Post 3 – Asking & Giving Directions

20 Aug 2015

6 Top Tips to Ask and Give Directions

Here is a list of 6 tips to help you give and ask directions effectively. You can use them easily in any situation where you need to ask for or proivde directions.

Balanced Rate of Speech: The key to be understood is to speak at a balanced rate of speech, not too slow, not too fast. Speak in a way that the other person can comprehend every word that you utter. This should be a rule for every kind of communication, more so when you are asking or giving directions.

Enunciate the Key Words: Pronounce each and every word clearly, especially the key words. Now, you may ask what the key words are. These are nothing but the nouns. Examples: names of roads, streets, places, landmarks, shops etc. If the need arises, spell out the names of some places

Use Gestures to support your points: This is especially important when you are the one giving directions. Use your hands to demonstrate what you are trying to say. Examples: left, right, straight ahead, opposite, across etc. Also, if you are asking for directions and you use hand gestures, it indicates that you are on the same page as the person giving directions.

Always be Polite: We cannot emphasize enough on how important it is to be polite. Irrespective of whether you are asking or giving directions ensure you are always polite. Of course, it is more critical when you are requesting for someone to direct you because the person who will answer your question is going to spend his/her precious time to direct you. Use ‘Please and thank you’, then it is more likely that people will be willing to help you!

Be specific: There is no point of being vague about giving directions; it is like giving incomplete information. How would you like if someone gives you incomplete information when you are desperately looking to get somewhere, frustrating isn’t it? So either you don’t know it at all or you know the complete information about the place. Also, when you are asking directions, you cannot be vague, else be prepared to land up at the wrong place. For example, you cannot ask, “Where is the hospital”, be specific which hospital because there could be several hospitals in the vicinity.

Do not assume:  This is another important aspect you have to bear in mind if you want to be accurate with asking and giving directions. Do not assume that the other person will know what you are talking about, even if you are talking about a prominent landmark or a well-known place. It is always advisable to ask the other person if he or she knows what you are asking about or if the person is familiar with the place you are talking about. For example, “take a right from the supermarket”, instead of assuming that one may know which supermarket you are talking about, ask if he/she is aware of the supermarket you are referring to.

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