You have been recently appointed as a guide at an international art museum. Your job profile involves guiding the visitors to the different parts of the museum and explaining the paintings and other art works. How will you utilize your English speaking skills to accurately describe the paintings in detail? Using English as a form of communication will showcase your conversation skills and make a good impression on the visitors.
Things to remember when describing a painting:
1. Have all information
It is important to have all the information about a painting. There is nothing more embarrassing than to stammer around for answers. When you have all the information regarding a painting, you will be in a good position to solve any doubts the viewers may have. It will involve a bit of a research which will improve your English comprehension skills. Even if you don't have all the information, redirect the visitors to the appropriate sources.
2. Engaging conversation
Never keep your description one sided. Ask interesting questions to them and get them engaged in the conversation. You can only do this when your English conversational skills are up to the mark. Use grammatically correct sentences while communicating.
Sample conversation while describing a painting picture:
Situation: You are taking the visitors through the museum when they come across a Vincent Van Gogh painting.
You: Ladies and gentlemen, here is the famous Van Gogh painting.
Visitor 1: Wow! It's so beautiful! What is it called?
You: It's called the 'Cafe Terrace at Night' and was painted in 1888.
Visitor 2: Can you describe the painting in detail?
You: Sure! This painting is of his favorite coffee house. As you can see, the backdrop is of a starry night and there are visitors in the coffee shop. It clearly depicts the contemporary environment. The dress code at that time was black and Paris was just being electrified.
Visitors 3: Why is there no sign of Van Gogh?
You: This is the one painting where he did not sign his signature. Instead, as you can see on the bottom right corner, he has just written the words 'Café Terrace'.
Visitor 4: How do we know what you are saying is true?
You: You can check our pamphlet at the end of the tour listing the literary sources backing up our description.
Visitor 1: This really is a great painting. What will be its price?
You: At the current market rate, it will fetch around $25 million.
Visitor 2: Whoa! That is a fortune. The security here must be tight.
You: Yes, it is. The painting glass frame is virtually impregnable. Now, if you don't have any further questions, let's move on to the next painting.
The above sample shows how to do justice to a painting. Impress your listeners with your artistic knowledge and your English communication skills. You will get good additional knowledge about the artworks if you have a passion to build a great career. Improve your spoken English skills for great and influential communication.
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- By Shailja Varma
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