A shorter tour is not always easier.

By Savannah Lore

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This weekend was our first annual Artisan Fair and it was my job to give the half hour tours of the home. With the amount of people that stopped by, I was able to give a lot of shorten tours back to back and I learned a few things about how I give tours and about giving tours in general. Here is a list of some things I found important to understand about giving shorten tours.

  1. When you do a shorter tour, you just don’t cut things out of your script. I realized this when I was giving multiple tours. You need to change the way you give the tour because there is a different pace to how you are showing the home. You have you give the main points sooner and more often. In a longer tour, I have time to introduce ideas and build on them. A shorter tour demands that guide need to pick a clear theme or one idea and rework the tour so the facts support that. This gets the visitors an idea to grab on to in the short time that you have to work with them.
  2. Pay attention to the numbers. The more people on the tour, the more time it takes to move them through the house. This follows that idea of pacing but in a physically sense. With larger groups, it takes more time for people to move through rooms and to settle. This means leaving time to some silence for them to enter the room and look around. If you move too fast, some people do not have time to process your interpretation. There is more talking and less people listening when you rush them through the house.
  3. Read the crowd. I think this a skill that every tour guide learns to do. I could see this much more clearly when I had tours back to back. Different groups react to different things. Experienced tour guides can read a group and can see how to approach certain topics. A shorter tour gives you less time to know the group so you have to get a quicker read on the situation.

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