VUSSC/Content/Tourism/Applying Effective Communication Skills/Using Basic Communication Strategies

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Basic Communication Strategies

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Upon completion of this unit you will be able to:

  1. Define communication and the communication process
  2. Explain the different verbal and non-verbal communication techniques
  3. Apply the different communication techniques to various situations


Communication Communication is about sending and receiving messages.

Verbal communication Verbal communication uses spoken words.

Non-verbal communication Non-verbal communication involves more than what we say with our words. It includes our actions, attitudes, appearance and body language.

Communication Process The communication process is the transmission of a message from the sender to the receiver, or vice versa, through a channel.

Sender The person who sends or encodes the message.

Receiver The person who receives or decodes the message.

Feedback The reply that goes back to the sender, after the receiver decodes the message.

Channel The medium through which the message is passed.

Message Nonverbal or verbal actions that are conveyed.

Noise This is an element that distorts or interrupts what occur during the flow of the message.


What is communication?

Communication is about sending and receiving messages. It is something we do every day, so how we communicate is very important. In this unit, you will learn what communication is. You will also learn about barriers that can get in the way of good communication.

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The communication Process

List the different ways by which two or more persons can communicate.

We communicate through verbal and non-verbal means. These include

Verbal Non-Verbal
By Telephone (cell-phones)


By body language

By electronic means (internet)

By mass media (television)

By print media (brochure)

Differentiate between “verbal communication” and “non-verbal communication”.

Verbal communication (talking) is communication using words and speaking.

Non-verbal communication includes our actions, attitudes, appearance and body language. It involves more than what we say with our words.

Communication does not exist in a vacuum. It occurs through a process.

The communication process is the transmission of a message from the sender to the receiver, or vice versa, through a channel. This message can be interrupted or distorted by “noise”.


Effective communication is an essential part of the job of a tour guide. Tourists visit your country in order to see what attractions the country has to offer and to perceive and experience the country from the tour guide’s perspective. The tour guide is the « eye » through which tourists will see the country, and communication is the tool the tour guide uses, in order to present the country to them. It is therefore essential that the tour guide should apply skills to promote effective communication, and should know what factors cause barriers to communication in order to prevent such barriers.

1. Factors which promote effective communication

Effective commmunication is important because it prevents misunderstanding and mistakes. This is important to tour guides because it helps the tourists to be timely and accurately informed.

What are the factors which promote effective communication?

  1. Use of appropriate language (verbal and non-verbal).
  2. Information passed on at the right time.
  3. Being & keeping all informed.
  4. Accuracy of information
  5. Information delivered in a noise free environment
  6. Being accessible
  7. Active listening
  8. Maitaining effective leadership.


  • Language
    • Grammar
    • Active listening
    • Effective speaking
    • Body language
    • Conciseness
  • Appropriate non-verbal messages
  • Appropriateness
    • Satisfy customer needs for information
    • Targeted to group interests and expectations
    • Relevant to site/subject
  • Accuracy
    • Correct information
    • Sourcing of correct information
      • Magazines
      • News media and press
      • Promotional material
      • Industry information
      • Associations
      • Experts
      • Local communities
      • Site visits
  • Motivation
    • tour guide’s accessibility to tourists and willingness to share (information etc)
    • explanation of local rules and procedures
    • maintaining a pleasant atmosphere in the group
      • a warm welcome to customers
      • a friendly and polite attitude throughout
      • positive body language
      • attentiveness to customer needs
    • display good leadership skills
      • introductions by host
      • involve everybody (participation)
      • accommodate customer needs

Basic Communication Strategies


This chapter discusses what communication is and the process involved. It further looks at the techniques of verbal and non-verbal communication used in the professional and personal arena.