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How to Become a Successful Travel Writer

How to Become a Successful Travel Writer

You love to travel and explore new places, but you hate when the trip ends. You can write about your experiences and relive them while sharing the excitement with others! Read these ten tips on how to become a successful travel writer.

1. Travel Purposefully.

If you want to write about your travels, you can’t just relax and ignore your surroundings. Travel purposefully. Enjoy every moment of your trip. Take it all in – you can still enjoy yourself, but notice things! Make notes at night of what you saw and how it made you feel. Write as vividly as you can, so when you re-read your notes later, you can remember more. This will help you write engaging articles for your readers.

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2. Read.

Travel writing is a major genre! Look up travel writers and read their books. Find columns online. Read travel blogs. See what is working and what might be your style. The more you read, the better your writing will be!

3. Write.

Sit down and write. Refer to the notes you made while you were on your trip. It might seem intimidating at first, but sit down and write a first draft. It can be bad; no one has to see it! The more you practice, meaning the more pieces you write, the better your writing will get. Most travel writers have a background in English or journalism, but even if you don’t, practice will make you better.

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    4. Find Your Genre.

    You’ve read a variety of travel books and blogs, and you’ve written your first draft. What do you think your genre is? Are your pieces humorous? Do you focus on the setting, using descriptive words to paint a picture? Do you explain the attractions you saw, or how you set up your accommodations? You can be a serious travel writer, writing pieces for blogs that help people plan their own travel adventures. Or you could write about your experiences in a way that people enjoy reading. Explore what you enjoy reading and writing most, and then pick your genre. Having a specific niche will help you while you’re submitting.

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    5. Revise. Harshly.

    You have a first draft, which is a good starting point, but you’re far from done. Take some time away, then read over your work. You’ve taken a bit of time away from the writing, so you’re looking at it with semi-fresh eyes. Are there typos? Can you re-word some of the sentences to make the piece flow better? Did you think of some details to add to round out your writing? Don’t be easy on yourself – you might have to re-write the whole thing! It doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer; in fact, it’s the opposite! You realize that your writing needs work, and you’re able to fix it! There will be a point where you have to stop revising in order to move on with your work, but make sure it’s as polished as it can be.

    6. Share Your Work.

    It’s hard to criticize your own work sometimes because you’re so close to it. Your story is your baby, and you feel protective over your writing. You’ve written a draft, you’ve revised it and polished it until it shines. Now it’s time to share! It might be scary to let people read your personal thoughts, but let some trusted family members or friends read your piece. Listen to their comments and edit your piece accordingly. These people represent your readers, and if they say something isn’t clear, or want more details about a certain attraction, you definitely want to add it in.

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    7. Develop an Online Presence.

    You’ve been writing and you’ve gotten feedback and you’ve made some edits. You’re ready to put yourself out there! Develop an online presence so people can find you and read your work. Do you want to keep a blog? Start one! They’re easy and fun – but be careful posting pieces you want to submit to magazines or journals. Some have rules about submitting things that have been previously published, even if it’s just an online blog. Make profiles on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and more. Be easy to find, but make sure your profile is professional. Engage with other travel writers on these sites – they’ll more than likely be your readers and cheerleaders! Be friendly and approachable and you’ll help grow your audience.

    8. Submit Your Piece.

    Research journals and magazines you’d want to be published in. Look up their submission guidelines and follow them carefully – some mistakes might get your piece thrown out of the running before it even gets to an editor!

    9. Accept Rejections.

    You might not get published the first time. Or the second. Or the third… You can look up now-famous writers and see how many rejections they got at the start. Don’t let it get you down. Did the editor give you notes? If so, make those changes. Did they encourage you to re-submit, or submit different pieces later? Use rejections to push yourself to work harder.

    10. Don’t Give Up!

    You’re not going to become a success overnight. Don’t give up! Keep writing, revising, sharing, and submitting. Tune in to your social network of friends and fellow writers and find support and tips there. The harder you work, the better you’re going to get. Work for it, and you’ll feel content with how your travel writing career is progressing.

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    Last Updated on February 11, 2021

    10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

    10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

    Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

    You have to work hard to develop the right skills

    If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

    1. Make your presentation short and sweet

    With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

    JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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    2. Open up with a good ice breaker

    At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

    • Joking
    • Tugging on their heart strings
    • Dropping a bombastic statement
    • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
    • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

    You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

    3. Keep things simple and to the point

    Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

    4. Use a healthy dose of humor

    Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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    It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

    5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

    Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

    6. Practice your delivery

    Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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    7. Move around and use your hands

    Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

    8. Engage the audience by making them relate

    Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

    9. Use funny images in your slides

    Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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    10. End on a more serious note

    When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

    As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

    Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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