During the 10 years I worked on cruise ships, I heard many “interesting” questions such as:
“Do these stairs go up or down?”
“Which elevator takes me to the front of the ship?”
“Does the ship generate its own electricity?”
Yes, I really did…. And yes, they always made me chuckle a bit internally.
I was reminded of these questions the other day when I was speaking to a group of students who are participating in a dropout prevention program. We were talking about first impressions, handshakes, posture, and how important manners and etiquette are in our every day lives.
The students had so many questions about everything. They were so eager and hungry to learn and they were taking in every bit of information possible. They had questions about my recreation degree and how in the world a girl from Oklahoma ended up working on a cruise ship. It was so much fun sharing information with them and talking about all of the possibilities available to them.
We talked about all of the different people who work on a ship; the fact that the ship is a floating city had never really been on their radar. The ship needs electricians, engineers, wait staff, chefs, hair stylists, massage therapists, room stewards, nurses, doctors, entertainers, and the list went on. We were talking about the accountants, the IT department, computers and cash registers when one of the students said “hey, wait a minute, how does the ship get electricity?”
That single question -which I used to always think of as comical- immediately brought the big picture into focus for me. Remember your audience; remember who you are speaking to and remember to keep it relevant and in terms your audience will understand. So often we live in our “world” and become accustomed to what we are used to and forget how big of a world it really is.
What do you take for granted as understood in “your world”? Please share, I would love to know…
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