Presenting outdoors

Outdoor learning can energise, inspire and engage. It adds colour and context to bring subjects to life. Mastering different outdoor presenting methods is good for you and your audience.

Field Walks

Field walks offer a reward­ing and enjoy­able jour­ney of dis­cov­ery and learn­ing. They are great for small/​medium sized groups (520 people). 

Your audi­ence will be more engaged in a field than in a bland meet­ing room.

Outdoor learning offers rich, real world demonstrations of sustainable farming and the practical application of information/research.

Signage or props provide information, calls to action and encourage engagement. They also prompt discussion on the themes of the day.

Weather conditions affect the:

  • pace you choose
  • means of getting around
  • shelter/shade needed

You need to hold your visitors' attention to keep them together and focused. Ensure you meet the needs of visitors with limited mobility.


Tri­al plots

Tri­al plots can demon­strate results of research. Where pos­si­ble, have con­trast plots to high­light the dif­fer­ences. The inter­pre­ta­tion of a tri­al plot can be made eas­i­er with sign­boards or posters. 

Event pop-up stand

Pop-up stands or gaze­bos come in many shapes and sizes. They can be flim­sy or a robust, sol­id trail­er. The stand is an excel­lent focal point for your audi­ence, a place to gath­er to hear you talk. It becomes the hub for your audi­ence to talk with each oth­er and share ideas.

Pop-ups are a place to store, display and share marketing materials for visitors to take away – such as flyers booklets and business cards.

You can brand the stand strongly and even include memorable calls to action. Props can be displayed to add interest and increase engagement. The acoustic can be better under a stand than in the open and they provide shelter for your audience.

Flimsy pop-up stands, and everything they contain, are vulnerable in poor weather.

Guid­ed farm tour with a trail­er ride

A farm tour with a trail­er ride needs care­ful plan­ning to ensure it runs to time. Group size, tim­ing and health and safe­ty are all impor­tant considerations. 

Be sure to think through the tour from a visitor’s per­spec­tive; think about themes, num­ber of stops, tim­ing and people’s com­fort and whether it needs more than just you to do the talking.

Don’t be over ambi­tious in how much ground you can cov­er. Three or four stops and themes will be enough. Allow enough time for ques­tions and for vis­i­tors to get on and off the trail­er at each stop.

Your pre­sent­ing posi­tion can be flex­i­ble (i.e. in the trail­er, from the field look­ing back up at the vis­i­tors in the trail­er or you can all get off and you can present at var­i­ous places along the route).

The chang­ing back­drop means the vis­i­tors stay engaged in the tour and presentation.

Of course there can be some negatives to a farm tour, if you try to present whilst the vehicle is moving then it can be hard to hear the presenter unless you have an amplified speaker. Health and safety considerations are essential.

Techniques to engage your audiences in the field or on guided farm tours

Being outdoors is not a complete guarantee that what you are presenting will be interesting and memorable to your audience. You still have to think through what more you can do to communicate your main messages successfully.

· Activity - as well as seeing, what can your audience do? Can you ask them to identify, compare, analyse? Do you have a short activity that they could try as individuals or in pairs or small groups and then share the results for you and the whole group to discuss? Taking part in a hands-on activity will help them remember the messages that you give them.

· Demonstration - create a demonstration for your audience to watch. You could take a sample or use a diagnostic tool. The demonstration, and your careful and colourful explanation of what you are doing, can be a powerful and memorable part of your presentation.


Be sure to have sev­er­al props at hand. These include pho­tos (prefer­ably large and lam­i­nat­ed to be robust enough to be hand­ed round), sam­ples, enlarged tables/​diagrams of main results, sam­ples etc. Some props are for you to use or refer to but they can also be hand­ed around to give your audi­ence a feel for what you are talk­ing about.

Are you prepared?

Question 1 / 8

Do you know how many people will be attending your outdoor event/presentation/tour?

Question 2 / 8

Have you a clear idea of exactly what messages you want your audience to take away?

Question 3 / 8

Have you thought about your available budget?

Question 4 / 8

Have you decided which type of outdoor presenting method you will use?

Question 5 / 8

Do you have props you can use whilst you are talking?

Question 6 / 8

Have you considered what additional information you may need ie. posters, flyers, brochures?

Question 7 / 8

Have you thought about whether you are going to organise an activity/demonstration?

Question 8 / 8

Are you aware of the pros/cons for this method of presenting outdoors?

You've completed the quiz.