The Interpretive Talk is a prepared formal presentation delivered in-person, usually to a stationary audience. The interpretive talk provides a basic format for presenting audiences with opportunities to form their own intellectual and emotional connections with the meanings of a resource, without relying on a strong integration of media, demonstration, or resource immersion. Resource meanings may focus on the personal relevance or the national significance of a site and help guide the visitor towards an understanding or empathy regarding the importance of a place, object, person, or event.
Preparing and presenting an effective interpretive talk requires interpreters to blend specific subject-matter knowledge of the resource with an understanding of audience learning styles, needs, and motivations. It requires the deliberate selection of audience-appropriate techniques to provide opportunities for intellectual and emotional connections to resource meanings. These opportunities are arranged to give a clear focus to the talk by logically developing, illuminating, and exploring an idea(s) relevant to the audience. Finally, for the interpretive talk to be effective, appropriate presentation techniques, delivery skills, and subject matter accuracy must be applied.