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Sharpen Your Presentation Skills

Are your travel presentations as successful as they could be?

For affinity organizations, travel presentations are a crucial element of the trip sales process. Whether they take place in person or online, these presentations give you a chance to highlight the amazing places your group will visit on upcoming adventures. They also offer fantastic opportunities to close sales and gather registrations. But lackluster presentations can hinder your sales success.

Whether you’re new to affinity travel or you have been giving travel presentations for years, here are some tips from public speaking experts that will help you take your travel talks to the next level.

Tell Stories

Think about the most memorable public presentation you ever heard — it probably featured a compelling story, right? Stories help speakers forge emotional connections with their audiences and draw listeners into the content. You can do the same with your travel presentations. If you have already visited the place you’re talking about, tell a story about a fun or unexpected experience you had there — and don’t shy away from using some suspense or humor to hook the audience. If you haven’t been there yourself, borrow a blockbuster story from somebody who has.

Use Real Media

You’re probably already using media like photos and videos in your travel presentations, and for good reason — images can communicate destination appeal in ways that words never will. But if you’re relying on stock videos or postcard-perfect photos to illustrate your destinations, you’re missing opportunities to connect with your audience. Your travelers have likely already seen polished images of the places your tour will go, but they haven’t seen the real-life photos you or other travelers have taken there. Including some DIY media in your presentations increases trust and helps your listeners picture themselves in that place.

Prepare and Practice

According to public speaking expert Eva Daniel of the Speak Shop, the No. 1 mistake speakers make is waiting too long to start preparing their presentations. Without enough prep time, speakers end up stressed and flustered, and they don’t have time to practice the presentation in advance. Daniel says speakers should practice the whole presentation in front of a real person to calm their nerves and work the kinks out. (You can hear more of Daniel’s travel presentation tips on a recent episode of our podcast Gather and Go at

Focus on Feelings

Organizing a trip involves a lot of logistics, and as an affinity travel planner, handling the logistics is a big part of the value you offer to your members. But this doesn’t mean you should spend a lot of your presentation time covering the details of your trip. People don’t really care what day they’ll be visiting what site, and most aren’t too concerned about how many meals will be included each day. Instead, use your presentation time to communicate how this travel experience will make them feel. That’s how they’ll really perceive value.

Own Your Ending

Ending presentations by taking questions is a practice as old as public speaking itself. But it’s also a missed opportunity. The end of your presentation is the most potentially powerful moment of your entire talk, so don’t leave it up to the audience to decide what that ending will be. By all means, include a Q&A toward the end of the presentation. But after the questions, come back with one more short piece of content — an incredible photo, the ending to a story you started earlier or an amazing secret about the destination. End strong, then answer more detailed questions one-on-one.