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How to Give Directions

1. Picture yourself going along the route with them.
Most people follow directions best when they’re given in “route perspective,” which focuses on describing what you’ll see along the way and the travel time between these landmarks. If you were in the car or walking alongside the person, think of how you’d point out the route (“Turn right at the big church over here, then we’ll go that way for about five minutes…”) and use that to guide how you give the directions. Instead of directing them from beginning to end, think of it as directing them from landmark to landmark.
2.Tell the person about important and hard-to-miss landmarks.
Landmarks will give the person an idea of the progress they’re making. They’ll also let the person know if they’re still on the path you advised them to take. Finally, landmarks will draw attention to each segment of the overall route that they’re trying to follow driving directions.
So, for instance: “Go this way for a couple minutes until the old post office with the big metal dome is on your left; then turn left and go for about 5 minutes until you see a McDonald’s and Wendy’s right across from each other…” Some landmarks to point out include: historic buildings, signs, or monuments; churches, synagogues, or other religious buildings; large businesses like a box store or car dealership; geographical/environmental features like hills or rivers; roadway characteristics like a bridge or a fork in the road.
3. Specify whether something is on the left or right of the road

4.Provide travel time estimates for the whole trip and each component of it.

Specify the how much time the whole trip will take. In addition, specify how much time certain segments of the trip will take. This will give the person an idea of when they need to be ready to take a turn or merge onto a different road. Let the person know that if they’re traveling the speed limit, they should be able to arrive at their destination in a certain amount of time. If they’ll have to make some turns, tell them how long they’ll be on specific roads before they should turn. For example: “The whole trip takes about 10 minutes. You’ll turn left here and go for about 3 minutes until…”

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