top of page

Telling Compelling Stories

Our Telling Compelling Stories Course is delivered online over a period of two weeks. The course is designed for new and existing expedition guides and field staff who are required, or aspire, to give formal presentations. Not only is this course a great option for those who wish to prepare for the PTGA Polar Qualification; Presentation Skills for Polar Guides, it is also a unique possibility for established presenters looking to train, broaden their skillset and learn from others.   


The aim of this course is to provide the skills needed to deliver great presentations onboard expedition ships or in other, highly relevant, presentation contexts. Participants will gain a greater understanding of the science behind effective presentations, and be furnished with a set of tools and a proven methodology, for creating and delivering a compelling story.



Course Content


  • Preparing a venue for a presentation

  • Introduce a presentation

  • Deliver a presentation

  • Conclude a presentation


14 days from November 16th - 29th. Please see further details below


Language: English Proficient 

Age: 18+

Previous experience: None required

Who is the course for?

Seasoned guides/presenters, those new to the industry, and those of you who wish to prepare for the PTGA Polar Qualification: Presentation Skills for Polar Guides.

The course is designed for anyone looking to become more competent and confident in doing presentations and interpretation onboard expedition ships or in other guiding contexts. Furthermore, it is a great option to prepare for the assessment in Presentation Skills for Polar Guides. 

Ratio 1:12

Minimum 6 participants

Maximum 12 participants

Price: USD $TBC

Course Segments Outline

Our Telling Compelling Stories course is delivered by experienced presenter, visitor interpretation, and communications expert, Ian Johnson. Ian has 40 years at the leading edge, working hard to consistently deliver customer service experiences that exceed visitor expectations.

20 years ago, as the CE of a large, not-for-profit, heritage-based, tourist attraction, he discovered a deep passion for "compelling storytelling" and "values-driven communication". Ian's greatest reward though is in paying it forward, and sharing what he has learned, and continues to learn, about how to invite our guests to:

  • Love what we love just as much as we do?

  • Have our passion matter as much to them (our guests) as it does to us?

  • Be inspired to care about what we care about?

These are the questions that get him out of bed. Thus, Ian would like to share some of what he has learned so far; and he knows that you have something to add. 

Our Telling Compelling Stories course consists of 4 sessions, a mixture of interacting through an online classroom, self-study, project work, peer assessment, and reflective practice.


Session One


"The biology and psychology of "story", why "story" works and why it’s not about you"

Virtual Classroom (Day 1; November 16th - duration approx. 2 hours from 7-9 PM UTC)

During this session, Ian will share some of what the science tells us about the power and structure of "story", and why knowing this might make us better presenters. Participants will be invited to complete a short exercise.

Session Two

"TORE: an approach for Thematic Interpretation"

Virtual Classroom (Day 4; November 19th - duration approx. 4 hours from 7-11 PM UTC)

At the conclusion of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Understand and explain the TORE model of interpretive communication

  • Understand and explain the importance of a thematic approach in developing interpretive programs and products.

  • Craft a "provocative" theme from the toolkit provided



Session Three 

"Creating, validating and refining a presentation"

Self-directed & peer feedback (Day 5 - 11, duration 7 days)

During this session, participants will create a short thematic presentation, and use reciprocal, peer feedback, to validate and fine-tune for their final, recorded presentation.


  • DAY 5-7: Saturday 20th, Sunday 21st & Monday 22nd, duration 3 days: Create a short presentation (SELF-DIRECTED STUDY)

  • DAY 8-9: Tuesday 23rd & Wednesday 24th, duration 2 days: Validate a short presentation using reciprocal, peer, feedback

  • DAY 10-11: Thursday 25th & Friday 26th2 days: Refining a short presentation (SELF-DIRECTED STUDY)

NB. Allowing for time differences, Ian will be available via email/message board for questions, support, and coahing throughout the seven days of Session Three.

Session Four

"Deliver a presentation for an Audience"

Virtual Classroom (November 29th, duration: TBC/subject to cohort size)

The class reunites and each participant will deliver their final presentation to the group and Ian.

NB. Participants' final presentation will be recorded and made available to them should they wish to use it as part of their ‘portfolio’.

Ian will provide individualised and personal written feedback to each participant within one week of the final presentations.



Practical Course Information

Different Time-Zones

In an effort to accommodate global participants, we have designed this course so that you can participate no matter where in the world you are. However, be aware that it might be very early mornings for you or very late evenings. The times given here is in UTC time. Please understand that timings can change, so we do ask that you are flexible with this.

Pre-course material

After booking this course, participants will receive a more detailed 'Course Outline & Program' and before the course starts, participants will gain access to the pre-course learning material. Note that it is not possible to receive this material earlier than scheduled by the EGA and Ian. Thus, make sure that you have enough time on hand, in the period before the course starts, to study and get the most out of your course with us.


Certificate of Training

On completion of the Telling Compelling Stories course, you'll receive a "Certificate of Training" from the Expedition Guide Academy, outlining the course content covered.

Assessment & Certification

Our Telling Compelling Stories course is also designed to help you prepare for a potential assessment in the PTGA PQ; Presentation Skills for Polar Guides. Know that you have to be a member of the PTGA to be assessed. Please contact us for this additional assessment option. Note that this assessment is offered by the EGA, as an online assessment. Please see under Certification with EGA for more information on this option.   


Terms & Conditions for our online courses & assessments

Please note that with our online courses and assessments, different terms & conditions apply. 
If you decide to cancel the course within 14 days of having your place on the course confirmed by the EGA, a full refund will be offered. Once we receive your written cancellation, in form of an email we will refund your course fees, minus an administration fee of USD 100. Should you be eligible for a refund, please be aware that the administration fee does not cover variations in international exchange rates.

Once passing the 14 days you will be under the full cancellation conditions of our online courses which are 100% non-refundable. Should the EGA cancel, we will proceed with a full refund, excluding the administration fee.

Dates & Location:


Stand-by for 2022 dates TBC

bottom of page