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How to Host a Great Workshop

| Airport & Travel Retail

Attend a workshop could be one of the most useful and thrilling parts of your workweek.However, for the presenter, it may become your nemesis with the added pressure of providing relevant and innovative in a public setting, with real people watching you!Workshops are often sold a promise that if you attend, whether free or not, you gain some invaluable knowledge that could potentially revitalize the way you do business or function in society. For years we have been attending and hosting workshops for years, watching the presenters with their fancy PowerPoints and listening to the many attendees that want simple solutions to their complex issues. As a solution, we thought it would be best to provide you with a few tips on how to run a workshop that people will love and recommend to their friends:

Tip #1: Become an Investigator
Who said a little Facebook exploration or Google search could hurt anyone? Use online portals to find out about your attendees – Who are they? What kind of business are in? What might be there purpose for attending the workshop? Ask the workshop organizer for a list of attendees so you can start your research early and you may even want to add some tailored information to your presentation that enhances your commonalities with the
audience.

Tip #2: Involve your audience
You are your audience’s best motivation! Ask them questions – ones that provide you insights into their thoughts and others that spur imagination, enlightenment or curiosity.Certain questions can be asked to the group as a whole and others should be constructed for specific individuals that may need some extra attention or motivation to participate.

Tip #3: Stay Focused
Although the 2 hour speaking allotment might seem like a big task to fulfill, it is actually much harder to cram a ton of information into a small period of time than to have unlimited hours to play with. If your presentation time is around 2 hours in length, speak for 45 minutes to an hour and allow time for questions and interactions. There is always bound to be someone that asks an important question during the presentation and you want to be able to provide them with what they need, right then and there, without time being a factor.

Tip #4: Pump Up the Passion
As our Italian partner Carlo always says, “Lead with the passion, make them excited about what you have to say!” Compare a monotone speaker that drags on and on for hours to a fiery,passionate and thought provoking speaker who fills the room with energy and enthusiasm. Literally, get in their faces and walk around the room, making eye contact and engaging with each and every person in the audience. These people are taking important hours out of their day to come and learn something from you. Keep them engaged and leave them with a lasting impression.

Tip #5: Keep them wanting more
Providing a workshop does not mean giving away all of your best kept secrets. Offer a few tips and tricks that could be easily implemented or understood by the audience, with the intention of engaging the audience in conversation. Be resourceful, be innovative and always offer an incentive for people to engage and wanting more information about your subject matter.

Tip #6: Give them a thoughtful keepsake
Attendees did not just come to listen to you speak for two hours; they came to learn and develop their processes. Stay one step ahead of the game and focus on writing down your key takeaways in a short and concise document that guests can take with them. What better way to remember your workshop than by referring to the handout provided at the end of the session? Talk about being proactive!

Tip #7: Follow-up with a Purpose
Just like every Business Communications course in college always taught you, the art of the follow-up could mean the different between a basic lead or the opportunity to sign a deal.Thank your audience for coming and provide them your contact information should they have any additional questions. Also, post informational content and feedback from the workshop presentation on Facebook and other social media channels to keep people engaged and up to speed with how you might be able to offer services to their businesses.

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Samantha Widmer

Samantha Widmer is a well-rounded and dynamic business professional with 10 years work experience in the finance, asset management, marketing and consultancy world. Born and raised in Grand Cayman she holds a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) designation with the state of New Hampshire, USA and has also been an international ambassador for the islands in the sport of golf.