Although we have a strict rule in our house, “no secrets, only surprises,” I figured if I titled this post “a workshop surprise” you might have gotten the wrong idea.
One of the biggest mistakes I see my clients make when leading their live workshops is striving to come up with an original opening. And the problem with “original” is that it’s often code for “make it difficult”.
My favorite way to open a live workshop is to tell the opening story of my signature (or what I call spotlight) talk.
Yes, you do not (and should not!) approach creating a live workshop as a different, disconnected activity from creating your spotlight talk.
Rather, you open with a powerful story, you end with an equally powerful question (or series of questions) to draw in your audience, and then you use that as a springboard into an activity that allows your group to do deeper exploratory work around the question(s) you asked.
Now, if you haven’t created a spotlight talk, here is the most effective way to come up with a strong opening story that you can use when speaking and/or leading a live workshop.
- Identify the most important mindset shift you want workshop participants to make during your workshop.
- Create a question (or series of questions) that could trigger the desired mindset shift for your participants.
- Select a story from your life, work with clients, or even from the news or pop culture that shows the transition from the existing mindset your participants likely possess, to the mindset you want them to lock into.
Now, you have all of the pieces you need. You tell your story. You turn it over to your audience by asking them your soul-stirring question(s), and then you give them an opportunity through your workshop curriculum to go deeper into their inquiry.
Whether your live workshop is to empower your participants to pay off debt, write a winning book proposal or how to speak Klingon, this structure is a surefire way to begin with a bang… and set your workshop participants up for an ongoing stellar, transformative experience with you.
For over fifteen years, I’ve been leading live workshops. I’ve led them for nonprofits, performers, educators, college students, corporate leaders and, for almost a decade, I’ve led them for entrepreneurs and speakers.
If there’s a workshop leadership mistake to be made, I’ve made it.
Now, I’m passionate about demystifying how to lead workshops that are a win-win for their leaders and participants.
On September 6th (from 10am-12pm pacific) I’m hosting my first-ever Lead Workshops That Wow (and add meaningful revenue to your business) LIVE, virtual event.
During this special, one-time only experience, I’ll be live in my media studio, talking directly to you, giving you interactive exercises to complete, and answering your questions, as I jam on:
- The 4 pillars for leading workshops that make big impact and beaucoup bucks
- How to be a dynamite workshop facilitator—even if public speaking isn’t your jam
- Why most workshops don’t transform people’s lives—and how to ensure yours always do
- How to leave workshop participants clamoring to work with you—whether or not you make an enrollment offer during your workshop
I’d love to uncomplicate both the financial and facilitation pieces so you can lead epic live workshops that create a tremendous amount of positive personal/business/health/social impact for your participants. And, that just as importantly, allow you to grow your revenue—for yourself or for your organization.
There is no time more important than now for people to come together, in person, and do deep reflective work, engage in daring conversations, heal from old stories and traumatic experiences, and set aligned action steps for how to best move forward—individually and collectively.
Register here for Lead Workshops That Wow on September 6th (from 10am-12pm pacific).
And if you are coming (which I hope you are!) I’d love to hear in the comments to this post:
What’s the number one thing you want to learn about live workshops?