Speaking Skills of Tour Guides
* Speaking in front of a group is considered the most common fear. Qualities of a Successful Speaker
* Comfortable with their audience, their topic and themselves * A spontaneous relaxed style draws listeners while an unenthusiastic or tense style drives them away “Nervous speakers make people nervous”
How does a person overcome the fear of speaking before a group? Speaking at ease requires feeling at ease.
* Preparation (not to be confused with memorization of speeches) * Good presentations entail plenty of hard work and practice. * A sincere desire and interest to share a subject with the group - “Shift as quickly as you can, from self-consciousness. Put yourself in their shoes. It’s the best way to beat nervousness.” * Experience
* Those who are new in public speaking should know that overcoming nervousness takes time and practice. * With practice, guides discover that they need less time to prepare for each tour that they enjoy tours rather than fear them. In time, most guides gain confidence, overcome nervousness and become more relaxed, spontaneous and effective as speakers. Body Language
The body is an effective communicator with a language of its own. - has a greater force than the spoken word
* When a speaker sends mixed messages, listeners will believe what they see rather than what they hear. Posture
Posture shows much about a person’s self-esteem, health and level of interest in his surroundings. * Tense, stiff posture is as unappealing as a slouched posture * The ideal posture is erect but relaxed
* People with poor posture must always remind themselves in order to improve it * The advantages of good posture include more efficient breathing, better health and appearance, increased energy and a stronger, clearer voice. Body Movement and Gestures
Gestures such as the movements of the body, face and hands are strong communication tools. Nervous movement and unnatural gestures can diminish the trust people have in a guide. Repetitive movements or gestures can be very distracting.
People tend to focus on body movements when receiving mixed messages. Eye Contact
Eye Contact is one of the most important speaking techniques. Making an eye contact to many is difficult to learn. (However, once mastered, eye contact becomes an energizing tool for speakers because it gives immediate feedback and support.) Look at every member of an audience, which a guide can easily do during tours.
Making an eye contact is difficult for the new speaker who has many things to keep in mind at once. At the beginning the speaker should vary the direction in which he speaks and chooses a few people to look at, preferably those who seem to be very much interested in the talk. (As the guide becomes experienced, he usually finds that all feedbacks present a welcome challenge or significant information about the commentary.) Like all other speaking skills, learning to use eye contact effectively takes time and practice. The Voice
The voice is the mirror of the soul. (Galen, Greek philosopher) Several people believe that the voice shows a person’s state of health as well as his level of confidence or conviction. The voice is the speaker’s most important asset. Thus, it must be cared for. (Tourists usually listen to a guide’s voice for eight or more hours a day for several days at a time.) Unfortunately, many guides do not have a pleasing speaking voice. (This can only be achieved through constant practice.) Good Voice
* natural, pleasant, expressive and easy to hear and understand * determined by a person’s health and muscle tone, temperament, vocal habits as well as the physical components of the voice mechanism such as the size and shape of the mouth, nasal passages and vocal bands. *** The voice has several characteristics which include pitch, resonance, and volume. 1....
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