Thursday, May 7, 2009

Boomerang Presentations: How to Give a Workshops

On March 30th we took a workshop by Lily Iatridis of Boomerang Presentations on 6 simple strategies to share your message with any audience.

The timing was perfect, as Husband and I had just been offered the chance to give a workshop to the members of ICF-NYC on Internet marketing, specifically, "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About the Web But Didn't Have Anybody To Ask." Interestingly, we've been asked to do it even though the group is already offering a webinar this month on Internet marketing. And someone is giving a presentation in June on Linked In.

Frankly, they're smart -- there's just so much to know, why not hear everybody on the topic.

Our goal is to help people who have want to use the Internet as a business tool cut through the clutter and #1, know what action they want the person who finds them on the Web to take; #2, choose the tools that will work for them and #3, know how best to use them.

So, that brings me back to Lily and her workshop. I wouldn't have known those goals without her asserting that the first thing to do when planning a workshop is to figure out the "mastery learning objective." (I feel so professional using such a big phrase!)

She also stated that each goal should be given about half an hour. So, for our four-hour workshop, minus breaks, we can reasonably expect no more than 8 -- I'd say 6. Oh, and that's how many the workshop offered! Ok, so I'll stick with the pro. (Meanwhile our initial brain dump has yielded a list of, like, 12 Internet strategies to talk about. Need some further thinking on that!)

The next advice Lily had for us was to organize our workshop via "Say-Do." So for everything you teach the participants, give them a way to work on it, do it, think about it, talk about it. And I had no idea this was this important, but she said that 2/3 of the time should be spent on the "Do." Wow!

Frankly, that makes me feel less nervous about filling the time. (And it fits with one of the revelations I got today from Sesame Street; link about that coming soon once I get another blog up and running). This advice is also going to keep us from overwhelming our participants -- Husband and I tend to want to cram as much info as possible into everything we offer, in part because we simply know so much and also because we want to offer a lot of value.

The rest of the workshop was about how to build a relationship with our audience, how to be relaxed and natural, and dealing with troublesome audience members (which she also goes into on of her newly posted video clips from her recent Lifecoach TV appearance). I was really impressed with her experience and advice in this little-talked about area. And I would have not anticipated any of the issues raised unless I'd heard them discussed here, and now I not only know they could happen but also have a way to deal with them! Yay.

Finally, Lily went over how to talk about your other products and services during your workshop. She rightly emphasized the need to point out the benefits to the listener, and I liked that she stressed conveying "the cost of NOT working with you." And given the number of hangups we got at the end of one of our preview calls awhile back, her advice to promote throughout the presentation, instead of saving it for the end, made total sense.

I liked that she gave us stumper questions to think about (she lives by her own "say-do" approach!). Like this one (I'm paraphrasing): There's a fire drill right when you're about to start your culminating, bring-it-all-together final activity. When you all get settled again, there's time for that OR your sales pitch. Which do you do?

If you want the answer, you'll have to ask Lily! Her email is

All in all, I'd give her workshop an A. Thanks, Lily!

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