Maximizing Your Workshop

Managing expectations is a critical element in the success of any content delivery in any medium

bret ridgway

Workshop, by their nature, are more interactive than seminars. People come to a workshop expecting to work on their business in some way, shape or form. After all, you can’t have a “work”shop without work.

four people watching on white MacBook on top of glass-top table

Workshop groups are generally smaller and there is a lot more direct involvement with the person who is leading the workshop than there is with a speaker on the platform at a multi-speaker seminar.

Since people come in expecting to work they should be in the right mindset and prepared to consume whatever it is you’re going to teach them. That being said, much of what applies to making seminar content more consumable applies to making workshop content more consumable.

The mind can only absorb what the butt can endure


That phrase “the mind can only absorb what the butt can endure” is as appropriate for delivery of your content via a workshop as it is for delivery in a seminar. You’ve got to provide students with bathroom and meal breaks so their focus is on you when you’re in teaching mode.

You’ve got to have a well-structured curriculum that flows in a logical order. New content should build upon previous content so you’re not covering a topic that people wouldn’t logically understand because you haven’t covered some prerequisite content first.

You should know the background of your students well before they come into your workshop. You don’t want to assume they have knowledge they don’t.

Find out as best you can what knowledge they have. Of course, everyone will come in with a different level of knowledge to some extent. Your goal is to move everybody up the ladder some.

If they came in as a “2” in their level of understanding of your topic you want them to leave a “5” or a “6”. If they came in as a “7” then you’d like them to leave as a “10”.

We’re not saying that it is always possible to hit the perfect mix. You want everybody to get the most out of your workshop as they can.

If you can get a clear understanding in advance of their level of expertise than you may be able to provide them some prerequisite materials you want them to study to help bring them up to a certain level before they attend the actual workshop.

Invariably, some people will feel your content is moving too fast and others will feel it is moving too slow.

You have to strike a balance as best you can between these two extremes to make the overall experience as meaningful as possible for people overall. Can you engage some of your more advanced students in some way to help the slower ones during the course of your workshop to keep them tuned in?

Clearly, if people have a good understanding ahead of time as to what they can expect from your workshop then you greatly increase your chances of success.

Managing expectations is a critical element in the success of any content delivery in any medium.

Be cognizant of the amount of material you plan to cover during your workshop. You’ll probably need to resist the urge to tell your audience everything you know about your subject. You’ll simply overwhelm them and they will fail to grasp the most important pieces that you need them to understand.

You’re better off covering only a handful of topics very well then throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, at them and have them so bleary eyed they end up grasping nothing.

If you can cost effectively videotape your workshop then you can make the sessions available for reviewing at a later time for all of your attendees. Just put them inside a password protected membership site so only the attendees would have access to them.

People love checklists and simple step-by-step guides on how to perform particular tasks. So think about what you can provide your students in this format that they can use for later reference.

Workshops are a great way to share your content. And they don’t have to even be done with all the attendees gathered together in the same room.

There are certainly a lot of positives from having people together face to face, but maybe you can do your workshop through the use of streaming video. Only you can decide what makes the most sense for your business.

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Bret Ridgway

Find out more about Bret Ridgway and the services Speaker Fulfillment Services can provide you at SpeakerFulfillmentServices.com.

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