When you decide you want to put on a workshop, it’s probably not without a mixture of careful thought and a certain amount of trepidation. You will probably have gone through a process of thinking;
“It’s a great idea – workshops are a great way to show off what I know!”
“I have loads of stuff I can put into a workshop”
“Lots of people do workshops, so it’s not that hard”
“Loads of people have told me I should put on a workshop”
“I have so many ideas, and I can do it in that nice venue that everyone’s talking about and I know a great ice breaker…….”
Unless you have done it all before in which case you are probably thinking about needing a few more interesting tools to make it even better. Or about how to fix it if it didn’t go so well.
After your initial excitement there is probably a bit of a realisation that you actually have to put the workshop together! You need to create some content (not too hard as you know your stuff) and find some way of delivering it in an engaging way (because you know Powerpoint can send people to sleep if you’re not careful).
There’s that whole marketing it thing – you do actually want people to come along. Something to think about here is exactly WHO you want those peple to be.
Then finally you have to get your big girl pants on an actually deliver it. Present your best self in front of a group of people who have paid to come and tap into your knowledge, skills and expertise.
You want your workshop to be inspiring, engaging, enlightening and hopefully a bit fun. You want people to give you great feedback and know that you have done a great job at the end.
You’ve probably seen those brand agency guys who do the funky videos and use hundreds of post its and it looks really cool. Or you might have seen photos of cosy, wooden floored venues, lots of goody bags and happy smiley faces. You might have been to workshops where there is a huge buzz, lots of questions and fantastic conversations. The person delivering the workshop seems at easy, looks like she knows exactly what she’s doing, and looks as though she might even be having a good time.
You want your workshop to be like that.
It can be. Totally.
But quite often the version of your workshop that you have imagined, might not fit the reality. There is a bit of a gap between what you visualise your workshop looking like, and where you are sitting now. That page full of different topics in your notebook needs to go on a bit of a journey before it can actually be the workshop you need it to be.
It takes time and care and effort to put a good workshop together. It’s not website design, there is no coding, no complex procedures. But there is a need for good preparation and design and a really good plan. I can knock up a website. But it won’t be very good as I don’t really know how. I know enough to put something together. But it won’t really reflect what I want of my business. Designing and delivering a workshop is the same. Unless you have dedicated some of your energy into learning how to do it well, it will be a workshop, yes. but it might not be a very good one.
If you are an amazing web designer/digital marketer/coach/social media guru……you need your workshop to reflect you expertise. You want it to look good or you run the risk of people thinking you are not good at what you do.
So a little bit of investment in the workshop creation process is very much worth it. Some of the key mistakes people make when they first have a go are:
- Putting too much content in and running out of time.
- Not creating a solid enough plan and it going off track.
- Focusing too much on the what and not the how. Overwhelming people with information.
- Thinking that an interactive ice breaker at the start will create great participation for the rest of the workshop!
- Not closing the workshop well.
Don’t just focus on the content you want to deliver, focus on how you are going to make it all flow.
Think about some activities that will help support what you are trying to impart to your participants.
Make sure you have the aims for your workshop crystal clear. These may change slightly as you go through the planning process, but always keen them front of mind.
Think about the participants and what they actually need. Not just what you are able to deliver.
Make sure you don’t just “tell people” – ask them too, and remember to listen to the answers.
A good venue is important but no matter how funky it is, this is only one aspect of your workshop.
Just like many other things in this world, you can do something that is good enough and probably get away with it. But if you value your trade, you don’t want it to just be good enough, you want to make it sing.
I have something that will help you – a FREE mini course full of top tips and 4 videos that will help you deliver your workshops.
Coming soon a packed online course that will take you through workshop design, delivery and planning and give you all the essentials for a great workshop.
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