Fearful of Public Speaking as Tour Guide? Connect with ITMI’s Coach!
You hear your name called and your mouth becomes the Sahara Desert. A cruel clamminess crawls across every inch of your skin. You stand up and you can’t feel your feet. OMG! You can’t feel your feet. Are you even walking right now? What if you trip? Well, you might not have to speak if you trip badly enough. Hmm.
Ok, you didn’t trip, and here you are. Your hands are shaking. Everybody’s looking at you – waiting.
Fear of public speaking can be so crippling, especially as a tour guide, that it keeps you from pursuing your passions. Perhaps you’ve avoided a career in tour directing or tour guiding because it means doing the unthinkable – speaking in front of 50 guests of a group and are rewarded for lifting each other up.
Here are five things to remember when speaking in front of a motorcoach tour group or group of your peers as a tour guide or tour director.
You are not alone: Research shows that 74% of people suffer from speech anxiety, or roughly three out of four people. It is the greatest fear that people have – greater than fear of spiders and death! Let’s say you are one of 8 students in your course. Chances are more than not, there are others experiencing anxiety very similar to yours. Take heart!
You are prepared: As a tour guide, you’ve done your homework, researched your topic thoroughly, and rehearsed in front of your mirror. You’ve got this. If you happen to stumble over a line or forget a fact, it’s not going to ruin the tour. There’s much more to leading a successful tour than memorizing a script. Allow your personality to shine through as a tour guide or tour director.
You are in charge: When you’re holding that microphone, you and you alone are leading the group. Empowering, isn’t it? The floor is yours. Just remember that not all will go as planned. In the event of a snag – a missed stop, for example – simply take a step back, breathe, compose yourself, and switch up your approach. Try engaging one of your more talkative group members with a fun question or a joke, a valuable skill for a tour guide.
You belong here: At ITMI we are with you every step of the way. From live group coaching to private tutoring to in person events. If your passion for travel, for meeting new people, and for experience new cultures is stronger than any negative voice in your head. Believe in yourself. All you have to do is follow your heart. The rest will fall into place.