A fun tour should be like a roller coaster and it’s you who has the power to design the experience, and most importantly, to make it fun. Stick with the idea that a roller coaster is an attraction with a flawless design, that focuses on experiences that have been adapted to a space or a place and take into account the theme or history of this place.
A unique experience that can only occur in that specific place (our tour) will be designed to engage with our senses, it must have elements of surprise, curiosity, motivation, and leave the walker with a lasting impression. It is important to be clear and have an idea about how you are going to interact with their impressions, their senses and emotions.
Like every good roller coaster the beginning and the end should have a surprise, that wow effect! But remember, the last part should always be the best of the tour closing with that wow effect! This achieves a remarkable experience, one that is memorable and stands out among all the other new experiences.
It is important to make a tour fun…
Because when we meet a fun person we feel more secure and better accompanied.
Because if you really want travelers to learn something from you, you have to be fun as well as professional, people who have fun personalities are generally friendly and easily accepted by others to learn some new things about a travel destination, since “you can only learn what you love,” says Francisco Mora, a specialist in Neuroscience.
Because doing a fun tour is highly valued by walkers and the first thing they are going to consider is if they had a good time, or if they had fun. The more fun everyone has the bigger the tips will be.
What factors will influence the ascent of this rollercoaster?
1. Be Original
Be yourself, you may not like everyone, but showing ourselves just as we are naturally to others conveys confidence and security.
Being spontaneous, or improvising as you would naturally, make things interesting, for example:
If someone new arrives to do the tour or is late, ask the rest of the group as if they are the ones in charge, get them involved and you say that you are not going to take anyone else. It’s always interesting when someone new arrives once the tour has started, you tell everyone about it, let them make a verdict and participate actively with them! Turn that situation into a more natural experience and bond with your walkers. Let them have a say, everyone understands that people can be delayed in an unknown place and generally will let them join with no problem.
Or the indiscreet call, as I call it. When a mother, the husband/wife or kids call the walkers up during a tour, and you ask them jokingly, “why did you forget to put your cell phone in silence!” Or even better, when one of the walkers picks up that important business call, jokingly say something to make them think that the person is doing anything but working, like at a Casino and get the other walkers to all make Casino noises and that embarrassing moment becomes fun, everyone has a laugh and enjoys the tour a lot more because you are acting naturally.
Anyone who has already done a tour will compare the previous experience with yours. If they do not find anything new they may lose interest, that is why being genuine as well as becoming incomparable will help you get their attention and provide a unique experience.
People react to a smile thanks to mirror neurons in our brains, so if we smile we are likely to receive one back.
Smiling causes people to feel more of a sense of trust, they feel more relaxed and a greater willingness to cooperate is generated. Use this natural reflex to interact and make the tour fun. It is not about keeping a smile all the time, because you might seem a little crazy if you did that …
If smiling does not come naturally try to remember something that makes you laugh. Nobody likes to receive a false smile, so it is important that you enjoy what you do that you get to have fun. One more thing about the smile, if it is forced it will not have the same effect but perhaps it is better than an always serious face, people also value the effort.
3. Mood and attitude
Show your desire to have a good time, support it with your attitude and your work.
Our mood is one of the main factors to our tour being fun and entertaining. If you show a desire to have a good time, surely you will enjoy being able to spread it to everyone.
This is one of the things that walkers usually value the most. A pleasant, friendly, kind, funny person that makes your day or helps you have a good time. Of course, you are expected to be professional, not only with being funny, but there must be a previous job behind that, but if in addition to professional you are fun, you will be much more valued.
There are different ways to prepare yourself to have a good mood or arouse vitality.
- Doing sports or getting some physical exercise before a tour
- Taking care of what you eat before the tour
- Having a quiet coffee and focusing on what you want to do and say
- Listening to music that activates you, or concentrates you
In the end, everyone has those things that make him or her feel good before a tour to be able to convey that feeling of well-being, that state of readiness.
4. The emotions
We have to involve our audience emotionally.
Knowing how to play with emotions is essential to generating that roller coaster’s twists, its ups, and downs.
Look to convey positive emotions such as: joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, fun, wonder or love. You can do this at the different stops according to what you have in each of them. You can analyze each stop and specify the emotion in which you are going to insist and transmit them through your narrative action.
But the negatives can also be present, if you think many of the stories, legends or anecdotes are interesting for how their protagonists managed their emotions, before jealousy, envy, fears, arrogance, guilt, etc. You can create some interesting emotional contrasts that truly endear your walkers if you do it well.
It has to do with knowledge, especially those facts that allow someone to develop their own critical judgment. Know about the ways of life, the artistic, scientific, and industrial context of an era, social groups, etc.
Most travelers love to learn something new, a main reason why they choose to do a tour with a person who lives in that place. If you bring them a vision enriched with time and analysis of that place, their experience will always be rich and varied and they will remember it even more. Seek to be able to relate themes from the past with themes from the present, relate ideas in an ingenious way or make a proper, well-argued judgment, and you are on the right track to making a very successful tour.
For example, analyze a work of art such as The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb from a marketing information system point of view or from the narrative of the comic, from the sound art in the painting, etc.
Search different sources of information and try to connect those things that you are passionate about, such as the story at a certain time with a specific character (a philosopher, a writer, a painter) who passed by and what was the social context of why he had to move there, with what was negotiated as was the life there at that time social relations, etc…
The fun will not come out of only just how you do it, but because you are an interesting person, who has a lot of knowledge and transmits it in a peculiar way.
6. The approach
Each person has a different way of perceiving the world and that is great, with a particular approach you can generate very funny mental images.
We love to hear other people’s stories, they always reveal things that are perhaps beyond our field of reference. They tell us about interests, about those things that clash with mentality, or cultural differences. If you like certain things that nobody else does, maybe these can be interesting for others. If you are very detailed, twisted, exaggerated, rigorous, ironic you can build a very peculiar approach and this can be very attractive and fun in turn.
A very curious example of how to make it fun, is to compare our way of life now with that of a king of a specific era, like the fifteenth century, a feast of those before with a simple daily meal of now or the invention of toilet paper, which many kings could not enjoy (now we live better than the kings of that time) and highlight how overvalued the pebble stones were in ancient Greece.
7. Know your audience
If you know what is funny to your audience, you have the power to make them have a good time.
It is important to know what things they know about, and try to tie them to the topics you are discussing on the tour. Also, ask them, don’t be shy! He thinks that in each country the story is explained differently, equal words are used differently and we have different customs. Become aware of the language you use and try to adapt it according to your needs. For example:
-A guru said on a tour with a group of German tourists, that you better use sun protection, otherwise you’ll end up with a Greek condition where you go crazy and cross the street when it’s red. Of course, the Germans found that hilarious since they are known for waiting patiently at the crosswalk.
-Play with the topics a little. I took a group to a waffle shop and we were all watching how they made the waffles from the window, then I told them that I took them there because it was what Spanish people loved the most, everyone said, “Ahhhh waffles!” and I said, “No watching other people work.” which made them all laugh, with the unexpected twist to that topic.
For a tour to be fun, there has to be very good communication, you have to be a great communicator, and connect with your audience.
Listening and being empathetic is key to this. But communicating is also directly related to the way of seeing things. How would someone interpret it, or how would their eyes be seeing it for the first time? If you are able to respond to this, you can find a way to make things more fun and overall more enjoyable on your tour.
A tour is fun because, just like a roller coaster, it has its twists and turns and its ups and downs. It is new and exciting around each turn for the walkers.
In the tour there must be a multitude of stories, legends, anecdotes, practical information and the possibility to play with the imagination and the possibility to enjoy the environment where real life is mixed with what no longer exists, or perhaps never existed. You should have a story, a legend, or an event to move them and to connect with everyone. These are very useful for talking about emotions.
“Divertere” which also means moving away, the ancients used it as the idea of getting away, of separating yourself from the ordinary, leaving work to address the idle, that is how we would get the word “have fun.”
Strive to make a fun tour and prepare a climactic final where at the end the concluding feeling is “wow!”
If you have never done a tour and don’t know how to get started, here are some ideas ( Do you need English subtitles? press the settings button in the video)