Workshops can be an utter waste of someone’s time. And strangely, it seems that they’re a waste of time more often than not. One stat says that employees only retain 5-20% of what a workshop teaches.
That’s a dismally low number. And it’s a testament to the stodginess of most workshop practices.
Here we’re going to talk about how to overcome the common malpractices of workshop creators. Let’s get started.
1. Where Are You Aiming the Ship?
Have you ever gone to a workshop and encountered an aimless mess? The speaker gets up there and talks for a bit and then asks what the audience wants to do. And then you think, wait, I thought you were the workshop leader.
This is an example of an aimless workshop. And it’s one of the reasons people hate training workshops.
But if you can outline your workshop and give it some structure, it will at least go smoothly. And the structure should highlight your goal. If it goes off-topic, then you’re wasting time.
What should your goal be? Make it achievable for your team or group. Are you trying to teach a skill? They should be able to at least emulate the skill by the end and explain it. How will you accomplish this?
If it’s information, how will they let you know they understand? Will it be a discussion group at the end? Will it be a knowledge game?
2. How Are You Going To Market the Event?
You can’t have an event without people. One of the problems I’ve encountered with workshops is a lack of humans.
If there are too few people in the group, you can’t run specific activities. You’ll end up relying mostly on lecture and you can’t hold people’s attention merely with a lecture.
If you’re charging for your workshop, you’ll want an online platform. Something like Eventbrite might be nice, but if you’re unable to pay much, you might want to look for Eventbrite alternatives.
If you’re doing a local workshop, consider the cheap alternative of flyers. Put them up where people who might attend frequent.
3. Get People Involved
This is a contentious spot. You’re going to have extraverts and introverts in your workshop most likely. The question is, how do you get the introverts to participate willingly while stimulating the extroverts.
Make groups small if you’re going to do group activities that involve any kind of speaking. People will be more comfortable in small groups and it won’t feel too much like public speaking.
Be sure to mix up the groups throughout. Not all groups will synergize and they’ll be stuck with each other otherwise.
Be sure the activities don’t put participants in the limelight. Some might enjoy this, but there were be many who do not. This is why games and teamwork activities work better than roundtable discussions in workshops.
Follow Up to Enhance the Next One
Feedback is key to improving. Bring some candy and reward people for taking your survey. They’ll go away happier and you’ll get some valuable information to help improve your next meeting.