Last week I was at the EuroNanoForum in the lovely Valletta, Malta. The event brought together hundreds of people from all sectors of nanotechnology for 3 days of workshops, brokerage and presentations. On day 1 we hosted our own workshop: “Impact in H2020: a Crash Course in making an Impression with your project.” This was very well received by participants and was very enjoyable to host!
— Sparks & Co (@sparksandco) June 21, 2017
So for this blog post I thought I’d share some things I learned about hosting a good workshop!
1. Know what you want to share
This sounds a bit obvious, but you have to take into account what you want your participants to take away from this workshop. What is the message you want them to remember? If there is too much useless information, the chance of your participants having a good memory of the workshop, and of your hosting, is reduced! Focus on one theme and build your workshop around that.
2. Prepare in advance
This applies to many parts of hosting a workshop. Good planning can make or break a workshop or the presenter! Know how many people you want there and where you want to host it. Write your script or create your presentation well in advance to have the time to add or take-away anything you think of in the duration before the due date. You are sharing your expertise, if the room is messy or the slides aren’t ready this does not give the best first impression of you as an expert!
3. Practice, practice, practice!
While some people are confident at public speaking, many of us are not. A tip to get over those worries is to practice… a lot! For my workshop I not only practiced myself, but practiced with my team also. They gave me constructive feedback allowing me to try and host the best workshop I could. Practice your timings and see whether the animations/videos/ music on your presentation work! If you are implementing an interactive section then practice how long that will take.
4. Be confident and knowledgeable
Remember, you’re the expert here. You are hosting this workshop to share your knowledge with others so be confident! If you really can’t feel it then “fake it ‘till you make it”! If you’re uncomfortable then your participants are too, so relax and enjoy. Make sure you know everything about your topic so that you can adapt to any unexpected events that happen during the event!
The last point is the defining feature between a presentation and a workshop. I cannot count how many “workshops” I have attended which have just been a promotion of a company or service. I learned nothing and was left feeling disappointed. Your workshop should not be a presentation of knowledge that someone could find on Google, but should be an interactive session that really teaches people about what you want them to know! Answer people’s questions at the end and engage your audience. Remember they came here to see you rather than staying in their office and consulting the internet!
So have you ever hosted a workshop? Do you think they are important now when there are so many resources online? Comment your thoughts below! If you would like to attend a workshop, avail of our training or simply to say hello then drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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