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How to Become a Quality Tour Guide

If you love hosting events and get enjoyment out of introducing people to new sights and experiences, then you may have the makings of a great tour guide. If you are interested in pursuing this rewarding vocation, then you should know that there is much more to being a tour guide than just showing a group of people around.

If you want to be good at what you do, then you need to go the extra mile. Here are tips for how to become a quality tour guide:

Learn how to narrate. It goes without saying that public speaking is a big part of what you will do as a tour guide. However, narration goes above and beyond the art of public speaking. Narration is about telling a story in way that captures and keeps your audience’s interest. It requires enthusiasm, ad-libbing, audience engagement . . . and plenty of practice. Join a Toastmaster’s club to work on your narration skills.

Learn foreign languages. Whatever type of tour you plan on guiding, and wherever you plan on working, there is no denying that knowing foreign languages can greatly increase your effectiveness and competency as a tour guide. Fortunately, there are a variety of resources for language learning, from online courses to computer programming. Even if you can’t speak a language fluently, just knowing the basics can help you bridge communication gaps and make your tourists feel more comfortable.

Develop problem solving skills. As a tour guide, you will have to think quickly on your feet. After all, you are responsible for leading various groups of people, and there is no accounting for human nature. Whether a tour bus breaks down or a tour member becomes ill, you will need to be able to handle whatever problems arise swiftly and effectively, or else risk losing control of your tour.

Be as organized as possible. If you want to be a good tour guide, then there is simply no way around this must-have quality. Organization is necessary to smooth-running tours, and as the tour guide, you are responsible for that organization. Practice organization at all times – from scheduling to storing supplies – so that it becomes second nature.

Hone your people skills. Quality tour guides know how to get along with all types of people. If you are not naturally a people person, then you need to broaden your horizons and get to know a variety of personality types so that you can learn to appreciate and communicate with anyone and everyone. Join local clubs and participate in service organizations to gain this type of experience.

Anyone can point in a direction and recite some facts and figures. However, it takes someone special to be a great tour guide. Become the best tour guide you can be by following these great tips.

About the Author: Lavenia Oakden loves to travel and recently booked a trip with a China travel agent she knows well. She trusts her judgement in booking tours and – more importantly – great tour guides.

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