talking points for nature guides
index to talking points for nature guides
For nature guides
updated Apr 2020

Why do a guided walk?
Here are some reasons ...

  • To raise awareness and open eyes: "Wow! I didn't know we had such amazing shores!"
  • To encourage understanding: "Our shores are interesting!"
  • To encourage loving action: "I CAN do something to preserve our shores!"
In the end, we conserve
only what we love.

We will love
only what we understand.

We will understand
only what we are taught

Baba Dioum
Who is the guided walk for?

VISITORS are the priority.

This may seem obvious, but guides sometimes forget that the walk is about the visitors.

If the visitors don't understand the guide, don't want to listen to the guide, then the entire walk falls apart. And all wonderful messages about the beauty of our shores and the need to save them will not be passed on.

Different visitors have different needs and preferences. Tailor the guided walk to match the visitors. This is the advantage of a living breathing guide. Otherwise, the visitors might as well just bring along a guidebook.

Three things to focus upon during the walk

Safety and comfort of visitors
This requires much preparation well before, just before, during and after the walk. See role of a guide for more details.

Visitors have an enjoyable time
Even if they don't remember exact facts, they have good memories of the tour. They will want to come back again and bring their friends too! So don't be a bad guide. Instead, be a good guide.

Visitors FEEL love for the shores
Visitors should end a walk with love for the place even if they can't remember the names and facts of what they saw. This means visitors must UNDERSTAND what is said. Stories must be meaningful to VISITORS and make them want to learn more about and to protect the shores.

How to be MORE than a guidebook

  Tailor your tour to fit your visitors This is the main thing a guidebook cannot do.

Know your habitat
So you can find things to show visitors. Guidebooks cannot do this. So visit your habitat regularly, guide regularly. Every location has seasonal changes and different things are seen at different tides and different times of the day.

Learn from other guides also share what you have learnt. Others may have different viewpoints, new jokes, different experiences to share.

A guides-only trip with guides sharing and looking closely at the habitat will allow you to share and learn from one another.

Read up and learn about your habitat. You can of course refer to a guidebook during the walk. And it's perfectly OK to say you don't know. This is better than giving wrong information. Afterwards, do try to find out more, so that your knowledge improves with every question. If you can't find the information, you can email me and I'll try to help.
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