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Home » Business Presentation Skills Training, Public Speaking Training

Presentation Skills: A Tale of 4 Tour Guides

It’s tough to leave the “coach” in me behind when I go on vacation. On a recent spectacular trip to Durango, Colorado and Albuquerque, New Mexico I found myself in analysis-mode while listening to our different tour guides. After all, they were giving presentations. Here’s my analysis from worst to best:
The "Yellow Pumpkin"
#4: His family nicknamed him the “Yellow Pumpkin” and he guided us through an amazing current working Pueblo village. He was funny and he told great stories….. I think. The big problem was that he mumbled and about 40% of what he said could not be understood. The message was lost.

#3: This was Sandra’s first day on the Durango-Silverton Railroad. Take a look at her picture – you can tell that she is extremely nervous because her eyes are flipping up to the ceiling. She was also out of breath. It seemed as though everyone on the train was also holding their collective breath hoping that she would survive her short talk about the concessions and travel guides available on the train. At least she admitted that it was her first day – a great thing to do. Be honest with your audience. They will sympathize with you….. and we sympathized with Sandra. Whew!

#2: Heather was terrific. She guided a fairly large group through the rugged Pueblo villages in Mesa Verde National Park. She was very conversational, told great stories, and involved the audience throughout the hour-long trek. What amazed me the most was her outstanding voice – great clarity and volume. She received a standing ovation at the end of the tour. Heather was a very close second.

#1: And the winner is Charlie. He was our bus driver on the return trip after the train ride to Silverton, Colorado. He drove us back to Durango. Charlie had a great grandfatherly Southern drawl that made you hang on every word he said. His stories were spellbinding and flooded with local knowledge. He knew when to speak and when to let you just enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Rocky Mountains. Upon arriving in Durango, he wished us all well, and hoped we would have time to visit his favorite museum – the Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum. In fact, he was so convincing, that we did tour the museum the next day. Great job, Charlie.

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