Talking About Ghosts – Checklist

For many years, I’ve spoken to groups of all ages, kinds and sizes. It’s a delight to tell people about this field.

I’ve learned a lot about what to say (and what not to say) and when to say it. I hope this checklist helps you when you’re asked to speak in public, too.

Remember: You don’t have to include everything from this list.  It’s a guideline to make presentations easier.

CHECKLIST

1. Introduction

  • Your name (or the name you use for this work) and where you are from.
  • How long you have been involved in paranormal research.
  • Why you began this research.
  • If you have a specialty, what it is and why it is important to this research.

2. About your team (if you are part of one)

  • Name of your team, where it is based, and the area you cover.
  • How long your team has been researching.
  • Introduce team members by name and specialties, if they are with you.
  • What services you provide to the public (investigations, training, talks like this one) and how much — if anything — you charge.

3. The tools you use

  • Hold up each tool and explain what it is called, what it does, and how often you use it in your work.
  • Describe what you have brought with you to demonstrate (such as how an EMF meter works) or what you will be presenting (audio, video, a walking tour, etc.).
  • Explain which tools can be used by anyone (hiking compass/EMF meter, flashlight for yes/no, etc.) and which are best for professionals (IR video cameras, Frank’s Box, and so on.)

4. Present your information

  • If you are reporting on one or more investigations:
    • Give an overview first.
    • Explain where you researched, when and why.
    • Describe your experiences floor-by-floor and room-by-room.  (A floor plan or map may help them visualize each encounter.)
    • Tell the audience what “normal” would be, before each recording or demonstration.
    • Demonstrate the research technique or play the recording three times (if it is short) and then ask if anyone has a question about that evidence.
    • Take general questions and discuss specific situations at the end of the talk.
    • If you are telling “ghost stories,” tell people whether they are fictional or your true experiences.
    • Illustrate your stories with photos, recordings and/or drawings.
    • Remember that your audience wants to be entertained.  Use broad gestures, lots of variety in your voice, and so on.
    • If you are taking the group on a walking tour, talk about where you are going, safety concerns, and your general rules (such as when they can ask questions).  Then, lead the tour. (Optional: Organize them in teams of two, so no one gets lost or left behind.)

5. Close the talk

  • Tell them that you have completed your presentation.
  • Ask for questions or comments.  Be sure they understand that there are no firm answers to most questions, and that is why we are still conducting research.
  • Refer the audience to your website, books, events, workshops, etc., for more information.
  • Close with contact information, and distribute any handouts you brought with you.
  • Explain that you have to leave at a certain time (be specific and stick to that) but you are happy to talk with people privately — for a just a few moments — if they have questions.
  • Thank them for attending.
  • Smile when they applaud.
  • Before leaving, thank your host/s and give them a small gift. (A book, a CD of EVP or a general presentation, a “ghost photo” from the location, etc.)

[Thanks to Claudia of Parahunt.com for restoring this.]

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