Small Business Resource Power Point Series How to Run Your Own Seminar - Successfully
Why Run a Seminar? You may decide to give a seminar for a variety of reasons. To promote your products, your company, or even yourself! More likely though, it will be for financial gain, done well, seminars generate a rewarding income.
Find your angle Firstly, do some research to find out what it is that people want to know. You may find that what you thought was common knowledge, is in fact just what your audience needs to know.
Level of Knowledge Who are you aiming your seminar at? Will the participants be technically oriented? It is important to know what level of knowledge your audience have, so you don’t waste their time by covering ground they are familiar with, or conversely, go completely over their heads.
Plan and Prepare Ensure you are fully prepared. Write notes on everything you plan to cover, and ensure you are equipped to answer all questions on these topics and subjects arising from them. Keep up to date with the latest developments in your subject area, and be prepared to talk about them!
Involve your Audience Bear in mind that you are running a seminar, not giving a lecture. Of course you will need to do a great deal of talking, but do try to involve your audience. Look through your plan, if you have long periods of speech can you break them up by restructuring your timetable?
Plan Your Time Give your subject the time it needs, and allow extra time for discussion and unanticipated questions. There’s always someone who wants to go off at a tangent! Have a back up plan too, with extra material in case it all goes quicker than you expected.
Be Persuasive When giving a seminar you are selling your ideas and, to a certain extent, yourself. So, be positive, be enthusiastic, be persuasive, and believe in what you are doing.
Everyone’s an Individual People tend to learn in different ways - Ronald Regan, famously, got all his information on video! Use audio, visual and interactive formats to get your message across.
Practice When you’re starting out it’s a good idea to have a dry run first. Consider giving your seminar free to obtain feedback. This will help you anticipate questions, establish the level of knowledge, and quiet your nerves!
Handouts The days of note-taking are well and truly over! Today everyone expects at least a booklet covering the main points of the seminar. It’s also worth including a handout with any slides you used along with a brief summary of that topic.
Gifts Including a little gift along with the handout will help people remember you! Using products branded with you or your companies name is a good idea. Keyrings, pens, coasters, and increasingly, clocks, are all popular choices.
Sell Your Products It’s your seminar – why not sell your products? Having your products there – at the back of the room say, is a great way to make sales. Books and tapes you recommend sell extremely well.
Follow On So, your seminar went well, you sold a truckload of products – what next? Advertise your next one of course! While you still have your audience, give them the opportunity to sign up for your next seminar, offering a discount for early registration.
In Conclusion Do your research – what do people want to know? Plan and prepare Practise on a real audience Be positive and enthusiastic Make the most of the marketing opportunity
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