A great virtual guide requires similar attributes as an in-person guide but with different emphases on them. To create a great guide, it needs to have seven major attributes:
- Compelling storytelling: Getting to the heart of what makes something great or makes it historically important engages people. Defining and stating what is in front of your audience is lackluster. If you are going to point something out, you need to weave it into a broader them of your guide or tell a story that brings the item or place to life.
- Clear language: in the virtual world, your audience may be from all different backgrounds. You need to make sure your language is understood by a broad populace and your diction is clear and distinct.
- Humor: It is okay to mix humor into your guides, especially if that is part of your personality. Show yourself off and be entertaining. You can use humor with all sorts of subject matters, even serious ones.
- Engagement: Ask questions about the subject matter and request feedback from your audience. Be open to suggestions that they come up with and incorporate those changes into future edits. Acknowledging your audience will also generate loyalty.
- Enthusiasm: If you show you love a subject it will come through in the medium that you use. Don’t hold back. Some tour guides tend to not show their personalities. The great thing about being virtual is that you can be quite comfortable just being yourself.
- Context: Explain why something is important or historically important or why it is considered beautiful. Tell a story about how the place or object was involved in an event that warrants the merit of a discussion. Show your knowledge while highlighting the essential information about the item.
- Local insight: Besides discussing the theme of your guide, make recommendations for a restaurant for a type of food that may fit within it or is just a great local place to eat. You could provide local sources of additional information about the subject matter. Your local knowledge will help show your expertise whether it is restaurants, parks, nightlife or even a decent restroom.
A great guide is created by someone who has a curiosity and can generate curiosity in their audience through a skillful mix of great content, personality and enthusiasm.
Now that you understand the attributes go try creating a great guide.
Excelent! One must love what one does – have that passion for communication as well as your tour subject.