Interpretation – tips and reflections


A Way with Words in Wales

Sitting at the back of the room at on the last evening of the ‘A Way with Words’ course at Plas Tan y Bwlch in the beautiful Snowdonia National Park. I am watching James Carter entrance this group of budding (and some fully flowering) interpretive writers with his Words of Power session.  He invites them […]


Transforming your ‘thing’ – 5 golden ingredients of interpretelling

   Raw enthusiasm is not enough. If you want people to get excited about  your thing you’ve got to grab their attention – and keep it. Whether you are working with words, action or other media, the following will help you deepen people’s experience, enjoyment and understanding of your place or object. Use them to transform […]


Could your ‘thing’ become a successful heritage attraction? Part 2

“Not everyone is like you, they do not all share your passion’. That’s are hard thing for us all.  What we love to talk about most might be boring to everyone around us. We are back again to that tricky penny dropper for heritage interpreters, attraction managers etc: ‘You are not doing this for yourself […]


Why ‘it all comes down to experience’.

There’s a fascinating discussion on the AHI group on Linked In just now about whether we should call ourselves ‘interpreters’ or ‘visitor experience managers’. It has set me thinking.  Setting aside the Humpty Dumpty Syndrome of ‘when I use a word it means whatever I want it to mean’ which allows people to misuse both […]



Zuok’s three secrets of a great experience

Fab night out in Manchester on Saturday. Having fun times is an essential requirement for a successful visitor experience consultant and I am proud to say I work hard at it. Thinking about why those times were fun is, of course, even more vital.  Maybe this will be the next mentoring product I develop – […]


Australian Time – a strange dimension

Time and history were strange to me in Australia. I found myself wedged between two, so different, cultures: one so, quite scarily, younger-than-trees new, only a few hundred years; the other deeply mysteriously, older-than-rivers ancient, tens of thousands of years. I, with my sense of between one and two millennia of continuity of culture, was […]


So what is interpretelling?

I invented the word ‘interpretelling’ to stress how important great storytelling is in engaging people with heritage sites.  People love stories (you ask the advertisers or indeed anyone in creative communication) and heritage unzipped is story (… after story, after story) Interpretelling is about really understanding what makes a good story. Interpretelling values and works […]


Fremantle Prison

We went because this where we are running the site experience workshop on Wednesday but Fremantle Prison (part of the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Site) is certainly worth a visit.  We had a great tour with the Head of Interpretation, Luke Donegan of this evocative, resonate site and were impressed by the thoughtfulness and […]


Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin

I am still moved by the fact that Kilmainham Gaol (a massive and imposing building) was rebuilt entirely by voluntary effort. The Gaol was intimately linked with British rule, in particular, the imprisonment and execution of leaders of successive rebellions. In the 1950s and 60s, after it had been disused for thirty odd years and […]