Have you ever given an educational grocery store tour? Before beginning my dietetic internship, I had never even given the idea a thought. But now that I know what the experience is like, I know that having a few key items to focus on while planning my tours has really improved the content of them and the confidence I have in giving them. Giving an educational grocery store tour is different from giving an educational lecture in many ways. Here are a few tips to prepare you to give the best tour possible.
Know Your Audience
Be sure to determine exactly who your target audience is, keeping in mind their socioeconomic status, age and education level. Preparing a tour for 4-year-old preschoolers is very different from preparing a tour for college professors. Asking your participants about what they normally buy is a great way to keep them interested.
Know Your Store
All grocery stores are not created equal. Some have large specialty sections where you could spend time educating your participants about the qualities of foods such as nutritional yeast and probiotics, but this is not always the case. Give yourself a tour of the store a few days before the real deal to ensure the products you plan to highlight are available. Create a script that follows the layout of the store to keep things moving smoothly.
Know the Message You Want to Provide
This works as your objective. Making sure to drive home your message to your audience is very important to ensure they learn something on your tour. For example, if the tour is for young kids, keep the message simple, like “try new foods.” If your tour is for adults and the topic is label reading, make sure the areas of the store you visit allows your clients to practice this. Making an outline of your main points while taking into consideration the layout of the store will ensure your clients get the takeaway message.
Finally, don’t fret if your first store tour does not go as planned. Giving educational tours takes practice and patience. If participants come up with a question you do not know the answer to, it is okay to let them know you will get back to them with the answer. Take a deep breath and know that you can do it!