How to Run a Workshop or Seminar


A good seminar can bring you more money and clients. Creating a valuable workshop that speaks to your participants is your goal. Accomplishing this involves understanding what appeals to your audience and delivering the program effectively.

  • Decide on a compelling topic. Understand your area of expertise and do your market research. Poll the sphere of possible attendees to understand what they want or need to know. This often yields new, relevant ideas for topics.

  • Write a thorough outline of the seminar. Think through each sequence. It is your role to keep the seminar participative, interesting and on track. Keep in mind that in a workshop people expect to participate so try to talk for only 20 minutes in an hour. Plan exercises and other interactive activities for the balance of the time. Give the attendees visuals, audios and other examples of experiences to let each adult learn in the way that is most suitable to them.

  • Do a few dry runs. The best way to ensure you have the right amount of material for the time frame is to take the course for a few test spins. You will be able to see how it flows, whether the material is too theoretical or simplistic, and you will have the chance to tinker with the format before bringing it to the big time. Offer the seminar for free at least twice while you get the kinks worked out. The price of admission can be exchanged for feedback on the seminar.

  • Prepare your leave-behinds. High quality leave-behinds can increase the perceived value of the workshop well beyond their cost. At the very least, the leave-behinds do need to be professional.

  • Take the opportunity to tell the attendees about your next related seminars. Consider offering a discount for future seminars if they sign up in advance. Display your books and CDs, which can be helpful to your attendees and a good source of revenue for you.

  • Remember to keep your workshop and seminars fun; people are most apt to recommend the course and take other workshops and seminars that you offer if they learned something and had a great experience.

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