Tour Commentaries are the narratives tour guides use to describe a sight and provide information about various aspects of Ukraine country to passengers while on a ukrainian tour. This is generally referred to as “guidespeak”.
Tour commentaries can include general information about Ukraine and local stories about Kiev attractions, events and personalities in the country, and in particular the attraction or sight.
The procedure for preparing tour commentaries includes establishing the needs and interests of the tour group in Kiev or another ukrainian city, confirming the itinerary, accessing sources of information about sights to be visited, researching facts about Kiev sights to be visited and preparing the text of the commentary based on these facts.
Here are some steps in delivering a tour commentary, worked out by our Travel2Ukraine Group of private tour guides.
• Confirm the interests and expectations of the tourists at the outset of the tour. It is usually preparatory work done before the Kiev tour.
• Start by introducing yourself and clearly state the purpose of the tour.
• En route to attractions as well as at the sights, present the commentary you have prepared beforehand. Conversational, not by memorization or rote.
• Make your commentary interesting, relevant, simple, and delivered in a logical sequence.
• Be sensitive to the interests of the group and deliver the guidespeak tailored to the group.
• Seek feedback throughout the tour to ensure that you are holding the tour visitors’ attention.
• Respond to visitor enquiries as accurately and positively as you can. When you do not immediately have an answer, refer to field guides and other sources of information.
• Focus on what you know; be specific and express the information in terms of what the tourists can see.
• If you do not find the answer to a question the visitor needs, apologize and refer the enquiry to an alternative source of information.
• Be accommodating and flexible towards members of the group, allowing for different points of view and ways of doing things.
• Allow enough time at each stop, to permit each tourist to fully enjoy and gain information with private time at the stop.
Keeping tour commentary fresh
It is fundamental to enjoying the job of a Tour Guide in Kiev and for the visitor taking the tour more than once, that the tour guide keep the commentary fresh. In this way the tour guide relieves some tedium from the narration and the performance continue to be top notch.
How the commentary may be kept lively:
– Keep up-to-date with what is new on the subject, or at the sight. This will give some measure of energy to the tour guide and consequently the narration.
– Strive for continuous improvement in the performance. Review your performance for the day, take an informal poll of the visitors and make amendments each tour time.
– Look at the sight or attraction product through the eyes of the visitor. Remember most may be seeing the sight for the first time. Imagine what can be improved, what may be of interest and anticipate questions so the answers may be ready.
– As a performer, draw on the group’s energy-, the guide may feel renewed during the many tours. So look at visitor reactions, feel their enthusiasm then perk up those that may seem dull or distracted by asking open and probing questions.