What does a tourist guide talk about?

The subject for a tourist guide’s commentary is based on what the visitors can SEE.

It is impossible to talk about everything they can see at once; therefore you must choose the most important or obvious thing and talk about it first.

This is called the TOP VISUAL PRIORITY (PTV).


First talk about your TOP VISUAL PRIORITY, then talk about Top Non-Visual Priority (TNVP), i.e. subjects associated with something you have just seen, eg. TVP-School TNVP-Education System

Usually visitors are most interested in what local people are doing, or in animals – in fact in anything, which moves – so talk about such thing first!

Choose obvious and interesting things to talk about

Remember: Your Priorities



The Global Travel Business Education Centre [GTBEC] have designed < https://lnkd.in/dxSaiVdR >.a new training program specifically for individuals < https://lnkd.in/dmbMuKrb > who are serious about Travel Professionals..


All you have to do first is create your premium membership, <https://lnkd.in/dQ3ysi-h> after which you’ll gain immediate access to all our tutor resources

Thence, Kindly Pay the Monthly Membership Fee To: Drs. Noersal Samad, MA (UI) amounting to IDR 75.000 or USD 5.00 for each member, via Bank Mandiri #157-00-0185201-2

Please also use my paypal.me/act100 whenever you make the required monthly payment for USD 5,00 per member accordingly.

Don’t have a PayPal account? https://lnkd.in/d32kARzw Sign up for free https://lnkd.in/djMn8xsu Go to https://lnkd.in/dbxA8eee country.x=ID&locale.x=en_US

Please confirm your payment evidence via
HP / WA: 08118841937 (SMS first)

Whether you use PayPal to buy or sell, <https://lnkd.in/dVf62A5i> we help keep you and your payments safe. With data encryption, real-time transaction monitoring and buyer and seller protection policies, PayPal’s a safe way to pay and get paid. <https://lnkd.in/d8ZE_TfD>

Payment Methods in GTBEC

You can use the various local bank transfer methods listed here.

Kindly Pay To: Drs. Noersal Samad, MA (UI)

(a) For 3 (three) months IDR 300,000 or in USD 27.00

(b) For 6 (six) months IDR 500,000 or in USD 35.00

(c)  For 1 (one) year IDR 800,000 or in USD 57,00

Bank Mandiri #157-00-0185201-2

Please also use my paypal.me/act100 whenever you make the required  payment per member accordingly.

Don’t have a PayPal account? https://lnkd.in/d32kARzw Sign up for free https://lnkd.in/djMn8xsu Go to https://lnkd.in/dbxA8eee country.x=ID&locale.x=en_US

Premium member (One Year) payment confirmation via  HP / WA: 08118841937 (SMS first)

You are cordially invited to also click and visit  the following:

(01) – https://lnkd.in/f8GX3he 

=> Tourism Business Tutorial

(02) – https://lnkd.in/fkS9u_Y 

=> Digital Travel Agent Training

You need a paid subscription, however, to become a Premium Member enabling you to view each detailed  (full text) lesson. 

As a Premium Member, you can login now, otherwise, please register first [premium]


Just click this link =>  https://lnkd.in/dJV9WVda

Succeed by learning https://tinyurl.com/fkdzdnwc how to use your GTBEC program.

  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the GTBEC Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with GTBEC on various social media sites.

In order to establish a good atmosphere, the tourist guide needs to establish a RAPPORT. By this we mean:

  • Hitting it off with the visitor.
  • Establishing friendly contact and the feeling of liking each other.
  • Being on the same wavelength.
  • Understanding how they feel.
  • Being accepted by the group as their leader.
  • A tour guide delivering a commentary

A good rapport can be established by:

  • Making eye contact.
  • Showing an interest in the visitor.
  • Showing concern for their welfare, eg. Are they too hot/cold; can they hear you.
  • Showing concern for their problems, eg. Do they need help with banks /postage/travel plans, etc?

If you show enthusiasm and enjoy yourself, they will enjoy themselves !



As tourist guides, our main work tools are our voice and words.

If your voice is boring ALL will be lost!

Above all, we need to be heard so we need our voices to:

  • be Loud enough.
  • be Clear enough.
  • have Variety.

Variety is achieved by changing:

  • the Speed.
  • the Pitch.
  • the Volume.

Careful positioning of the group in front of the guide will always help a guide to make him heard.

Stand in front of the group with your back to the view, building, etc, without blocking the view or any small objects, which you plan to talk about. In this way the group sees both you and your subjects. Avoid allowing your group members to encircle you or stand behind you, as they will not be able to hear or see properly.

How can a guide get people’s attention?

You can attract people’s attention by changing the way you speak, say each word slowly or quietly or stop altogether!


A commentary is coloured by the use of adjectives or descriptive words. In general, simple words and short sentences are always best. Simple adjectives such as colours, (red, blue, green), height and relative size (about one metre tall; the smallest), shapes, (round, pointed, rugby ball-shaped) help visitor to identify exactly what the guide is talking about. Some adjectives, which we all use a lot in everyday speech are so over used that they have become almost meaningless, eg. Nice, lovely, pretty.

These adjectives simply fill up time in the guide’s commentary; they do not help visitors identify what the guide wants them to look at.

Never underestimate the audiences intelligence and never overestimate its knowledge, : “as you know”

It is sometimes necessary to use complicated words for technical subjects such as:

  • Art and architecture
  • Science
  • Religion
  • History
  • Traditional culture
  • Botany and zoology
  • Navigation and ships

History Dates

If you do have to use these, always explain them. Try not to use too many dates, but always situate a person or event with a period or approximate date,

Eg. Robert Louis Stevenson, a Scottish poet and novelist most   famous for his book “Treasure Island”, came to live in Western Samoa in 1889. Or Robert Louis Stevenson, a Scottish poet and novelist most famous for his book “Treasure Island”, came to live in Western Samoa a little over one hundred years ago. Or Robert Louis Stevenson, a Scottish poet and novelist most famous for his book “Treasure Island”, came to live in Western Samoa at the end of the nineteenth century (in the late 1880s).

Remember: Keep It Short and Simple – KISS – Is the Key to Success

Remember: Understand your tourist as much as possible.


Even the most experienced public speakers experience nervousness.

Nervousness is not necessarily a bad thing because when we are nervous adrenalin flows in our blood and we become exhilarated.

It is however bad to be seen to be nervous.

We are nervous when:

  1. We have not prepared our subject.
  2. We have a lack of knowledge.
  3. We fear drying up.

We show nervousness by:

  1. Fidgeting
  2. Swaying
  3. Shaky voice

I wonder if she knows what she is talking about.

Okay. I’ll tell you.

Okay. …. Okay.

… Okay. …

  1. Talking too fast
  2. Becoming breathless
  3. A nervous cough or laugh
  4. Sudden change in voice pitch
  5. Swallowing or licking lips
  6. Jingling money in pocket
  7. Clenching hands

Nervousness can be hidden by:

  1. Standing firmly on two feet
  2. Controlling hands, leading to controlled use of gesture
  3. Being aware of the body

If you dry up:

  1. Take a DEEP BRATH and PAUSE (A long pause will not be noticed)
  2. NEVER APOLOGISE for pausing if you dry–up (Most people will not notice the break in the commentary unless you draw their attention to it. Pauses are necessary for people to absorb all you are telling them.).


  1. You can always lessen nervousness at the beginning of a tour or lecture by memorizing your opening lines
  2. Looking confident
  3. Look good
  4. Confidence in your appearance gives you confidence in yourself.


Questions from visitors usually show that they are interested in the tourist guide’s commentary and that they trust you to answer them. They have confidence in you and your knowledge. Through asking questions the group members become more involved in the tour. It becomes a two-way process as they join in. The question can tell you a lot about special interests of the group and you can alter your commentary accordingly.

There are some questions, which we may not like very much. Sometimes we simply do not know the answer.

Question can interrupt you and make you lose the thread of what you are saying, they can be irrelevant and have nothing to do with what you are looking at or talking about.

Some visitors ask questions which are very complicated to show off their knowledge in front of the group and make themselves appear important. Occasionally visitors ask provocative, rude or personal questions, which you may not wish to, answer directly.

How to Answer Questions

  1. Show you are pleased to be asked a question.
  2. Listen carefully to the question and let the speaker finish.
  3. REPEAT the question so that everyone can hear it.


  • To get time to think about the question.
  • So all group members know what you are talking about.
  • To make sure you have understood the questions.
  • Because if it is a rude or personal question, repeating it may deter other such questions.
  1. Give a short answer.
  2. Finish by saying you hope that answers the question.

Remember: Your answer reflects your question

How to cope with unwanted questions?

  1. If questions are interrupting your commentary badly, irrelevant or bringing up subjects you plan to cover later in your tour (pre-emptive questions) and wasting time, suggest a specific time for questions, e.g. “ when we stop for morning tea”.
  2. “Show-off” questions can be gently turned back on the asker by throwing the question to the group and /or replying with another question.
  3. Rude, provocative or personal questions are best handled by being extremely polite but evasive, eg. “How much do you earn?” “The national average here is K200 per fortnight “.

How to Handle Problem Questions or People?

DO :

  • Admit you do not know
  • Offer to find out
  • Ask the group
  • Suggest where the visitor can find out
  • Ask another guide, driver


  • Panic
  • Be rude
  • Get angry
  • Make a person feel humiliated
  • Never lie
  • Lose your cool

The key to handling awkward questions it to de-fuse them –


Sure you are! A closer look will do. I’ll take you over there.

I am not sure if I am in the right place.


A tourist guides’ “visual aid” is the real world, the object/area, which he or she is showing and explaining to the tourist. In addition to describing points of interest accurately and briefly, visitors need to be informed precisely where they should look to see these interesting things.

Point things out:

  • Show people where to look with your hands.
  • Use big gestures so that the group can see, and hold them long enough for people to follow them.

Pointing out directions is helpful Use phrases such as:

  • “on your right”,
  • “on your left”,
  • “on the horizon”,
  • “in the valley bottom to your right”,
  • “at 11.00 o’clock on the skyline”,
  • to tell them where to look, and point at the same time.

When guiding a group on a bus never say “straight ahead of you”. The passengers at the back of the bus cannot see straight ahead through the windscreen. It is better to say “ahead of us now and coming up shortly on your left hand side………”

Whenever possible, tell visitors what they will see a little in advance, prepare them briefly and, when the subject comes clearly into view, point it out and add a little more information about it. In this way visitors will not miss things.

As you practice and gain in experience, your timing will  improve.

Leave a Reply