Even though giving an inspirational keynote is exciting, I realize as a speaker that motivation disappears within a couple of weeks and definitely within a month. This is why I prefer giving workshops. My favorite structure is to present a topic over a two to four week time period to allow for assignments and feedback which benefits everyone who attend. In this article I share some workshop tips that work for me, whether it is a one time workshop or an on-going workshop.
Use the AIDA formula when developing your workshop. AIDA is the acronym of the four major steps of a powerful presentation.
A stands for Attention. First, we need to get the attention of the attendees. Asking a question, starting with some music or an interactive activity (I sometimes have everyone stand up and stretch, or recite a rap piece together that I have posted).
Next, I stands for Interest. We must quickly establish, "What's in it for me?" by piquing their interest and showing them the benefits of being there.
D stands for Desire. In this step we share the how-tos and ways for our participants to tackle a problem or get the results they seek, instilling the desire to tackle new approaches.
And, the last A stands for Action. The final step in any worthy presentation is the call to action. What are they going to do, what have they learned, and what actions will they start taking right now? You can ask them outright.
Involve the participants.
The more you can involve the workshop attendees, the more effective and dynamic your workshop will become. The guru of training techniques, Robert Pike, in his excellent and informative book, Creative Training Techniques Handbook states that, "People do notgue with their own data."
Pike suggests that at the beginning of our workshop, we involve them immediately by asking the question, "What kinds of problems do people have because they do not ______ (Fill in the blank with the topic of your program, eg communicate effectively, exercise , know how to handle conflict, etc.)? " Then ask, "What happens when you and I do ______ (Fill in with the same topic as in the first question)?" Depending upon the time available, you can have someone write the answers on a flip chart, because these will be the benefits gained from the workshop.
When I work with a small group, I will often start with a fun activity and go around the circle of participants, having everyone answer. For example, I lead a workshop called, How to Discover Your Core Passion. I make a few opening comments, and then ask each person, in turn, to introduce him or herself, tell us what they did yesterday for a profession (this is actually their present career and / or job title) and then what they do today (this is just a dream job or a career that they pull out of the air – "famous author on tour," "Hollywood star," etc.). I tell them not to agonize over an answer, this is just for fun. Other questions and also keeping your audience involved throughout the workshop either with you and / or other participants will keep your workshop lively and meaningful.