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CẨM NANG KIẾN THỨC CƠ BẢN CHO A LOCAL HOST

 

Lingo Connector aims to address the needs of two distinct groups; learners of English language and international travelers. English learners will benefit through gaining opportunities to practice using communicative English, while international travelers will derive the benefits of unique and culturally authentic travel experiences facilitated by local insight.

 

Lời Giới Thiệu

 

Lingo Connector là dự án cộng đồng để hổ trợ mọi người học và nâng cao tiếng Anh. Website  Lingo Connector sẽ tạo platform để mọi người kết nối với người nước ngoài và các bạn học tiếng Anh khác.

Web cũng cho phép users viết bài cho website, như viết về điểm du lịch yêu thích, giới thiệu các events/clubs/festivals, tổ chức các buổi đi du lịch với sự tham gia của người Việt và người nước ngoài; Viết bài giới thiệu các quán ăn, cafe...ở địa phương mà users yêu thích.

Lingo Connector cũng tạo nền tảng để các trung tâm tiếng Anh quảng bá dịch vụ Homestay Tourism cho người nước ngoài. Tây sẽ ở tại homestay và nói tiếng Anh hàng ngày với các học viên.

Lingo Connector cũng hổ trợ tìm kiếm việc làm cho Tây hay các công ty có thể tuyển Tây về làm việc. Ngoài ra, bản thân mọi user cũng có thể tự quảng cáo bản thân để tìm việc liên quan đến tiếng Anh.

 

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Lingo-Connector-International-Traveler-Local-Community-175845203164947/


Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/VietnameseFreeTourguide/

 

MỘT SỐ HƯỚNG DẪN BAN ĐẦU

 

Để trở thành  Member của Lingo Connector rất đơn giản, các bạn chỉ cần like page and join group Lingo Connector. Người ta sẽ hỏi về Lingo Connector, các bạn sẽ giới thiệu là LC is a non-profit project that connects international Travelers with Vietnamese people, mainly English learners, who are willing to be a tour guide for the purpose of learning English and introducing Vietnamese culture to international friends.

Ngoài ra, các bạn sẽ giới thiệu thêm về các tính năng của website Lingo Connector như:

  1. Web cũng cho phép users viết bài cho website, như viết về điểm du lịch yêu thích, giới thiệu các events/clubs/festivals, tổ chức các buổi đi du lịch với sự tham gia của người Việt và người nước ngoài; Viết bài giới thiệu các quán ăn, cafe...ở địa phương mà users yêu thích;
  2. Lingo Connector cũng tạo nền tảng để users cung cấp dịch vụ Homestay Tourism cho người nước ngoài;
  3. Lingo Connector cũng hổ trợ tìm kiếm việc làm cho Tây hay các công ty có thể tuyển Tây về làm việc.

Để hiểu rõ hơn các bạn cần làm gì, các bạn nên in ra và đọc bộ tài liệu tổng hợp dưới đây trước khi bước vào môi trường tour guide thực tế. Yên tâm, chúng tôi luôn ủng hộ và hổ trợ các bạn.

 

HOW TO START & MAINTAIN A COVERSATION IN ENGLISH

 

Are you learning English and want to start real conversations with native English speakers? Or perhaps you're learning another language, and would like ideas for how to get speaking practice.

I know it can be scary to start a conversation with someone, or to join a group conversation – especially in your second language. You might be wondering “What do I say?” or “What if I say the wrong thing?” or “What if people think I’m stupid?”

Here’s the problem for language learners: What you learn in the classroom sometimes just isn’t relevant to everyday situations. You would never start a conversation with “How many uncles and aunts do you have?” or “What is the colour of your hair?”

Here’s another problem. All languages – including English – are much more than just a list of words and grammar rules. Language exists for communication. It's about connecting with people. Speaking conversational English is usually just about knowing the right thing to say in any given situation. That’s rarely taught in classrooms.

With that in mind, we answer the question “What’s the right thing to say when you want to have a conversation in English?” You’ll learn questions, phrases and expressions that you can use to confidently start conversations with native English speakers. Think of this as your guide to starting conversations with English speaking strangers in a natural way.

There are two types of situations:

  • Speaking one-on-one
  • Speaking in a group

I’ve also included specific phrases and expressions based on the context of where you’re speaking.

  • Context: Location — Seeing someone in a restaurant, cafe, airport or at school can have an impact on the sorts of things you can say.
  • Context: Event — Are you at a party? Attending a wedding? At a concert? We’ll share some phrases that will help you based on what is going on around you.

Using these phrases will improve your conversation skills, so practice them and soon you’ll be starting conversations in English!

  1. How to Get Over the Fear of Starting a Conversation in English

Before we get into the thick of things, I’ll let you in on the mindset you need to have when starting up a conversation.

The fear of speaking to strangers really comes from the fear of seeming “weird” or looking foolish. You're essentially afraid of the other person’s reactions, like a strange look that says “I don’t want to talk to you”, or even someone laughing at you. (Of course, this very rarely happens in real life!).

To be honest, I still experience moments of fear when I start conversations in a language I’m learning. It sometimes takes me a few minutes to get into the flow. Just know that this feeling is totally normal. Try to accept it as normal, and not to worry about it too much.

Step 1: Be Friendly!

The first key to feeling relaxed and getting over your fear is to have a good time and be friendly. Smile and enjoy the experience of meeting someone new. If you can relax and enjoy getting to know someone, then that will be felt by the other person and it will put them at ease.

Talking with someone who is super serious and has a grave expression is rarely enjoyable, so why put someone else through that? Relax your face and turn that frown upside down!

Talk to people as you would talk to a friend, and they may just become one.

Step 2: Take the Pressure Off

A lot of fear around starting conversations comes from putting pressure on yourself to have a certain result from the conversation.

So, stop having specific expectations about what will happen! Whatever happens, happens. Don’t expect anything from yourself or the other person other than getting to know them a little better.

Also, don’t force a topic or be aggressive in what you’re trying to say. That type of energy is a turn-off to someone you’ve just met. Let the conversation flow naturally.

Finally, realize that you don’t need to become BFFs (“Best Friends Forever”) with your conversation partner. There are millions of native speakers out there, so becoming friends with this one person won’t determine your success as an English speaker. If the conversation doesn’t go well, that’s okay. The next opportunity is just around the corner.

Step 3: Remember, the World Doesn’t Revolve Around You

Don’t make the conversation only about yourself. Try to ask questions about the other person’s life. Only interject things about yourself when they are actually relevant to the topic.

What if they ask you a question about yourself? Answer it. But then ask them the same question. Often people ask questions they secretly want to be asked themselves, so turn the question around and see what your conversation partner has to say.

The most important thing is to not be forceful or seem desperate. Bring things up naturally and casually. People should never feel pressured to talk with you, so help them feel comfortable.

Step 4: Be Honest

When asking questions or talking about something, don’t make something up just because you memorized a particular phrase.

For example, don’t say “I love cats too!” if you actually hate cats. Or avoid saying “My uncle works in a factory” when you don’t even have an uncle, let alone one that works in a factory.

Make sure you say things that are true, even if it means searching for the words you need. Otherwise, you could end up in a really awkward situation.

Step 5: Avoid Closed-Loop Questions

Questions that can only be answered with “yes” or “no” are what I call closed-loop questions, because they close down conversation. Open loop questions work much better when your aim is to keep a conversation going.

Let’s look at the difference between these through a couple of examples. Instead of asking the closed question “Do you like apple juice?”, ask the open question “What is your favourite type of juice?”. Or, instead of asking “Do you like spaghetti?” you can ask “How often do you eat Italian food?”

Open-loop questions or else called WH- questions (such as, what, when, where, who, whom, why, and how) invite further discussion, whereas “yes” or “no” questions usually create a hindrance that discontinues the conversation.

Now that you have the right mindset, let’s get into what you can say to start up and maintain some great conversations.

STEP 6: ACCEPT THAT YOUR MISTAKES AND DIFFICULTIES ARE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF LEARNING

Learning a new language is hard. As English learners, we have to accept the fact that we make mistakes when we are mastering the language. It is a natural part of the learning process, and it is the price you have to pay to develop fluency. No one can avoid that natural process, but through it, we learn.

You have to know that even native English speakers make mistakes, especially in conversational contexts. Beginners obviously make more mistakes compared to native speakers. But it is ok, even encouraged, for you to misunderstand a word or a phrase, to misuse or to mispronounce a new vocabulary you stumble upon. You do not succeed in anything in life if you aren't prepared to make mistakes.

It is essential to understand that native speakers do not judge you for making mistakes. Rather, they recognize that you have the ability to connect and communicate and sure enough, they are willing to help you correct your mistake during your English learning journey.

So, put your worry away!

  1. Conversation Starters for Speaking One-on-One

A conversation has specific phases that it goes through. These include starting the conversation, elaborating on a topic, inviting a longer conversation, changing the topic, and closing the conversation.

When talking to someone one-on-one, you’ll find it helpful to look at each phase and figure out your approach for the phase. Here’s a specific structure you can follow:

Phase 1: Starting the Conversation

The best way to start up a conversation with someone you don’t know is to ask a question that's not too personal. Here are some examples of polite questions you can ask to get things going:

  • “Excuse me, do you have the time?” or “Do you know what time it is?”
  • “Hi. Is this seat taken?” if the answer is “no”, then you can follow up with “Do you mind if I sit here?”
  • “Pardon me. Do you know what time this place closes?” (assuming you are in a place of business, where “place” can be replaced with “restaurant” or “cafe” or “store”).

Even better, start a conversation by noticing something about the other person and commenting on it in a nice way. Here are some examples:

Note: whatever you see in [brackets] can be substituted for something specific to your conversation.

  • “That is a really nice [hat]. Can I ask where you got it?”
  • “I really like your [shoes]. Did you get them near here?”
  • “That’s a cool looking [phone]. Is it easy to use?”

Phase 2: Elaborating on a Topic

Now that you’ve started talking, you will need to elaborate on the established topic and continue talking.

If they answered your question, you can ask one or two follow up questions to get more details, such as:

  • “Is that store near here?”
  • “Was it good value?” (Try to avoid asking for specific monetary amounts of items like “How much did it cost?” as that can be considered rude)
  • “Do they have other colours available?”

Next, provide some context to why you asked them the question in the first place. Here are some examples:

  • “The reason I asked is because I’ve been thinking about replacing my phone.”
  • “I’ve been looking for a hat like that to give to my friend.”
  • “Yeah, the shoes I have are getting worn out. It’s time to get a new pair.”

And, as always, if someone is being helpful, don’t forget to thank them!

  • “Thanks for the suggestion.”
  • “I appreciate the information.”
  • “Thank you. That was really helpful.”

Phase 3: Extending the Conversation with More Questions

You can usually tell when a person is losing interest in a conversation. If you reach that point, then excuse yourself and be on your way.

However, if you feel like the person may be receptive to a longer conversation, then why not talk a bit more and get to know them better? Here are some more general questions you can ask to keep the conversation going.

  • “Are you from this area?”
  • “So, what do you do for a living?”
  • “What brings you here today?”
  • “Do you come here a lot?”

Each of these questions can be used to extend the conversation and learn more about the other person. The idea here is to find common points of interest. When they mention something that relates to you and your life, this gives you an opportunity to explore that topic more fully.

Phase 4: Exploring a Topic Further

When your conversation arrives at a topic that you’re comfortable speaking about in English, then this is your chance to discuss it in more depth.

As an example, let’s say that you discovered your conversation partner has a cat. You have a cat too. Time to show some photos of your cat on your smartphone!

Or, if the person mentions they are a vegetarian and you happen to be vegetarian, now you have something in common. Why not ask about their favourite vegetarian recipes?

Here are some sentences and phrases that may come in handy to dive in deeper with a topic:

  • “Really? I’m a [vegetarian] too! What made you decide to [stop eating meat]?”
  • “I love [cats]! In fact I [have two]. What type of [cats] do you have?”
  • “[Football] is my favourite sport! What team do you support?”
  • “You’re kidding! I [drive a motorcycle] as well. What type of [bike] do you have?”

The idea here is to let them know you share a common interest, then ask them to share more details.

Remember to talk about the other person more than yourself. For example, instead of going off on a long tangent about your favourite recipes, ask them for theirs. It shows that you are truly interested in getting to know them and they will be more open to continuing the conversation.

Phase 5: Asking for Opinions

Everyone has an opinion on something, and many people like to share them with others. Here are some questions you can ask to get the other person’s view on a situation or topic:

  • “I don’t know. What do you think?”
  • “Has that been your experience too?”
  • “Has that ever happened to you?”
  • “Why do you think that is (the case)?”
  • “Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

Once people start sharing their opinions, you open up the door for a whole new area of conversation. Just be careful not to probe too far into sensitive topics such as politics or religion.

Phase 6: Changing the Topic

Sometimes a conversation can start to fade and you find things are winding down. If you sense your conversation partner is losing interest in talking about your impressive collection of snowglobes, it’s probably time to change the topic!

Here are some ways you can switch to other topics:

  • “That reminds me …”
  • “Oh hey. Did you hear that …”
  • “Speaking of [horses], I found out that …”

Or, if you want to make a more abrupt change, you can just say it directly with:

  • “Okay, I’m totally changing the topic now, but I was wondering …”
  • “Not to go off topic, but I recently heard that …”

Phase 7: Inviting Your Conversation Partner to Talk Longer

After about 10 or 15 minutes, it’s worth checking that your conversation partner wants to continue talking. Get confirmation that they want to be in the conversation so you can be sure they aren’t just being polite.

Here are some questions you can ask to see if it’s possible to maintain a longer talk.

  • “I’m not keeping you from something, am I?”
  • “Sorry for taking up so much of your time. Do you need to take off?”
  • “I just realised you’re probably in the middle of something. Do you have time to chat?”
  • “Let me know if you need to get going. I don’t want to take up all your time.”

These sorts of expressions show that you are being considerate of your conversation partner’s needs.

Phase 8: Closing the Conversation

Part of being a good conversationalist is knowing when to stop talking. When the conversation ends, find a way for them to get in touch with you in the future. If you feel like they might want to chat again, you can give them an opportunity with some of these phrases:

  • “Well, if you ever want to chat again, I’m usually here [every Monday afternoon].”
  • “Let me give you my email address. If you’re ever in the area again it’d be great to meet up.”
  • “Feel free to call me if you want to hang out. Here, I’ll give you my number.”

And remember to make them feel appreciated and end every conversation with a positive note!

  • “I really enjoyed our chat. Thanks so much.”
  • “It was really nice meeting you.”
  • “I had a great time talking with you. Hope to see you again soon.”
  • “Take care”/ “Have a nice day/week/trip”

 

  1. Joining and Talking in a Group Conversation

Not all your conversations are going to be a one-on-one encounter. Sometimes you will be joining a group where others are talking.

The most important skill in group situations is listening. Pay attention to the conversation and interject only when it is relevant.

Many of the phrases you’ve learned so far in this article can work in group situations. You can also add to a group conversation with other types of phrases, such as sharing your experiences or thoughts, asking questions to the group, or making connections between two people.

Here are some phrases you can use:

Sharing Experiences or Ideas

If you have something to add to the conversation, here are a few examples of how you can do it:

  • “Actually, that happened to me once. It was really [annoying].”
  • “I totally agree. The same thing happened to me too.”
  • “That’s pretty common. I heard that a lot of people had the same experience.”

You don’t need to share too much, but let the group know that you have more information to add. If they want to know more, they can ask for details.

Asking Questions to the Group

If you notice that some people in a group aren’t participating as much in a conversation you can ask questions for the whole group. Here are some questions to stimulate more dialogue:

  • “Has anyone ever … ?”
  • “How many of you think that …?”
  • “Do a lot of you … ?”
  • “Which one of you … ?”

Or, you can direct it to an individual. Just be sure not to single them out in an uncomfortable way. Here are some examples:

  • “What do you think [Diana]? Has that ever happened to you?”
  • “Hey [Carlos]. Didn’t you also … ?”

 

Making Connections Between Two People

You may realise that two of the people in the group have something in common. You can make people feel included and connected by sharing these observations with the group. Here are some ways to do it:

  • “Actually, [Navvab], didn’t you go there last year too?”
  • “You should ask [Samson] about that. He had the same thing happen to him.”
  • “[Makoto] has the same phone! Where’d you get yours [Makoto]?”

This can help people feel like a part of the group. Of course, don’t let out anyone’s secrets!

Closing the Conversation or Leaving the Group

If you have to get going and want to excuse yourself from the group, here are some quick and easy ways to do so:

  • “Hey, I better get going. I have a long day tomorrow.”
  • “Hey Guys. Sorry, but I have to run. It was great chatting with you all.”
  • “Oh man, it’s getting late. I better head out.”
  • “Alright guys. Time for me to go. Have a good one.”

 

  1. Conversation Starters in Context: On Location

Often what you say directly relates to where you are.

Whether you're in a restaurant, the airport or on the job, you should have some phrases handy to start up a conversation that relates to your location.

In a Restaurant or Cafe

Here are phrases and expressions you can use to start and maintain a conversation in a restaurant or cafe:

  • “Do you have a recommendation on any good dishes?”
  • “What would you recommend for someone who hasn’t eaten here before?”
  • “What is the best drink here?”
  • “Do you know if the [chow mein] is any good?”
  • “Have you ever had the [asparagus]?”
  • “If you had to eat just one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?”
  • “What is your favourite dessert?”
  • “What is your favourite spicy dish?” (They don’t like spicy? Great! Ask them why, and keep the conversation going.)
  • “The chicken is out of this world! So yummy!”
  • “Are you a vegetarian?”
  • “I especially like the wonderful [chicken dish] from here. How about you?”
  • “They have a special menu of [beef rice]. Would you want some?”

Finally, here are some phrases you can use at the end of your conversation:

  • “Enjoy your pasta!”
  • “Have a good meal!”
  • “Bon appetite!”

 

In Someone’s Home

If you’re visiting someone’s home you’re in luck! There are an endless supply of possible things to talk about. Just look around the house and you’ll see many things to bring up and discuss.

  • “How long have you lived here?”
  • “Where did you get this [bookshelf]?” (or television, chair, porcelain fountain, etc.)
  • “What is your favourite thing about this house?”
  • “How many people live here?”
  • “How many rooms does this house have?”
  • “Is this house close to [your work]?” (or school, or the park, or the airport, etc.)
  • “How far away is the [supermarket]?”

One easy way to get your partner to respond well to the conversation naturally is complementation! Get them talking about something by admiring it!

  • “Wow! Your area is so peaceful!”
  • “This is such a dream home!”
  • “I am in love with your choice of wall paper!”
  • “What a beautiful piece of artwork you have!”
  • “I am impressed with your choice of style! You should be an interior designer/ artist!”
  •  

And here are a few home-specific statements that you can say when leaving someone’s home:

  • “Thank you for having me over!”
  • “Thanks for inviting me to your home.”
  • “I had a wonderful time.”

 

In the Street

Sometimes you bump into someone when you are out and about. They might be sitting on a park bench, or waiting in line at the bus stop. Here are some questions and statements you can use to start and keep up a conversation:

  • “Do you know where a [bakery] is around here?”
  • “What street is this?”
  • “Do you know what time [bus 37] comes by?”
  • “Where can I buy a [bottle of water]?”
  • “What is your favourite thing about [this park]?”
  • “How crowded are the buses when they get to this stop?”
  • “Can you recommend a good restaurant around here?” This can be followed by “What is your favourite dish there?”

 

At the Airport

From personal experience I know that airports are often a place where you have to “hurry up to wait”. You rush through customs or security only to sit at the gate waiting for your plane for several hours (or longer if it is delayed). This is a great chance to chat to someone in English. Here are some phrases that can get things started:

  • “Have they announced the boarding time for this flight?”
  • “Is there a place to charge a phone nearby?”
  • “So, where are you headed today?”
  • “Do you know what time we arrive at the destination?”
  • “Is this your preferred airline?” followed by “why is that?”
  • “Are you flying home or are you flying away from home?”
  • “Where is the favourite place you’ve ever visited?”
  • “Have you ever had the chance to fly in first or business class?” then “what was it like?”
  • “Can you recommend any good restaurants or sights in [Buenos Aires]?”

Because you’re flying somewhere, odds are you will never see your conversation partner again. That means you don’t have to worry about making a fool out of yourself because your connection with them will be short lived and temporary. Plus, there is a good chance someone you talk to may have some great suggestions about places to see or things to do in your destination city.

On the Job

If you’re working among English speakers, then this is a perfect chance to strike up a conversation. After all, you already have something in common! Here are some phrases you can use to start up a conversation with a work colleague:

  • “How did you come to work here?”
  • “What is your favourite place to eat lunch near the office?”
  • “What do you enjoy most about your job?”
  • “What is your eventual career plan?”
  • “What do you think is the most important thing to succeed in this company?”

 

At School

You may be a student and find yourself surrounded by English speaking students, or perhaps there is an English speaking student at your school. Why not get to know them better? Here are some questions you can use:

  • “How long have you been a student here?”
  • “What are you studying?”
  • “What do you recommend to eat on campus?”
  • “Do you know a good, quiet place to study?”
  • “What do you plan to do when you finish your studies?”

As you can see, you really can make friends anywhere, and you should never be at a loss for a way to start up a conversation.

  1. Conversation Starters: Events

You’ve been invited to a special event and want to be able to start up a conversation with the people there. The wonderful thing about events is that you automatically have a point of common interest. Just explore that common thread further to weave a full tapestry of interesting conversations.

At a Birthday Party

A birthday party is a fun place to get to know someone and it’s really easy to start speaking with a total stranger. Here are some phrases to help you get going:

  • “How do you know [the birthday person]?”
  • “What do you think of the [birthday cake]?”
  • “What is the best birthday party you’ve ever been to?”
  • “If you could re-live any year of your life, which one would it be?”
  • “When is your birthday?”

 

At a Wedding

The joining together of two people in marriage is a joyous event, and while you’re there throwing confetti and dancing the Conga, be sure to sit down and have a chat with someone new! Try out these phrases to help break the ice:

  • “Are you a friend of the bride or the groom?”
  • “Whats the best wedding you’ve ever been to?”
  • “If you were going to plan the perfect wedding for your best friend, what would it be like?”
  • “Do you like dressing up in formal attire?”
  • “Do you know where they are going on their honeymoon?”

 

At a Sporting Event

A match or game can be a perfect opportunity to make some fast friends. Connecting with others who share a passion for sport seems to automatically create a bond between people.

Here are some questions you can ask at the next big game:

  • “Who do you think will win?”
  • “Have you been following all the matches this season?”
  • “Who is your favourite player?”
  • “Do you play the sport yourself?”
  • “What do you think the score will be?

 

At a Concert or Performance

Music fans love seeing their favourite performers on stage. If you have tickets to an event or are just sitting in a cafe watching someone strum a guitar, be sure to strike up a conversation with other music enthusiasts near you.

  • “What’s your favourite song of theirs?”
  • “Do you play music yourself?” or “Do you play an instrument?” or “Do you sing?”
  • “How often do you go to a show?”
  • “What do you like about this performer?”

 

Be Friendly, Considerate, and Open Your Mouth!

There you have it. One hundred and twenty five different ways to strike up a conversation and keep it going strong.

Sure, it can be intimidating when you consider talking to a total stranger. Especially when they speak a different language than you. Getting over your fears is the first step, not only in language learning, but in being able to meet fascinating people and make long-lasting friendships.

 

Just remember these main points:

  • Be friendly! — Even if the other person doesn’t have time to talk, at least they’ll appreciate your pleasant demeanour.
  • Take the pressure off — When you come in with expectations you may become easily disappointed. Just have fun and let whatever happens, happen!
  • Talk about them — They don’t want to hear your life story (At least not yet). Ask them questions that show you want to get to know them better, and they’ll probably reciprocate with the same.
  • Be honest — No need to make up an impressive story to get someone’s attention. Just be yourself and tell the truth.
  • Ask open loop questions — A “yes” or “no” can be a conversational dead end. Ask questions that spur on further discussion.

We’ve covered a lot of potential situations and questions or phrases you can use in each one. But whether you use these approaches or just throw on some random accessories, the goal is to speak at every opportunity.

You’ll notice I didn’t say the goal is to talk for 15 minutes. And I didn’t say the goal is to bring up a specific topic. The only goal is to open your mouth and start talking in your target language.

Getting a conversation started is the biggest hurdle. It is the one action that will have the most significant impact on your language learning (and friend making) success. Be open to whatever happens from that point forward and you will multiply your chances of improving your English.

 

HOW TO BE A GREAT TOUR GUIDE

 

Lesson 1: The tour guide duties and responsibilities:

 

  1. Do an in-depth research of the destination prior to the tour
  2. Plan and agree itineraries beforehand in the area
  3. Thinking of leading groups on coach, at site, and on foot
  4. Provide practical information, advices, and assistance
  5. Ensure the safety of guests (travelers) and the public at all times 
  6. Be quick and practical in emergency situations. Also, be prepared for any possible problems that might arise during the tour
  7. Develop positive relationships with visitors 
  8. Maintain approachable and friendly attitude throughout the entire trip
  9. Manage tour documents and anticipate expenses for the tour

 

If you plan to have tours that require overnight stays, you need to have a more detailed tour plan, including:

 

  1. Checking into hotels, en-route, and liaison with accommodation providers 
  2. Organizing and leading short tours en-route.

                           

Tour guide responsibilities, to your guests

 

  1. Provide your guest with honest information and explanation about destination, without prejudice 
  2. Give your guests a factual presentation that distinguishes true stories, traditions, and legends
  3. Act with tact and diplomacy
  4. Warn your guests about:
  • Bad weather and the necessary clothing to bring with 
  • Plants which might cause allergies 
  • Food allergies (If applicable)
  1. Caution of animal bite
  2. Presence of pick-pockets in crowded areas
  3. Check luggage and personal belonging before leaving 

 

Tour guide responsibilities to yourself

 

  1. If you get asked question that you can’t answer be honest and respond with “I don’t know, I will find out for you”, and do it as soon as possible
  2. Practice reasonable and fair teamwork with your friends

 

Tour guide responsibilities to places you are guiding tour  

 

  1. Protect the reputation of every place
  2. Treat your tours with respect for the environment, wildlife, sight & monuments, local customs and traditions
  3. Act responsibly as a representative of the country and the people of the destination

 

Lesson 2: How to Become a Good Tour Guide

  1. Consider your personal qualities

A good tour guide must possess and establish these below factors:

  • People-oriented: This work is all about interaction with people. It is a critical personal character that one must already have. You must enjoy dealing with people of all occupations, ages and different nationalities/backgrounds.
  • Energetic and in good health: Tour guiding requires a certain level of physical fitness as the duty involves on going, walking and talking, constant moving on and off vehicles, unusual working hour outdoor and indoor.
  • A love for destinations you are guiding: Feeling passionate about any locations that you are tour guiding will give you more motivation in portraying the sites with interests and facts, which involve a touch of your personal experience, positive only. Those are essential to make the tour commentary memorable to your group of visitors. If you have to pretend to like a place, you shouldn’t be tour guiding there.
  • Knowledgeable: To establish your credibility and optimize your time, you need to know thoroughly everything about the destination from the natural facts, historical stories, cultural lifestyle, the city’s attractions, local restaurants, the dos and the don’ts. This requires you to do additional research besides the basic knowledge in the training courses. You need to work hard in expanding your own knowledge, so your commentary is more informative and interesting. Knowledge is needed to provide better services to your guests in order to achieve more success in your life and better English.
  • Trustworthiness: it is critical that you establish an honest working ethic, so that your guests feel comfortable being on the tour you guide.
  • Patience: There are a lot of issues on tours that will test your patience, such as traffics, flight delays, friends and guests who get lost or lost track of time, dealing with the local officers or government and so on. Having a calm and collective mindset is necessary to keep yourself flexible at all kinds of situations in order to come up to the best solutions, and also to help your guests better. Be cool and mindful with your guests and the general public.
  • Organized: Timing is everything and therefore, to be well-prepared at all time. Knowing where to be, when to be, and what to bring will require you to carefully plan on your own checklist for all the necessary documents, booking (if needed), guest lists, transportation information. Each traveler might be different, so ensure everything is clear so you don’t waste time and looking unfriendly.
  • Puncture: As a tour guide, you will need to follow the schedule that you planned. Not only must you be on time, but you have to be early than anyone else. Be the first person to arrive at any departure point to wait for your guest is a way to create a good impression from the beginning with your guests.
  • Adaptable and flexible: Tours are subject to change in the last minute from time to time due to transportation or other aspects of the tour. Therefore, you need to be adaptable with all types of changes that might occur during the tour. Moreover, being flexible to come up with new solutions to operate within the trip will not only help to maintain a good trip, but also build up a better connection and relationship with your guests.
  • Resourceful and creative: As a tour guide, you need to expect the unexpected. Your guests might get sick during the trip. There are more people added or less people to the group. Changing route or one of the attractions you are scheduled to visit is closed. In such situations, it’s no time to be confused or stressed out but to immediately come up with other ways to fulfill the trip. The ability to be creative is one thing that differentiates tour guide. Those who are more creative and resourceful will indeed appear more reliable to guests.
  • Ethical: It is important that you maintain an ethical standard. You might get offer incentives under monetary or gift forms to take tourists to certain places, sites, or shops that are not in original established itinerary, in order for them to buy something from that particular destination. This is considered forbidden. Thus, it is necessary to keep in mind and not fallen into this trap.
  • Language skill: As a tour guide, you will be working with customers from all around the world. Therefore, being able to speak more than one language will give you a great advantage when communicating with customers. Moreover, tour guides need to possess excellent interpersonal skill and the ability to work unremittingly for their guests from the beginning of the trip until the end, when guests are returned safely.

 

  1. Follow the standards and licensing regulation

The World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations is an organization that is charged with setting high level professionalism within the tour guiding sector, and has developed a code of guiding practice for its member guides:

  • To provide a professional service to visitors, professional in care and commitment and professional in providing an objective understanding of the place visited, free from prejudice or propaganda.
  • To ensure that, as far as possible, what is presented as fact is true, and that a clear distinction is made between this truth and stories, legends, traditions or opinions.
  • To act fairly and reasonable in all dealing with all those who engage the services of guides and with colleagues working in all aspect of tourism.
  • To protect the reputation of tourism in our country by making every endeavor to ensure that guided groups treat with respect the environment, wildlife, sites and monuments and also local customs and sensitivities.
  • As representatives of the host country to welcome visitors and act in such a way as to bring credit to the country visited and promoted as a tourist destination, there are many national organizations around the world that set standards of tour guides operating within their boundaries. In some countries, tour guides are accredited by these organizations.
  • Acquiring professional qualifications that are verified by the tour guiding associations.
  • Licensing regulations are in place to ensure that visitors are not subjected to harassment at popular attractions nor are they ripped off by inexperienced people posing as tour guides. In some cities, depends on its regulations, a tour guide license might be required.  Therefore, it is best to check with the city council before starting your job.

 

  1. Get tour guiding training and qualifications

One of the key qualifications to be a good tour guide is the up-to-date broad knowledge about the located destination. Each country has its own tour guiding licensing accreditation system. Thus, we recommend that prospective tour guides do thoroughly research in the area they want to follow in order to acquire relevant qualification certificates.

You can begin a career in tour guiding by working in a specific attraction, such as a museum, castle or art gallery. While learning about the attraction is easy as the area of focus is small, once you have established yourself as an attraction or site tour guide, you may then progress to tour guiding in your local area before setting your sights on international tour guiding.

As foundation to any destination or geographical knowledge, a general qualification in tourism is a great place to start. Each country has its own such qualifications, and their content is remarkably similar. Core subjects will include the tourism industry, communication skills, problem-solving, health & safety and dealing with emergencies,  presentation techniques, local geography, local culture and history, practical tour guiding in the local area, practical tour guiding in local attractions, tour guiding management and administration.

 

 

Lesson 3: Presentation skills for Tour Guides

 

Public speaking comes under a lot of different forms. The two most important forms required for tour guide work are presentation and commentary. Public engaging, connecting with the guests is a fundamental aspect to being a good host. Commentary is a technique when a host engages his or her visitors on a tour bus, boat or other onboard transportations with commentaries about the upcoming location or any fun facts or comments to keep visitors informed and entertained.

Presentations are usually conducted face-to-face at an attraction or a tourist excite. Vocal delivery is the most important part of a presentation where hand motions, body languages, and tone of voice must be used wisely to increase engagement. A presentation enables the tour guide to show his group that he is enthusiast and devoted to deliver the best for his guests.

Tour commentary planning

For the best quality of any public presentation or commentary, a thorough planning is compulsory and you can achieve it by following these basic steps: understand the needs and interests of your tour group in order to create an interesting schedule; carefully research and gather all the detailed information about the sites to be visited; prepare the text based on these facts and any additional anecdotes that might be relevant; read through the text and practice the delivery until you are confident delivery your speech without the needs to

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