In my 10+ years in leadership I have run a number of events and workshops to support people with their personal development, business growth and customer interactions, with groups as large as 500.
When I first started creating workshops’ I found that what works is being your authentic self and sticking to your style of communication you feel comfortable doing.
I always make sure I format my presentations – it helps me stay on track and not get too crazy with ideas to include on the day. Formatting needs to make sure you cover the WHY, WHAT, HOW and WHAT IF sections of our brains so that you satisfy all audience members…. I usually ask myself the following questions
– Does my presentation cover WHY we are having this workshop?
– Does it provide the audience with what will be covered today and tie back to why this will be of benefit to your audience?
– Will my workshop provide plenty of “How to tips” on implementing into their life/business?
– And when they actually leave your workshop – what will the expected time frame be when these tips will start to seeing results?
Find out what your audience feel would be valuable for them. I have found this helps so much because you will have their attention because the topic is of interest to them. So, here are my best tips to setting yourself up for a great workshop.
Nicole’s secrets to running a successful workshop are:
- Preparation Start getting feedback from your targeted audience at least 6 weeks before the desired workshop. Send out a survey or even better – get them one on one and find out what would be of value to them personally and professionally. Don’t try and jam too much in – try and focus on 1 or 2 things that you hope the audience will walk away with and implement. (you usually get a pretty good outline or theme that emerges from the chats you have with your audience before hand – this is why this is a great first step!)
Don’t forget to get dates, times, venue details out as soon as you can so that your audience can be prepared for your workshop. Don’t leave this to the last minute! Or you won’t have much of an audience to work with.
- NO Death by PowerPoint: When putting together slides – make sure you don’t chunk slabs of information on them. Use the PowerPoint slides to be a talking point or a visual aid to get your audience engaged and interested. Remember that most people are “Audio, Visual or Kinaesthetic” learners so if you just slab info you are only appealing to the visual or audio audience. So, this is why activities, work books and videos playing helps you to communicate to all three types and get your message across.
- Fun and Interactive: In a workshop setting you want everyone to feel as welcome and comfortable to be included as possible. So always have some up beat music playing, create a relaxed atmosphere and try to get some activities planned where your group need to interact together and get out of their chairs. It helps the energy flow in the room and also helps to allow those who are a little shy to mingle in smaller groups and participate. Post it notes, coloured pens or sheets of paper are a must have on the table!
- Don’t be Afraid of Feedback –Feedback is the best way for your own growth and for future workshops. Don’t ever take it personally. If you are asking for feedback just remember everyone’s perception is their reality so seek to understand if you feel the feedback wasn’t a fair representation of the day. Prepare feedback forms either on the day or in a follow up email within 48 hours so that you are fresh in the participants minds. It’s always good to put in your diary to follow up a month later to see if the outcomes you set out to achieve with your audience has started to take place.
What tips have resonated with you? Which ones will you pop in place to help you produce your next successful workshops?
For any further information about me or my workshop tips please connect with me via LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/nicole-o-sullivan-948819154
By Nicole O’Sullivan
Nicole O’Sullivan is a Business Coach and Mentor for experts who want to grow their travel business. Nicole is a former leader with one of Australia’s biggest franchises Flight Centre and headed up USA’s fastest-growing travel consulting firms. With more than 13+ years of experience in the travel industry, she has helped her consulting clients increase sales by 67%, has also taken a travel branch within a large organisation from the bottom of the barrel to the #1 performing outlet in country and has shown her recent client how to improve their closing rate from 3% to 20% in less than one year.
Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of Business Game Changer Magazine and publisher of The UK Newspaper, Money and Finance Magazine, the net’s fastest growing wealth creation publication. Kizzi Nkwocha is chair of The Ethical Publishers Association and co-chair of The Logistics Association. Kizzi made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain.