What Being a Tour Guide Taught Me About Speaking to Attract Clients

January 14, 2016


Way back in the old days when I was a junior in college studying Speech Communication, my advisor recommended that I get some speaking experience under my belt before I graduated the following year.

Nothing made sense about me choosing this major, I hated speaking in class (speaking in general), I was an introvert, not confident and felt pretty certain that I didn’t have anything important to say.

When I started looking for jobs I came across one I knew I could manage, being a Tour Guide for the Preservation Society in Newport, Rhode Island where I would give tours of the beautiful, historic summer mansions.

Upon acing the interview, the next step was learning and memorizing the script, 27 pages on the history of the time, the family, architecture and more. If it sounds daunting, it was!

Knowing I needed to nail this talk, I took it upon myself to use every imaginable strategy I could think of to memorize the script finding that what ultimately worked was recording myself, listening to the recording and reciting it over and over again.

On the day of my first tour, I found myself surprisingly calm. Gone were the nerves and I was ready to step in and give the tourists all I had.

My first 45-minute tour had 50 tourists on it and I easily moved escorted them throughout the mansion captivating them with my talk and entertaining them the entire time. Ten minutes after my first tour end I was ready for my next tour and held another 6 tours that day. 

Over the course of that summer I gave an average of 5 tours a day to 40 people at a time which gave me the opportunity to practice speaking to nearly 10,000 people over the course of 250 tours. (Mind you, I was the shy 21 year old girl who was afraid of her own shadow 🙂

So what did I learn from this experience, how has it helped me in my business (and how can it help you when it comes to learning how to use speaking to attract clients too?)

Here are 9 things to know…

  • Speaking is a very easy way to share your message with a large number of people
  • Speaking to groups is leveraged and a faster way to attract more of your ideal clients
  • Create a killer signature talk and use it over and over again (it won’t get old)
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Memorize your talk (you don’t need notes or even a powerpoint really, truly you don’t)
  • You want to create a multi-dimensional talk that engages your audiences, holds their interest and gives them something of value at the same time
  • Don’t be afraid to teach – just don’t be boring in the process
  • Give great information and talk about something your ideal clients want to hear
  • Enjoy giving your talk – have fun with it (and they will too)

Speaking to attract clients all starts with having a great talk and going out and doing it. So don’t let your nerves stop you. Go out and do it!

Okay, now it’s your turn. What have you learned (or what to learn) about mastering speaking? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.

And if you’re wanting to learn how to use speaking to attract all the clients you need then you’re going to want a signature talk! Click here to learn more about how you can use speaking to grow your business.

Jeannie Spiro: Business Coach & Strategist

Hey there!

I’m Jeannie Spiro, business coach and strategist for woman coaches and service-providers. Want to make more money in your business? Here’s how I can help.

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