I’m often asked what tour guide skills make the ‘perfect guide’.
For me, it’s a combination of technical expertise and invisible skills that come with both practice and preparation. Most of which are completely invisible to guests but create a smooth and engaging experience.
This article will outlay some of the tour guide skills that I see in above-average guides.
Share this article
Excellent Tour Guide Skills
Repeats their tricks but make it feel fresh & spontaneous.
A phenomenal guide has varies elements that they repeat each tour, even if it feels like it’s only happening for you on your experience. For example, creating moments that can be replicated, or sharing a story in a way that makes you think they’ve only just thought of it.
One of the hardest parts of being a tour guide is keeping your energy up, and the good ones know how to conserve it wherever they can.
Subtly draws a clear & distinct line between casually chatting and giving official tour content.
If you’ve ever felt a special connection to a guide, chances are that they spent some one-on-one time with you, whether sitting next to you at a meal or chatting with you as you walked to the next stop. However there is a very fine line between a guide who is hanging out, and a guide who is an authoritative expert. Excellent guides can flip back and forth between both, being ‘the host’ and also ‘the educator’.
They’re always two steps ahead.
The best guides proactively get ahead of any challenges that might arise. They get as much information from their guests right at the start, and then use that to create a customized experience on the spot. You’ll see this in seasoned guides especially as they’ve seen enough guests to get a really good sense of how their group is going to get along, who might need extra attention, etc.
They are prepared for things to go wrong.
Something goes wrong on almost every tour. It’s the nature of the business. But an extraordinary guide has backup plans in place and won’t show their stress if a bigger challenge pops up.