How do I give a great tour?

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1. Face the crowd, not what you’re talking about. Tour guides often get so wrapped up in their subject they forget to face the peple they are addressing. One secret to avoid this is to “deputize” somebody in the crowd to interrupt you if they can’t hear you.

2. Be personal. No matter how much we love buildings, it’s a fact that people connect with people. So it’s good to have a few personal anecdotes ready, even if they’re just about past tours you’ve done. You’ll build a more personal connection to your group and create a memorable tour.

3. Tell a story (historical or contemporary). Make sure you have a few fun and compelling stories to tell about the buildings and sites you’re looking at. People are more likely to feel engaged when they are listening to a story, rather than a list of dates and names.

4. Get moving right away. smart tours Tours often get bogged down before they ever begin with tour guides doing the “big wind-up”―introductions, setting the theme, providing context, etc. Plan to scrap 90% of it.

Hint: If you have a script, the first line should tell you: “Move thirty feet up the street before you say anything.”

5. Don’t worry about being perfect. People don’t expect you to be perfect. Set the stage for human imperfection by acknowledging that people who may know more than you should speak up and share their knowledge with the group. The more interactive the tour is, the better!

6. Get help to get organized. Try to get a volunteer to check people in so you can chat with tour goers. People give tours for many reasons, but a big one is to meet new people, and the time before the tour is a great chance to get to know your group.

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