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Top Tips To Deliver Powerful Workshops - By Mairead Whyte

Posted 689 Days Ago in: Coaching Articles

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Delivering a workshop for the first time can be a daunting experience to say the least. And like any other skill it can be learned easily, and the more you do it the better you get. To deliver your workshop and know that you have made a lasting positive impact on someone's life in just one day is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

Delivering a workshop for the first time can be a daunting experience to say the least. And like any other skill it can be learned easily, and the more you do it the better you get. To deliver your workshop and know that you have made a lasting positive impact on someone’s life in just one day is one of the most rewarding things you can do. To kick start, all that is required is your passion for the topic of your workshop. Passion creates motivation and with motivation comes mastery. Showing your enthusiasm in an area of your passion is positively infectious; inevitably this will shine through in your delivery and is essential to engage and win over the participants; and your confidence continually grows.

Over the past fourteen years I have developed and learned several ways to engage workshop participants and build confidence as a workshop leader; my top tips include:

1. Workshop preparation and design. Thorough preparation is essential to deliver with impact.

  1. Know the purpose, objective and expected outcome of the workshop as a whole. This is critical when communicating the benefits of your workshop; and it also sets expectations for the participants. Designing a successful workshop is dependent on delivering on these expectations.
  2. Prepare the outline of the day. List all the items/exercises that need to happen to deliver the overall expectation. Organise each item/exercise such that the learner experiences a logical progressive growth from beginning to end. This creates an agenda. For every item on the agenda, be clear on its description, purpose, and the learning it will provide to the participants.
  3. Keep on track and finish at the expected time.
  4. Design your exercises to encourage interaction and movement. This keeps the energy flowing!

2. Know your content. Knowing what you are talking about in advance gives energy of competence. This enables you to focus on connecting with the participants and building rapport. Knowing your content is very different from reciting from notes, presentations or scripts, be careful with this as you can lose the attention of participants. As the workshop leader and messenger, your content should be short, brief and to the point, you deliver key impactful messages that drive the material deep with purpose, power and connection. Live and breathe your workshop content in the days leading up to the workshop to build your confidence.

3. Be comfortable in your own style of delivery. Your product is you, so it is important to develop and understand your own unique style of delivery. It is very beneficial to practise your delivery by attending presentation classes or workshops. This enables you to learn powerful presentation techniques, practise them in a safe environment and adopt them to make them your own. You will also understand your strengths as a workshop leader and the areas you need to develop. In addition, I recommend that in any workshops you attend as a participant you should observe carefully what the leader does and how they do it. Note everything that worked, and for those items that were not so effective ask yourself how you could do it better! Importantly, be authentic, open, and honest and show your humour in your delivery. Be who you are. This entices participants to open up also and encourages interaction building good positive energy.

4. Manage your state. Manage your self-talk in advance of delivering your workshop. Set yourself up for a powerful positive outcome. Allow yourself the flexibility that it is ok to make some mistakes. Know that your passion and preparation builds your confidence and overrides any fears. Know that it is ok if you do not know the answers to everything. Know that it is more than good enough to come across as the wonderful person you are.

5. Keep the participants engaged. The most important thing is what you do. Speak with passion and do what you want the participants to do. Lead by example; introduce each exercise by examples and/or demonstration. 

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