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How to run a workshop

Ginger Leadership Communications

3 neglected principles for running a workshop that will transform a workshop from pedestrian to powerful.

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.

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.

3 neglected principles for running a 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 person ality 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 (more on stage persona here). 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 effect 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.

Next steps… planning your workshop

Once you have understood the principles of how to run a workshop, you’ll want to look at this 5 step guide for planning a workshop, which looks at how to run a workshop from four different angles:

Conceptualizing the workshop
Creating your structure
Facilitating at tricky moments
Wrapping up

Read on for more about how to run a workshop.

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.

Ginger Leadership Communications

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