep the pace up. Stops need not be far apart. Use time between them to get to know the group or topics to think about. For some audiences the walk between stops on a walk may have as much value as the points you make.

  6. Be heard clearly

    Don’t compete with wind, machinery or noisy livestock to be heard. Use hedges, barn walls or straw stacks as an amphitheatre to contain your voice – and shelter from a distracting breeze. Gather your audience in front of or around you. Try not to turn away as you talk. Repeat quietly-put interesting questions or comments so the whole group can hear the point and your response.

  7. Keep it moving

    Be concise. Change location, topic and style. Read the body language of the group to know if they are ready to move on or want more. Take care not to get distracted into going off too much on tangent. Have someone else help with time keeping. Your group’s time may be limited and if you over-run that can be inconvenient for them.

  8. Welcome questions and comments

    The more interaction there is between you and the group the better. Invite questions and enjoy lively, short conversation. If the group is shy and quiet then it’s up to you to gently coax them into speaking. Anticipate awkward questions and compose your responses.

  9. Maximise the sensory experience

    Guide your visitors or audience to use all their five senses during the visit. Stimulating the senses deepens the experience, making it much more likely to be memorable. Take the experience further by explaining why on farms things look, feel, smell, hear and taste like they do.

  10. Stay tuned and be flexible

    Respond to what happens on the day. React quickly to any signs of boredom or lack of interest. Be prepared to have less or more time than you hoped. Have back up plans to accommodate the unexpected. Plan with care but have more than one plan up your sleeve!