Four Workshop Presentation Tips For the Independent Consultant

As an independent consultant, unless you have a ton of clients, you have to be constantly on the lookout for opportunities to increase your business. Getting your message out in formats you feel comfortable with is what’s necessary. One format that I look for are opportunities to present workshops. This is an activity that I find both exhilarating and challenging. And, above all it brings in new clients.

Every workshop presentation puts you in front of a new audience – an audience that has specifically come to hear you and eagerly anticipate learning what you have to offer. You cannot let them down.

Each audience is different. Even if you have been speaking on the topic for years, you have to prepare each time even if it’s no more that updating your information and redesigning your topic to fit the new participants attending your workshop.

Here’s the preparation that’s necessary each time you are scheduled to present a workshop:

Never speak from notes. In all of my speaking engagements, I have never spoken from notes. I always wing it. Even though winging it has been given somewhat of a bad reputation from some self-styled experts, there is no better way to connect with your participants. If you have the teleprompter in your brain and not outside of it, you’ll be more at ease and effortless in your presentation. President Obama is described as being an eloquent speaker. However, what he really does is read eloquently from a teleprompter. Without the teleprompter, his eloquence is lacking. Forget notes, teleprompters, or anything else that reduces your connection with your participants.

Always engage your participants. Look regularly from someone with whom you can make eye contact and talk as if are talking directly to that individual. Do it with individuals throughout the audience during the course of conducting your workshop. Engaging someone in the audience works wonders in eliminating any nervousness you may have.

Encourage questions. At the beginning of the workshop, let the participants know that if they have a real burning question to feel free to interrupt and that you will have no problem returning to the topic. With small groups of up to 25 people, this strategy works quite well.

Do not use Power Point. When you use Power Point, it appears that you don’t know what you are talking about. It is similar to being a slave to notes or a teleprompter. If you are passionate and knowledgeable about the subject you are presenting, you will not want to feel locked in by following Power Point steps. Be ready to stray from the script if it enhances your participants’ experience.

In summary, seek out and maintain connection with your participants. Eliminate anything that diminishes that connection.

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