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‹ View all articles 21st October 2015

Three simple secrets to running a successful workshop

Public Speaking Essentials

Hey <insert your name here> I need you to run a workshop for your co-workers on <fill in the blank>. When can you be ready to go?  Love, Your Boss

Gulp and double gulp. We've all been there. Whether you picked the topic or not so much, there ARE ways to provide a powerful workshop! Coaches, executives and entrepreneurs often ask me how to run a workshop that is both informative and inspiring. My approach to running a workshop (or, in fact any other kind of public speaking) is to work from the inside out.

In this day and age of 'TED' style public speaking, bullet points on PowerPoint just isn't going to cut it. Any way you slice it, a workshop (no matter how many attendees) need to be inspiring!  Rather than teaching the strict 'rules' of how to run a workshop, I encourage my speakers to develop from the inside out - so that they run a workshop that is authentic, memorable and powerful.


Three things that are vital to running a successful workshop... 

Ground your workshop in something deeply meaningful to you. 

  • Find what is so important to you about running this workshop. What change would you like to create by the end of the workshop? Why is this important to you as a professional? Why is this important to you as a human being?
  • If the content of the workshop doesn't directly feel meaningful to you, what is it about the workshop that is important? Perhaps there's something important about doing a great job? Or helping people in general? Perhaps the topic connects to something else that is deeply important.
  • When you find your deeper reasons behind your speaking, you will see that no matter how nerve-wracking it is to run a workshop, your reasons behind it are more important than your nerves. This is an important foundation for how to run a workshop that is deeply powerful - and will help you to have confidence in yourself.

Prepare with the audience in mind

  • Workshops that are powerful are always designed with the audience as at the centre. Your deeper meaning will give you confidence, but to learn how to run a workshop your audience will take a lot from, they must be the focus of your attention.
  • Think long and hard about who your audience are, what they know about your subject and what their needs are. More on how to serve your audience's needs here.

Get ready to inspire

  • The best workshop leaders are ready to put the full power of their personality behind their message. So get ready to persuade, to influence, to encourage, to energise... in a way that feels authentic to you.
  • Every speaker has the possibility to develop a unique style or stage persona. To find that part of you, think how you behave when you are at your most comfortable. What is compelling about the way you communicate? Then, think about the affect that you want to have on your audience - what would be the most powerful way for you to behave to inspire them? Combine this information and you can start to build a character that's your authentic stage persona - whether you want to have the stage pers ona of a Powerful Monarch, or the Energiser Bunny, or a Soaring Eagle. It's your choice.
  • During your workshop, your stage persona will help you inspire whether or not you feel totally confident. This is one way to access beyond personal power as a workshop leader.

This guide on How to Run a Workshop is a part of Ginger Training & Coaching's Inspiring Speaker's Programme. If you would like to learn more about how to run a workshop, please visit our courses section, or investigate 1-2-1 coaching. 




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