Tour configuration refers to what the ‘shape’ of the tour looks like when drawn on a map.
Decide where you are going to start the tour. Is it a circular tour that can start at any point on the route and finish back at the start point?
Is it what is known as a route less tour where the listener takes responsibility for finding the location and then plays the corresponding guide track?. This is typical of a neighbourhood type tour, which is describing a whole area, or long street in a city and where it is irrelevant whether the listener is at one or other end of the street or even in the middle.
If you are planning a route based walking tour, don’t be tempted to make your decision about the route based on what is easiest to narrate. Walk the ground – you may find that one direction of travel is downhill, easier, safer or more interesting. Remember, if you had a human tour guide with you they would have researched the route that works best and is easiest and most interesting.
Having decided what type of audience you are seeking to inform, the next task is to decide how long the tour will take. Tours can last from 15-20 minutes up to around 2 hours but bear in mind that a two-hour monologue will not hold peoples interest. Think in terms of shaping your tour with a beginning, middle and end.
The beginning of a tour will be designed to build a bond between the narrator, commentator, guide or personality and the listener. To inform the listener about housekeeping, safety and timing issues. Remember to thank the listener for listening and make them feel welcome and privileged at the same time. Phrases such as “I am glad you have been able to join me on this walk / drive / tour…..” are appropriate intros.
For the 'end' of the beginning!! Tell them what you are going to tell them.. for example..
We will be visiting the castle, hearing about the people who lived there and listening in on a 16th Century wedding party. Then we will go down to the Harbour and meet the Captain of a sailing ship from the Americas. Etc.……
It may be the middle of the tour audio but it is the start of the real communication... so be sure to begin this section with an upbeat opening. Keep your initial sentences short. Aim to capture your audience by getting them to move towards the start point. The start point must be an easily recognisable location that doesn't rely upon a changeable marker. Don't make the mistake of referring to the ‘Red’ railings which will not be red after they were repainted black last winter!!
Some other Content TipsEdit
Whatever type of tour you are creating, avoid the temptation to pad the content out with irrelevant facts that ‘just might be of interest to the listener’. Avoiding this temptation will help to ensure that the item sounds ‘tight’ in broadcasting terms. If there is nothing further to say on the topic then it is time to move on to the next segment of the tour.
Leave your listener with a warm goodbye .. something like the script below but in your own words.
... and now it is time to say goodbye.. thank you for coming with me on this journey of discovery.. If you enjoyed the tour please feel free to tell your friends. Until the next time we meet I will say goodbye and hope that you have a safe journey.....MUSIC.. FADE OUT
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