How to Be a Funny Tour Guide and Delight Guests (2023)

We know a smile is a universal language, helping to connect people across cultures and traditions.And who doesn’t love to laugh?

Thankfully, laughter presents us with an opportunity to better understand each other. Humour can break the ice among tour guests to inspire a happy, attentive audience. In fact, travelers are more likely to pay attention if they have a reason to — and enjoying a good laugh is a great reason to listen.

Naturally, being a funny tour guide enhances your ability to bridge cultural gaps and bring your group together. With this said, being consistently funny in a group is a skill and one that’s built up with plenty of practice.

Making someone laugh can be one of the most effective ways to connect with them and curate a fun, enjoyable experience for all.

How to Be a Funny Tour Guide and Delight Guests (1)

How to deliver funny tour guide jokes

We already know that as tour guides you wear many hats. To be successful, you need to knowhow to make a commentary in tour guiding, handle groups and demonstrate savvy time management in addition to wayfinding skills.

And while being comedic is an art — thankfully, you can learn how to be a funny tour guide. By sprinkling a few jokes throughout the tour, you’ll find yourself with a receptive audience or an insightful experience.

Guests build connections amid shared truths. This means that they’ll laugh if something you say happens to be both funny and true, in response to sharing a feeling of discomfort and/or pain.

To get a better sense of what I mean, thisvideowith John Vorhaus of the Comedy Toolbox shares basic approaches to becoming funny. Laughter is a result of saying something that contradicts your guests’ expectations and surprises them.

And sure, it may take a few attempts to get your words and delivery just right. As described inthe Comedy Toolbox book, being funny is a mix of truth and pain. The secret to being funny? Lean into relatable topics that will lead to easy laughs from your tour group.

Developing a funny tour guide script

When something is true, it’s more likely to make people laugh, as is highlighted in this Tourpreneur podcast and blog post.

And while a script can be useful in setting verbal reminders, some of the best experiences are ad hoc.When working on building up your funny bone, here are a few approaches that are time-tested.

(Video) Your step-by-step guide to delight guests every step of the way

1. Become a storyteller

When it comes to developingsavvy tour guide skills, a sense of humour is pretty high on the list. It’s true thatstorytelling is one of the best ways of relating to one anotherand forging connections.

To start, you’ll want to become a master at the art of storytelling and bringing your guests into the story. It’s not unlike sharing a story of your travels with family and friends.

Consider this; the first time you share something for the first time, you might leave a few things out or deliver a weak punchline. Keep at it. Continue to experiment with your storytelling skills, making sure to invite your audience into the scene by painting a picture with your words.

2. Choose your hero

Are you hoping to charm guests with alittle self-deprecating humour?This tactic can work wonders in making people laugh without being the butt of your jokes.

Aim to encourage guests to arrive early for a little preamble. This is a prime opportunity to try out some lighthearted jokes. Every audience needs to be able to root for the hero, plus you’ll appear humble and likable if you’re not afraid to poke fun at yourself.

3. Infuse misdirection and surprise

Imagine your audience all ears and completely lost in your story where they think they have an idea of where your story is going, and then, whoops, you pull a fast one and deliver an unexpected twist.

The rule of three in comedy speaks to how the first two stated topics are truths, with the third topic being the phony bit. And herein lies the humour. Eventually, you’ll be drawing upon memory, so by the time you’ve shared the story for the fourth or tenth time, it’s dialled in and filled with enthusiasm.

For instance, let’s say you’re chatting with guests about packing for a family vacation. You’re at the airport double-checking that you haven’t forgotten anything. Keys? Check. Passport? Check. Your mother-in-law? Oh no. Cue the laughter.

With this quip being wildly different from the first two topics, is it unexpected and the results? People can’t help but smile from ear to ear.

3. Experiment with over-exaggeration

The great comedian writer Gene Perret wrote that comedy is like pulling the rug out from under your audience. But first, you need to gain their trust to step on the carpet and keep their trust until the end so they won’t step off the rug.“

So let’s say you want a way of framing your delivery to lead to laughs from your guests. The last thing you say before people laugh is the punchline, and you want to leave space to allow your guests to laugh.

(Video) Pamper your leisure guests with personal contactless guide

4. Improvise with your audience

If you’re not well-versed in speaking to a crowd or coming up with witty one-liners on the spot, it can be challenging to juggle humour with relevant tour facts.

For instance, you might open with a story about the first time you lead this tour and sprinkle in any funny mishaps. Being a funny tour guide requires you to have a willingness to take risks. Sure, maybe your guests won’t laugh. But what if they do?

5. Include your guests in your act

You’ve probably been bored to tears when overhearing a rambling of facts versus stories. Instead, animate the experience for your guests.

ThisTourpreneur podcast and interviewhighlights what makes for a compelling tour. Make things easy by having a pocket setlist, much like what comedians do, jotting down a few funny reminders or facts that guests tend to like.

I can recall attending a live comedy performance once where the comedian was being tested with the front row. A guest insisted on remaining deadpan the entire time.

This prompted the comic to address him directly, asking, “are you having a good time?” The guest nods, and the comic — without missing a beat — responds with, “Yeah? Tell your face.” resulting in the guest and entire audience erupting into a fit of laughter.

But what really makes a tour guide stand out to both tour operators and their guests? A guide who’s ready for anything.

Comedy class 101

A few years ago, I set out to learn the inner workings of comedy. Signing up for a six-week-long comedy course, I committed to performing in front of a live audience as the finale.

While this course was one of the most challenging experiences I’ve ever had, it was also one of the most enlightening. As a result, I’m grateful to be able to share a thing or two about cracking jokes in public. The best part? Having your audience burst into laughter.

During my time in the spotlight, I shared a mix of funny, true stories from my childhood. I found the audience laughed the most when the punchline was short and failed to match what they believed was coming next. One of the first lessons we learned in the live comedy class was how to use the art of misdirection.

In my case, I shared a story of when my younger sister and I were chasing each other around the house. One of us changed directions, and my front tooth collided with my sister’s head, leaving her in tears and me with a grey (dead) front tooth.

(Video) 10 year old tour guide delights visitors in Lebanon

I bluntly stated that this look lasted for four years and paused long enough to allow the audience to laugh. I followed it up with a quip about how awkward it can be to be a teenager, causing the audience to chuckle even more because they had a very different picture in their minds.

This was a prime example of a bit of self-deprecating humour infused with the awkwardness of youth — something many of us can relate to. When exploring what will make people burst into laughter, you need to take a leap of faith by allowing yourself the freedom to experiment with your jokes.

Examples of things funny tour guides say

Do you know how people say it’s all in the delivery? When it comes to comedy, timing is everything. Memorable tour guides share a few things in common. First, they know how to command attention and how to deliver a good story. So, all you have to do is focus on how you can lead your guests to a smile.

Adjusting your speaking tempo can make the difference between a line that’s funny or not. Ideally, you want guests hanging onto your every word, which means sprinkling in funny tidbits throughout the tour.

As an example, my husband and I went to a wine tasting in Saint Emilion, outside of Bordeaux. The guide had taken us through a wine tour in French and English, dropping a few funny lines throughout.

We arrived back at the winery, awaiting a decadent glass of 15-year-old wine. Before we were invited to have a sip, our guide used humour to capture our attention to demonstrate how to properly taste wine.

He began by pointing out how we might not want to do this if we cared about our shirt — earning the group’s eyes and ears while ensuring we’d go about doing it correctly. Then, we discovered how to bring oxygen into our mouth while tasting the wine, not unlike blowing bubbles in reverse.

If you’re looking for suggestions onhow to be a successful tour guide, you’ll find yourself in good company. The best experience providers care about their guests and go the extra mile of connecting in person.

Timing as a funny tour guide

In the first few minutes of a tour, aim to assess your audience’s sense of humour. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone will find the same things funny.

Having a few stories in your head will help you fill any gaps of awkward silence. You can also inquire with your guests where they are from and see if this inspires any witty banter.

Regardless of your approach, ensure you commit to the joke and leave enough space to allow guests to enjoy it from theComic Toolbox: How to Be Funny, Even if You’re Not by John Vorhaus.

(Video) Local Knowledge S8:E2 "Afternoon Delight"

To further support an overall positive experience, getting the group on the same page with laughter helps to forge a buffer in the event of something going array.

Aim to create the kind of atmosphere you think your guests will love. People are more likely to be laidback and trusting if you’ve fostered a lighthearted atmosphere to being with. Besides, there’s a good chance you’ll have someone in your group that will pick up on your sense of humour and roll with it.

Funny tour guide resources

For a professional’s take on becoming a better public speaker, explore this How to Become a Better and Funnier Speaker course by David Nahill. It might be just the ticket for learning tactics to boost your confidence. Here are some additional resources to help you forge your path as afunny tour guide:

Final thoughts

On your next tour, give storytelling a try. You might be surprised by your natural abilities and have a lot of fun while you’re at it. For more ways to brush up on key responsibilities of a tour guide be sure to explore the different courses available.

Part of why guests love stories is in how they create bonds and form memories. So, while being funny may not always be easy, if you or your staff are committed to learninghow to be the best tour guide, you’ll recognize what clicks for your guests. And sure, it may take a few attempts to get the words and delivery right, but when it does, it’s magic.

Regardless of how you choose to infuse humour in your tours, aim to always leave travelers wanting more. This way, they’ll be hanging off your every word hoping to hear something that will make them laugh.

A memorable tour typically translates to favourable reviews, and who doesn’t want afive-star quality tour guideto rave about?

Looking to hire a tour guide that’s funny?

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(Video) Learn English for Hotel and Tourism: "Checking into a hotel" | English course by LinguaTV

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How do you make tour guiding fun? ›

How To Be the Tour Guide That Everyone Loves
  1. Take a personal interest in your guest. ...
  2. Tell a story. ...
  3. Inject a bit of humor. ...
  4. Get dramatic! ...
  5. Master the small touches. ...
  6. Be flexible to the needs and interests of your guest. ...
  7. Include them in the fun. ...
  8. Prepare fun packs — coloring, small games…

How do you welcome guests as a tour guide? ›

Greet loud and clear: Greet your visitors in audible tone and friendly voice. Don't only shake head or gesticulate. Say Good morning / Good afternoon / Namaskar as appropriate. Stand up and greet.

What are five key skills of a great tour guide? ›

There are six key skills of a tour guide that you should be carrying out on your tours:
  • Communication. It should go without saying that every tour guide worth their salt has excellent communication skills. ...
  • Energy. ...
  • Dynamism. ...
  • Memory. ...
  • A sense of humour. ...
  • Professionalism.

How do you make each tour memorable? ›

10 Tips to Make Your Next Tour Unforgettable
  1. Customize the experience. ...
  2. Be prepared for poor weather and don't let it get you down. ...
  3. Wear comfortable shoes for walking, and dress appropriately. ...
  4. Be open-minded and respect the local culture. ...
  5. Try something new. ...
  6. Take the time to research where you're going.

What makes a tour guide unique? ›

Great tour guides will share their knowledge in an engaging, interactive and entertaining way. Effective tour guides also invite questions and interaction from tour members, rather than treating the tour as a one-person show or a school lesson.

What are the do's and don'ts of tour guiding? ›

  • Be Punctual. Dos.
  • Be Late. Donts.
  • Come prepared. Dos.
  • Provide false or unsure information. Donts.
  • Be cordial and pleasant. Dos.
  • Show your exhaustion. Donts.
  • Watch your own health. Dos.
  • Overdo things. Donts.

How do you make visitors feel welcome? ›

5 Small Things You Can Do to Make Your Visitors Feel Comfortable
  1. Make Preparations for Visitors.
  2. Smile and Greet Visitors Warmly.
  3. Anticipate Common Needs.
  4. Make visitors feel safe.
  5. Make Your Lobby Open and Inviting.

What is the most important in tour guiding? ›

Communication is one of the most important skills of a tour guide. Guests rely on tour guides to provide direction, share facts and information, and keep them entertained throughout the tour. As such, a tour guide must speak fluently and coherently.

What are the 8 types of tour guides? ›

Types of tour guides
  • Historical guide. A historical guide leads tourists around historical landmarks and points of interest like ruins, temples, battlefields and other sites of historical importance. ...
  • Adventure guide.
  • Museum guide. ...
  • Nature guide. ...
  • City guide. ...
  • Park guide. ...
  • Freelance guide.
Mar 10, 2023

What keywords for tour guide? ›

The top three keywords employers use in Tour Guide job descriptions are Customer Service appearing in 26.6% of postings, Communication Skills 15.07%, and Outdoor appearing in 9.9%.

How do you start a tour guide speech? ›

Start by following these guidelines:
  1. Address important topics. Guests want to head into a tour feeling confident that a guide will deliver a memorable experience. ...
  2. Bookend points of interest. ...
  3. Address any questions. ...
  4. Showcase your enthusiasm. ...
  5. Leave guests feeling inspired. ...
  6. A sense of humour. ...
  7. Kindness. ...
  8. A guide who's good with kids.
Oct 5, 2021

How do they inspire you in becoming a tour guide? ›

What inspires people to become tour guides?
  • Meet new people & build connections.
  • Share the love & excitement.
  • Personal skills & knowledge development.
  • Earn while you have fun.
  • Take a break.
Sep 9, 2021

What are the most challenging part of being a tour guide? ›

This is the basic role of tour guides but also one of the problems they face. If you want to become a tour guide, you are supposed to understand culture taboo, geography, history of a country. You will deal with language communications, currency exchanges once situations occur, so you have to prepare well all the time.

What should a tour guide do before the tour? ›

Give a detailed tour briefing
  • Do a run-through of the route. Start the brief off with a bang by quickly reviewing the itinerary while emphasizing the tour's major highlights. ...
  • Go over rules and guidelines. ...
  • Leave room for questions. ...
  • Break the ice.
Aug 20, 2020

What all things does a tour guide should carry with him? ›

Arm your tour guides with these essentials to make sure they are creating an experience your customers will love.
  • A Tablet and Cell Phone. It's important for everyone on your team to stay in contact with each other, and to stay organized. ...
  • A Portable Charger. ...
  • Offline Maps. ...
  • The Right Apps. ...
  • A GoPro.

Is it rude not to tip a tour guide? ›

Most tour guides do not expect tips, but they do appreciate them. If a guide is working through a booking service they are probably making minimum wage and tips are a huge bonus.

Is it fun being a tour guide? ›

Rewarding and fun career

Tour guides often have rewarding and fun careers, as they're in a position to educate and entertain the tour's participants. Whether you're leading a group to a travel destination or on a college campus, tour guides answer questions and provide guidance.

What are the four stages of tour guiding? ›

  • Four stages of tour guiding techniques.
  • Pre – tour.
  • Tour proper.
  • Arrival procedures.
  • Activities during the tour.
  • Departure procedures.
  • Complaints management.
  • Post tour.

What makes a great tour guide and host? ›

Guides must be friendly and comfortable speaking (and even better storytelling) in front of a group in order to relay everything from historical facts to cultural etiquette and safety measures. Organization skills with an eye for detail, ability to multi-task and punctuality are a must.

What do tour guides do on a daily basis? ›

Tour guides undertake research and plan tours, provide sightseeing advice, and organize excursions. They transport and accompany their guests to the tourist spots in specific destinations. They are expected to be experts on the historical background and culture of an area.

What is the ideal way of greeting a visitor? ›

Greet – As soon as a guest enters the office, approach them and — you guessed it — greet 'em! Follow that greeting with a friendly “How may I help you?” Seat – Offer the guest a seat in the reception area. Treat – Offer the guest coffee, tea, or water, and if they accept, bring their beverage to them.

How do you show hospitality to guests? ›

12 Ways to Show Hospitality While Going Through Your Week
  1. Invite someone over for a meal or just dessert.
  2. Give a hug to everyone as you come into the church or a gathering with friends.
  3. Double a recipe and take someone a meal in need.
  4. Ask someone about their day and sit down to really listen.

What to do when guests come over? ›

Children can even enjoy a visit to a winery with rows of vines weave through.
  1. Go to the dog park with your Fido-friendly guests.
  2. Take the kids to the playground.
  3. Go for a walk around the neighborhood.
  4. Catch a newly released movie.
  5. Shop at a nearby outlet mall.
  6. Check out the local children's museum.
Nov 10, 2019

How do you delight guests? ›

Respond to complaints on time. Follow up via social media, emails and other channels to ensure that your guests are delighted. When the customer know that you are listening compassionately, their expectations lower and delight increases.

What can you do to make sure guests are delighted? ›

15 Ways to Make Hotel Guests Feel Special
  1. Offer the little extras. ...
  2. Offer some amenities free of charge. ...
  3. Always be fully-staffed. ...
  4. Show you care by listening and responding to your guests. ...
  5. Make all guests feel that your hotel is concerned about their special needs. ...
  6. Train your staff. ...
  7. Offer complimentary items.
Mar 11, 2019

How do I make sure guests have fun at a party? ›

Play a drinking game.

Most drinking games can be played with a deck of cards, a table, and drinks. Try playing games like King's Cup, Never Have I Ever, or Flip Cup. You may arrange several drinking games so your guests can play different games at once. They can then rotate or switch once someone has won the game.

What are the five communicative goals in tour guiding? ›

to inform, remind and advise
  • giving directions and commentaries;
  • explaining procedures and itineraries;
  • providing advice on safety and security; and.
  • describing tourist attractions.
Aug 24, 2006

How do tour guides get paid? ›

Your earning potential largely depends on where you live.

Guiding is often seen as a service sector job, and thus is tied to the hourly wage rates in your region or city. Guides are usually paid much better in larger cities where guides are more in demand and wages and costs are higher.

Why is it important to be a good tour guide? ›

Good tour guides ensure you miss nothing

A tour guide knows the area intimately and knows of people, quiet spots and experiences that aren't discussed on any website. They're there to ensure you get the most out of your time, and have the most authentic experience possible.

What things should a tour guide do when saying farewell to their guests? ›

Tell them how much you enjoyed their stay and thank them for making the effort to visit. It cost them money and time, try to be respectful of that if nothing else. If you don't want them to visit again, now is not the time to tell them!

What is the difference between a tour guide and a tourist guide? ›

Although the names are practically interchangeable, a tourist guide suggests that the tour in question will include foreign visitors, whereas a tour guide just takes anyone on a tour, regardless of whether they are tourists or not.

What is mock tour? ›

(e) “Mock Tour refers to a graded simulation activity that evaluates PTGQualEx candidates on actual guiding that includes On-Board Tours and Walking Tours.

What is the word for excitement before a trip? ›

Resfeber (n)

The tangled feelings of fear and excitement before a journey begins. This is one of the most popular words associated with travel and all over Pinterest!

What are other ways to say enjoy your trip? ›

Enjoy the journey wishes
  1. Bon Voyage and get there safe.
  2. Safe Travels.
  3. Enjoy your journey.
  4. Get there safe and sound.
  5. Wishing you a safe journey and a relaxing holiday when you arrive.
  6. May your journey be free from stress and bring you home safely.

What are the five characteristics of a tour guide? ›

5 Characteristics of the Perfect Tour Guide
  • There are average tour guides—and then there are the ones people remember forever. ...
  • They're deeply knowledgeable, and can answer questions. ...
  • They're confident with the details of their job. ...
  • They make people laugh. ...
  • They listen. ...
  • They go the extra mile.

What for you is the most critical role of a tour guide why? ›

A good tour guide does not only boost the travel experience for customers. But they are also responsible for making sure the trip creates positive impact on the destination and minimises negative impact.

What motivates a tour guide? ›

Connecting with people, having a sense of purpose, experiencing autonomy in the workplace, feeling healthy – these are things that provide the best sort of satisfaction. If you can create a work environment that meets these needs, your tour guide is sure to stay motivated and performing for your travel business.

Which is the hardest part of being a tour guide? ›

As a tour guide you will face new challenges every day. One of the hardest parts of your job may be answering questions. Unlike a speech that you can memorize, you won't always know what questions people will ask.

Do tour guides make a lot of money? ›

Tour guide salaries typically range between $18,000 and $55,000 a year. The average hourly rate for tour guides is $15.54 per hour. Location, education, and experience impacts how much a tour guide can expect to make. Tour guides make the most in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Virginia.

What do you call a tour guide person? ›

synonyms for tour guide

On this page you'll find 7 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to tour guide, such as: chaperon, cicerone, docent, escort, guide, and sherpa.

How much do tour guides make? ›

How much does a Tour guide make in Ireland? The average tour guide salary in Ireland is € 32 360 per year or € 16.60 per hour. Entry-level positions start at € 28 368 per year, while most experienced workers make up to € 32 500 per year.

What are the five tourist motivations? ›

Based on Maslow's (1943) five-level hierarchy of needs, Pearce (1988) proposed the TCL model, which lists five travel motivations associated with relaxation, stimulation, relationship, self-esteem and development or fulfilment.

How do you end a tour guide? ›

What is usually said at the end:
  1. Summarize the most important elements of the tour, show travelers that the experience was amazing and that they have learned a lot with you.
  2. Give options on things to do after the tour.
Jun 10, 2020


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