Call For Feedback: Grad School Programs on Display

If you:

  • Completed a non-museum related grad program and work in a museum field.
  • Completed a museum-related grad program and don’t work in the museum field.
  • Completed a museum-related grad program and work in the museum field.

….. I want to hear from you!

This year at AAM, I came to learn about so many museum-related graduate programs based in the U.S. and beyond – I’m now fascinated with this. Having recently completed my MA in Museum Education from Tufts University, I am really interested in sharing my experiences and also hearing from graduates of other programs- for a new blog post that I hope will help prospective students navigate these waters.

In an effort to be all-inclusive (aware of the buzz about museum-related grad programs) I do not want to limit this to museum-specific programs (although the more the better) as I’m sure we all have different paths which have led us to museum-related careers. I’m interested in your program and if/how it’s helped you. The more variety – the better!

Alternatively, I am also interested in those of you who may have graduated from a museum-related program and you are not working in a museum-related field. For those of you who were part of a museum studies related program, how has your museum-related degree shaped your career in the non-museum world what has your career path been like?

For those who have the time and would like to contribute please respond to the following and email me: (while you do not have to answer all questions of course, the more information you can/are willing to provide, the better):

1. Name of School:
2. Name of Department/ Program:
3. Year(s) attended:
4. Degree:

5. Any classes/projects that stand out
6. Elaborate on your overall experience (were you moving to a new area, how did you find the graduate studies department, did you end up staying in the area where you went to school, etc. whatever comes to mind- this is informal so have fun with it!):
7. How has this program prepared/helped you to where you are/what you are doing today- are there any connections:

8. Would you recommend this program to someone else:
9. If you had to do it all over again, would you? Would you change anything (coursework, concentration, where you went to school, etc.):
10. May I include your name in my post (if yes please provide your name and any title you would like me to include):
11. May I directly quote you (yes/no):
12. Please list/note anything you prefer me not to include in my post:

Depending on feedback, I will follow up with you if there are any changes or information about this post. Please understand that this request is for educational purposes only and I do not intend to use/sell any of the information provided except for intended purposes.

Thanks so much in advance for your help!


Localizing Museum Love: Getting to the Heart of Your Community

Untitled-1I know I am not alone in believing in the strength and power of museums to cultivate community pride, create access to programs rich in cultural diversity, and encourage cultural understanding through open dialog and meaningful offerings. Still reveling in my recent professional development experiences and considering trends in community development, growth, and participation I want to share some thoughts and findings about cultivating, engaging, and sustaining programs for such local audiences.

Be creative in approaches to realizing your museum’s mission in connecting with your community. Make an effort to bring your museum to your community. Learn about the needs of your community through personal connections and interactions.

  • Just as museums should seek to truly “Know Thyself” it is also so important for these institutions to know thy community. Knowing who your neighbors are and what needs they have better positions you to be of help. In the April/May 2009 issue of IPM, Ben Dickdow’s article, “Museums as Community” discusses experiences and programs where museums serve “as a hope for the community, building an enthusiastically engaged relation between museum and public,” and “as a platform from which a community can begin to meet their needs.” He stresses the importance of “bringing museums to the community and forging personal, engaged relationships in neighborhoods.” Of the examples he provides in demonstrating what this looks like, one of my favorites is the Buffalo Museum of Science. The museum created “science spots” to cultivate community involvement and brought the museum experience to the greater public by these program spaces.
  • The opportunities that museums have to tap into community networks through relevant, cross-cultural programming seems endless. Rosa Cabrera’s 2006 Museum New’s article, “Beyond the Museum Walls” discusses at length, the Field Museum’s Cultural Connections collaboration which encompasses partnerships and cross-culturally relevant topics to foster cultural understanding and examines the “value of cultural differences” to bring together ethnically-diverse communities in the Chicago area. Just as an FYI, “Planting Seeds of Community” is another article from the July/August 2006 issue of Museum News with fantastic programming examples related to this topic – definitely worth checking out.
  • At this year’s NYCMER conference, I attended two sessions which focused on the notion of community. During one of the sessions, Dr. Paul Radensky, Museum Educator for Jewish Schools, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage discussed the four month-long Interfaith Living Museum project, an extension of the Living Museum program. This year the project brought together students from the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan and the Islamic Leadership School of the Bronx to share experiences and knowledge with each other, their teachers, and families using museum-inspired approaches like cataloging personal artifacts and creating mini-exhibits. As quoted in a press release about the program, Solomon Schechter principal Gary Pretsfelder stated, “It has given our fifth graders the opportunity to meet and engage peers from very different backgrounds and from a community with which they would ordinarily have very little, if any, contact. It is important to us that our students recognize at a young age what Muslims and Jews have in common so that the future discourse, which right now is so intertwined with politics, can have a chance to succeed.” The museum recognized the need to encourage cross-cultural dialog and utilized its resources to provide an opportunity for this. While this program is a great undertaking it is not without it’s own challenges which are mainly related to the inclusive exhibiting of artifacts and approach to connecting these rich narratives and personal stories.

Research and reach-out to fellow museums, non-profits, cultural organizations in your neighborhood. Find out what is already being done and where the gaps are – fill the void and find your niche so that you can bridge that gap between your community and your museum.

  • Dr. Radensky’s talk reminded me of a project I collaborated on as a grad student in the Tufts University Museum Studies program. Along with a couple of classmates, I developed an adult ELL (English Language Learners) program proposal, Savvy Sea Stories for the USS Constitution Museum in Charlestown, MA in which participants would also work closely with artifacts. Especially in heavily touristed cities it can be challenging to solidify strong bonds with local communities and potential patrons. In preliminary research, we came to understand more about the diversity of the Charlestown community and their needs. In doing so, we sought collaborations with local libraries and ELL classes to complement and enhance their current program offerings to build English language skills while alleviating some costs and resources likely incurred if the program were to be developed independent of partnerships. We saw a niche for the museum to welcome this audience and use artifacts as a springboard for sparking conversations and connections among participants while practicing skills developed in their classes.

Show your community you care! Support local businesses and attend community events. Consider access to your museum: Does your community feel welcomed? What can you do to encourage participation and connections with and among your community members?

  • Sometimes it’s a matter of making your institution welcoming and accessible to your local community. Let your community know that you are there and that you are interested in them. I remember an inspiring lecture that Nina Zanniere, Executive Director of Paul Revere House in Boston, MA gave to one of my Museum Studies classes. She spoke at length about the North End community and how she sought opportunities to embrace and connect with local residents so that the museum’s neighbors would likewise care more deeply about the historic site. On a small scale, it may be as simple as supporting local establishments whenever possible (from buying coffee to office supplies) or providing space in your museum for community groups to hold meetings.
  • This brings to mind something I just heard recently while speaking with staff from the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum in the Bronx, NY. The staff provides free tickets to all children from school groups to entice these young visitors to come back to the museum with their families…. and it works! I love this idea mainly because making connections with younger visitors is likely to have two results: 1. If these young visitors had a good experience they will most likely bug their families about going back to the museum (I mean “bug” in the most endearing, positive, cute way of course). 2. The museum empowers the child by placing importance on her/him as an active decision-maker while indirectly promoting and cultivating  lifelong learners with strong connections to their institution.

Share your findings!!

I’d love to hear about your thoughts, ideas, approaches, concerns with such programming! You may also be interested in following  this thread on the Museum-L list serv, which I’m sure will get a lot of responses for education programs in museums that fill a need in the community (I’m sure the publication, once completed, will be a great resource). Also, if you’re in the New York area, you may also want to check out “How to Build a Community Around Your Brand,” a meet-up event on June 15th which will bring together a lot of creative individuals across disciplines to share best practices, tactics, and tips for community engagement.

Put on your community member hat for a moment: Do you feel connected to museums in your communities? What are these museums doing to empower you as a member of your community? Would you be interested in such programs? Are your local museums helping to connect you to the rest of your community?

Put on your museum professional hat for a moment: How do you serve your community’s needs? Can you think of current offerings that can be tweaked to better serve this local audience? What are your goals for reaching out to your community and what are anticipated challenges? What are five immediate things you can do to strengthen your relationship with your community?

Virtual Visitors: A Community of Clickers and Commentators

The virtual revolution will not be televised.... although you'll probably get a tweet about it.

The virtual revolution will not be televised.... although you'll probably get a tweet about it.

Isn’t it fascinating how quickly (or maybe it’s not that quickly) our technology has advanced, increasing our sense of interconnectedness? I must admit, for awhile I assumed there might be a backlash of sorts where people would start to feel too consumed and overwhelmed by the extent of such connections. Alas, we are probably safe from all that, at least for the time being.

Innovative web and application programs make it possible for local communities to become more connected as well as the formation and cultivation of new virtual communities which extend beyond geographic borders to encompass individuals with similar interests and values.

Threadless is a “community-based tee shirt company with an ongoing, open call for design submissions.” Participants can create tee shirt designs, solicit feedback, and ultimately win a cash prize if your design is selected. At first I thought to myself, who is the community in “community-based tee shirt company.” To answer my own question, in this case it is the community who rates and comments on the participant’s idea. Anyone checking out the website can score designs. What I love about this is that there are numerous entry points to participating and becoming part of this community. The website also allows for designers who are not sure if their design is “ready” to have a preview of sorts which can be reviewed by the greater community. I know you may be asking…. why is Val talking about tee-shirts anyway…. To respond and to affirm, we can look beyond museums for inspiration.

Such opportunities to submit and evaluate works of art, brings to mind the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s 2008, Click! A Crowd-Curated Exhibit (side note: inspiration for this exhibit actually came from a book). The museum encouraged museum visitors, artists, and the general public to participate in this co-created exhibit experience with web-access to forums for discussing submitted photos, a virtual tour of the exhibit,  a “blurb book,” and a link to the results of the evaluation process (as the selected images were chosen by this community of participants). What was really neat about this exhibit was that the selected works on display were sized based on their votes (i.e. the more votes you got, the bigger your photo).

This notion reminds me of my previous post about the Partners in Preservation project in the Greater Boston area where participants could vote for a historic site to receive funding and another post regarding the Smithsonian’s NMAAHC asking participants to help select the winning design of the new museum. Creating a virtual community by asking others to vote or make a decision empowers individuals, sparks a desire to participate, and allows them to contribute thoughts and ideas. A likely side effect: people will surely buzz about this to their friends.

In another previous post, I asked if/what museums are doing to talk about all these great changes happening within the museum and if the outside word is aware of all the buzz…. perhaps the Smithsonian was listening to me? Check-out the their Call to Action, “Voice Your Vision” YouTube video:

What a creative way to start a lot of buzz about the museum’s (new) outlook and also solicit ideas and thoughts from the public!

From Facebook to Twitter, social networks also offer plenty of opportunities to reach out to, expand, and engage your virtual community (and if you’re wondering why we should care, check out Nina Simon’s recent blog post). With opportunities to create your own social network and emerging Web 4.0 applications such as Thwonk (a pretty wild “platform and community….giving you full access to manipulate and change the social rules of email list communication”) we should challenge ourselves to effectively and authentically engage our virtual communities while embracing all these innovative (and constantly changing) technological advancements.

I recently heard about the New York Hall of Science’s social network called MySci where their program participants receive usernames from the museum to access and interact with fellow museum program participants, contribute to blogs, and dish science. The network is only available for out-of-school-time program participants; a sort of members only approach with a safe space for kids to share openly. What’s really cool is that even after you grow-out-of or leave the out-of-school-time  programs your account remains active.

New website collectives also offer virtual space to grow, inform, and involve community groups about any range of topics. While at AAM, I attended a session entitled, Places and Stories That Matter: Digital Experiments and Community Involvement where presenters discussed ways they are using digital technology to engage audiences and bridge differences. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania plans to launch (in September 2009) PhilaPlace, an interactive “multi-ethnic web-based resource” that explores the history, culture, and neighborhoods of Philadelphia, PA. The goal of this collaborative project is to “bridge disciplines, media, and audiences by creating a new model for connecting audiences.”  Throughout the planning and development stages, the Historical Society collaborated with community partners and individuals to obtain stories, memories, photos and experiences.  The sneak peek we got during the session was an eye full; Google maps meets Twitter meets Flickr meets YouTube meets established historic archives meets…. well you get the picture.

Similarly, City Lore, is a New York-based non-profit that specializes “in the creation of programs and materials for public education and enjoyment.” One of their many initiatives, in collaboration with the Municipal Arts Society,  is Place Matters “a city-wide initiative to identify, celebrate, interpret and protect places that tell the history and anchor the traditions of New York’s many communities.” Places are nominated by New Yorkers through a Census of Places that Matter and for the sites highlighted on the website, viewers have access to read stories, advocate for these places of importance, and learn about upcoming events and programs.  Another City Lore program, City of Memory, also provides access and opportunities for people to share stories and experiences “that happened forty years ago or something that happened this morning” which are mapped out (so virtual visitors can pin-point these locations and  become actual visitors). I definitely plan on doing a bit of my own research to see if my grandfather’s butcher shop is included among the wonderful stories already shared!

These are just a few of the buzz-worthy, web-based resources that connect, cultivate, and engage folks to grow community interest, involvement, and interaction. Of course the question remains, what if you’re being savvy with technology and no one responds!?

  • Well first things first, reach out to your local and virtual communities using a variety of mainstream and creative methods to build an interest in developing technology-based programs.
  • Secondly, use programs that work for you (you don’t need to have a Twitter feed for the sake of it, I actually follow a couple of museums who hardly ever update their twitter- kind of pointless). Think about ways to virtually engage the public beyond your website, but also consider the time and resources you will need to maintain a presence on the Internet. In considering the time constraints  posed on visitors as contributors, check out this interesting Museum 3.0 post by Monika Lechner.
  • And of course, try new things and look beyond museums for inspiration. Depending on your resources and availability, such applications can be just what you need to revitalize your programs and brand while expanding your reach in serving your community.

To my community of readers: Are you vritually connected to your community, if so how? What are some projects or thoughts you’d like to share about connecting with your local community virtually and growing a virtual community? Do you feel virtually connected to museums, do you care to be? Are you an active member of online communities, when do you participate, how?

Targeting Your Non-Audience, Shaping Your Museum’s Future

Yesterday I attended the New York City Museum Educators Roundtable Annual Conference, “Are We Listening” (thanks to receiving a Scholarship from NYCMER). Although I will be writing a fabulous webssay for the NYCMER website which will touch on my experience and take-aways from this day-long program, I would like to share a few thoughts that are circling my mind….

Maxie Jackson, Senior Director Program Development at New York Public Radio and our morning keynote, spoke candidly about his experiences moving from “producer-driven” to “audience-driven” radio programming. He highlighted the need of targeting and reaching  non-audiences, potential audiences as well educating those who are currently served by expanding program efforts and initiatives for the wider community. A total side note: I think it is great on the part of the conference committee to bring in a speaker who does not work in museums to discuss broader challenges and issues that we in the non-profit world are facing.

Jackson provided practical resources and outlined his process towards growing an audience via diversifying offerings. Jackson’s four steps towards diversity include:

  1. Program mission: Creating and managing a mission to fill the void of what is currently missing from offerings.
  2. Research base when developing program concept: Reach out to the emerging audience by working with organizations who already serve this community and meet with them, make that human connection. In doing this, find the balance between the expectations of this group and where your core audience thinks you can go.
  3. Staff resources for authentic engagement: Include job postings through a variety of channels to create a diverse pool of applicants with diverse experience and exposure to strengthen inclusive program ideas and program development. As an institution open yourself up to analysis: Do you speak with authority? Are you providing authentic engagement? Are you willing to hold yourself accountable?
  4. Audience engagement: By participating in information gathering you can be educated by your community. Stimulate the “American conversation,” perhaps by first focusing on a specific emerging audience and expanding along the way while super-serving your core audience. Communicate with your core audience that you are “doing them a favor of broadening the world around them.”

These methods are intensive which is probably why his results are so fruitful. I really took to heart Jackson’s call to extend beyond niche programming to develop offerings that are relevant to audiences not served. Applying these ideas to museums, considerations for authentic engagement via inclusive programming for current and emerging audiences will provide countless benefits but may also provide challenges in shifting mindsets, ideas, and goals.

In thinking about Jackson’s keynote,  I’m also mulling over a recent article I read in the May-June 2009 Museum, “Deliberately Unsustainable” by Nina Simon which considers the nature of museums to survive through cautious and calculated measures and calls upon these institutions to consider benefits of taking risks and pursue mission statements “foolishly, rashly or successfully – in our activities every day.” In her article, Simon states, “Unlike startups and rock stars, museums aren’t structured to shoot for the moon and burn up trying. They’re made to plod along…..The problem arises when the desire to sustain overcomes the desire to be superlative and more resources go to surviving than succeeding.” Simon encourages museums to “make it” by surviving and succeeding via offering “core services that people depend on” and “services you provide that make you awesome” (how you support your community).

I find connections between these ideas and Jackson’s remarks, which I am still processing. In an effort to sum up my thoughts (I promise, no more direct quotes), it’s not enough to narrowly serve your core-audience with niche programs nor is it enough to provide diluted experiences for emerging audiences. With rapidly changing demographics, neither is sustainable. We are at a point and time where museums can cultivate new audiences through exciting programs with zest and ambition. Therefore, a commitment to reaching out to non-audiences and working with core audience members in the development of more inclusive, meaningful programming needs to be prioritized and sought through creative perhaps risk-taking approaches (consider it cutting edge  programming). For museums to remain relevant we need to bring core, emerging, and non-audiences into a shared conversation so we are all present and all listening. This will bring to surface the problems, concerns, opportunities, and solutions to new programming ideas awesome for all.

Riddle Me This: Why do People Visit Museums?

Our audiences have a variety of motivations in visiting museums. How can we embrace these motivations as part of their experience?

Our audiences have a variety of motivations in visiting museums. How can we embrace these motivations as part of their experience?

Our audiences have a variety of motivations in visiting museums. How can we embrace these motivations as part of their experience? Photo taken from:

“Visitors may not be sure why they are there and we don’t give them a clue.” John Falk made this statement during the AAM, Annual Meeting session on Identity-Related Visit Motivations: Tools for Supporting the Museum Experience.

It’s true….consider your last visit to a museum. Actually, rather than put you on the spot, I will share my last experience at a museum which was to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York on a recent Friday evening.

5:30 pm: Read an interesting article from Time Out New York indicating that a couple of comedians were going to take a tour of the MET and offer some humor. That was my hook. I’ve been to the museum before, but not terribly recently and not on a Friday night AND not to listen to a couple of comedians….humorize art.

7:30 pm: Met up with my husband on the steps of the MET. The tour was to begin at 8 pm so we went through ticketing and decided to do some independent exploration.

7:45 pm: We were both a bit tired and walked around different gallery spaces talking about everything but what we were looking at. Given the time of day for our visit, we were more interested in food options at the museum than anything else so we passed the café a couple of times, contemplating our dining options. I found a bench and sat for a spell (highlight of my visit). The museum was pretty crowded, a bit too crowded for me and I was a bit tired at the end of the day.

7:55 pm: Feeling a bit more rested, we left the museum. We saw a large group forming outside of the museum and assumed this must be the tour with the comedians. We decided that food was more important at that moment, reasoning that we can “actually visit the museum another day” and left the museum.

I don’t think I’ve ever spent under a half hour in a museum before! Our motivations for visiting the museum were unique; we were curious about dining at the café, about an experience involving comedians as tour guides, but in the end, too tired to do either- recharging our batteries was the most successful part of this visit.

Essentially people visit museums for a variety of reasons, some which may overlap and be of interest to the visitor simultaneously. As such, expectations for experiences are also likely to vary with each visit. Considering this, we have the opportunity to re-consider visitor motivations in order to ultimately impact and improve visitor experiences. John Falk offered a new vocabulary which complements his recent research (you can read about his findings in his new book) to highlight identity-related motivations:

  • The Explorer: motivated by personal curiosity.
  • The Facilitator: motivated by/because of another person (such as a parent bringing a child to the museum).
  • The Experience Seeker: motivated to see and experience places. (such as a tourist visiting a new city).
  • The Professional Hobbyist: motivated by specific knowledge-related goals.
  • The Recharger: motivated by contemplative/restorative experience.

Research supports the claim that the majority of museum visitors can be categorized as visiting for one or some combination of these five related reasons. Some museums are already building on these ideas and reflecting these considerations in their layout, exhibits, programs, and staff training.

For instance, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California Jim Covel, Manager, Guest Experience Training & Interpretation  worked with his staff to present different types of visitor motivations and a series of responses including activities and exhibits that relate to the visitor’s intentions. The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada incorporated these types of motivations into their exhibit design and building layout with ambient music in spaces for rechargers, lectures for professional hobbyists, and a café area in the middle of one of their galleries intended for the experience seekers on-the-go (this area, which includes huge windows that overlook the city has become a favorite dwelling place for many visitors).

It is important to keep in mind that the same visitor may have very different motivations on a given day or may have multiple reasons for wanting to visit a museum. Although it may seem obvious, it is also important to note that there is no hierarchy of motivations. In my example, my visit started out with intentions, however these motivations changed during the visit.

Here are my two cents:

For museum visitors: You can come to museums for any reason! It’s okay to want to relax, to want to feel absorbed by artifacts, to have a social outing….come, come often and enjoy!

For museums: Embrace these varying motivations and challenge yourself to incorporate opportunities of interest with these different motivations in mind- be creative with it and have fun!

For me: Eat and rest before going to the museum! I consider myself passionate about museums and even I have my limits!

A-HA! Design Inspiration (It’s All Around Us)

I was one of the many eager AAM session-hoppers to sit-in on: Eye On Design II, a wonderful session that brought together an eclectic group of professionals to discuss where they draw their inspiration.

Hearing from other professional talk about their connections and inspiration taken from gardens, graffiti, play, children TV programs, and other imaginary and realized spaces, sparked a curiosity from within prompting me to ask myself: Well what about me? Where do I get my inspiration from? Often, I get so wrapped up with an idea or project, I do not realize or consider the connections between what inspires me and the product of that inspiration.

Happening vs. Performance

So naturally, since it’s more fun to ponder such thoughts aloud, I talked with my favorite concert-going pal. We were watching a Flaming Lips concert on TV and began to talk about our experiences at their live performances.

While some bands will perform on stage, give you good music, and maybe even some chit-chat in between songs, the Flaming Lips brings the audience into their performance; it’s about the music but it’s also bigger than the music. As so many people would agree, their concerts are more like happenings: where individuals are constantly connecting, feeling, experiencing, sharing and participating. While it may seem a bit chaotic, it is also invigorating and enlightening. The idea of a performance does not seem as powerful when compared to the thought of a happening. There is no separation between musicians and audience, rather all are participants.

This idea of happening as changing, continuous, and perhaps unpredictable inspires me.

While some projects such as community-created exhibitions and interactive exhibit components are great examples of prompting visitors to participate, is it the same as a shared happening? Do happenings happen in museums? Have you experienced a happening in a museum? What does it look like?

As such conversations were sparked during the lively AAM session, I hope you’ll share your thoughts and musings here too!

AAM 2009: Reflections & Musings

I recently returned from the 2009 American Association of Museums Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA and I must admit that although registration was in the thousands, there was a sense of connectedness throughout my experience. This contrasts greatly to the overwhelming feeling of drowning in a sea of musessionals (museum professionals) I felt last year. With this being my second Annual Meeting experience, I liken my ability to stay afloat to a few helpful tools and resources part of this year’s conference including the program’s blog and active twitter feed. Of course push-pin boards to write personalized messages and share comments with other passerbys also filled the convention center creating an overall sense of community (a community I was more familiar with).

With a bit of time to reflect on this year’s experience and in thinking ahead, I wonder what the role of technology will be in next year’s meeting in terms of connecting participants and if/how this might also relate to the format of the sessions.

I find it interesting that while we seek opportunities and inspiration to create and contribute to unique, creative, memorable, and meaningful experiences for visitors, we approach these fascinating discussions and programs in a thoughtful although slightly traditional and formal way. I will refrain from writing in absolutes, but many of my session experiences followed a formula of: presenter 1 presents, questions and answers, presenter 2 presents, questions and answers, culminating with time for additional questions and answers (powerpoint optional). Of course, the information and experiences discussed are wonderful, innovative, and helpful and in some cases such an approach to providing this insight is expected.

I challenge us to consider the unexpected: ways that we can connect one another in a lively and memorable session that will accomplish the same goals of a “traditional session” and more. Such considerations may keep those of us likely exhausted after the multi-day conference a bit more energized and ready to return to our museums and put our inspiration into action. Whether or not this can/should be achieved with technology is one of the many considerations in taking on such a challenge.

I do not (yet) have answers, only questions and I would not be surprised if such ideas were discussed during this year’s workshops (about creating a successful presentation). Do share your experiences and ideas!