5 Essentials for Leading a Workshop

Female workshop 1


Presenting to fellow professionals is a valuable way to establish your personal brand and practice essential people skills.

But being a successful professional doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to share your knowledge effectively, especially when you’re speaking to industry peers.

Last week, I lead a workshop in Hong Kong, Owning the Room: Pitching to Professionals, hosted by Wynd Co-Working Space. It was a great room full of smart, experienced professionals, and we all benefited from the experience.

I had the privilege of lecturing at a university for a few years under excellent mentor professors, which taught me a lot about how to lead an affective group discussion.

For those of you without classroom experience, here are a few tips to remember to make your next workshop a success.

  1. Get out of the way. Participants should come before your ego and even your agenda. Identify and meet their needs, and they’ll tell everyone how helpful it was.
  2. Focus on what you know. Offer the experience you have and admit when something is outside your expertise or the specified topic. Workshops should be a deep dive on an area you know best.
  3. Invite more questions. Whether you’re working with novices or professionals, your audience has questions. Make it a formal part of the session to write down key questions, and remember to leave time for discussion.
  4. Know your timing. Most people say to check your tech before the talk, but even more important is to know your time. The last thing you want is to leave a group feeling short-changed because you ran out of time.
  5. Ask for feedback. You’re not as good as you think, probably. Asking for feedback builds credibility and can be a means of transitioning to a sales conversation when attendees are potential clients.

Follow these suggestions for the next workshop you lead and you’ll have your attendees’ respect and appreciation.

3 thoughts on “5 Essentials for Leading a Workshop

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