60 minutes – so little time, so much to do! Short workshops are the perfect way for a coach or consultant to build a loyal following. If you follow a simple formula, you can minimize the challenges and increase the WOW factor.
1. Pick a compelling topic and title.
2. Include the five key components: buy-in lead, one big idea, a list of steps, or an overview of a process or topic, a demonstration or hands-on component, and a conclusion that includes a call to action.
3. Provide a take-away that whets the appetite.
The topic for a one-hour workshop must be compelling. It must show off your skills, provide extraordinary value for the participants and at the same time leave them eager for more. The title should grab the interest of your potential audience and either raise a question or tell how you will provide a solution to a common problem. Make the title action-oriented. Develop a short list of topics that you can speak about easily and create skeleton outlines for each that you can customize for different audiences.
The structure for your workshop includes clear components that maintain a structure and flow that holds interest, builds credibility, involves the participants, and establishes you as a valuable resource (i. e. someone people what to buy from!). Start with a compelling buy-in. Whether you provide a startling fact, scare the audience into needing something or ask a question that serves as a focus for the workshop, you have about a minute to make it clear why your audience needs to pay close attention. Stick to one big idea. People are easily overwhelmed by too many ideas. An overwhelmed individual will not seek out your services.
The body of your presentation should move back and forth between providing information and giving participants the opportunity to discuss, practice, or otherwise experience that information. These experiential components allow individuals to assimilate the information and also make each one feel that they’ve gotten individual attention. Midway through this section, it’s appropriate to insert a small plug for your services – if you take my e-course, you’ll receive in-depth information on each of these topics.
Finally, spend the last few minutes on a call to action. After all, you’re doing this workshop to attract participants to your services! Summarize what you’ve said, then very clearly let people know how to get more. Increase and cement this desire for your services by giving people something to take away. Have a handout that covers the main points of your presentation. Give out a short demonstration CD – these are very inexpensive to create. If you are selling a product, give out a small sample.
Above all, be sure that your contact information is prominently displayed throughout the workshop. Even if your only handout is an agenda, be sure it includes your name, phone number, email address and website. Create a list of products and services and offer a discount for on-the-spot registration.
There are continuing education centers, religious organizations, spas, coffee houses, civic organizations, and groups of all sizes just begging for speakers to provide information to their groups. Many companies offer brown-bag seminars at lunchtime. Libraries and bookstores offer learning experiences. You are only limited by your imagination!
Susan R. Meyer is a Life Coach and consultant specializing in clearing self-imposed barriers in life and at work. She draws on her twenty years experience in Training and Development, spent teaching how to design and conduct workshops, in her programs including the One-hour Workshop e-course and the One-day Workshop e-course. Please visit her at http://www.life-workcoach.com for information about these courses and the free weekly Workshop Clinic call. You can contact her at dr. email@example.com