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5 Valuable Lessons For Giving Seminars

Throughout my career, I’ve had the distinct privilege and pleasure of holding countless keynotes, trainings and seminars.

Naturally, some have been more successful than others, but I can say with full confidence, I never left an event the same as I began.

I always learn from my experiences, whether they be positive or negative.

Part of my platform and ambition with Seven Figure Firm, is to help financial advisors achieve the lifestyle they want.

To do that, I want to share my experience and knowledge with you, any and every chance I get!

Here are five valuable lessons, I’ve gained from giving seminars.

1. Ensure Your Presentation Has Structure

Get your presentation off on the right food with a strong introduction. Offer up your main point, early on, otherwise, run the risk of leaving your audience lost and scrambling for a common thread.

Mention your main point or objective towards the beginning of your presentation, so all subsequent subject matter is in support of the core message.

The middle or “meat” of your presentation should reinforce essential points with examples or anecdotes, followed by a summary at the end of each section.

The truth is, regardless of how engaging and dynamic your presentation, there will inevitably be a few stragglers — someone who didn’t get enough sleep last night or is consumed with external thoughts.

Revisiting important points periodically throughout your presentation will ensure you reach everyone in your audience.

Remember, structure guides the audience along with your train of thought.

2. Explain Your Methodology

Your methodology for the why and how of your presentation establishes credibility and gives your audience cause to trust you.

For example, if your presentation is research-based, provide some form of data visualization which outlines your methods or research design.

If you’re speaking on behalf of experience, describe how you got to the level you’re at, or what specific events in your life/career qualify you to speak on the topic.

This is your chance to relate to your audience and become more human in their eyes. Rely on pathos and entertaining anecdotes to connect on an emotional level.

3. Choose Visuals Wisely

Not all presentations require a PowerPoint. In fact, your presentation might be better off without it!

Visuals should enhance your presentation, not take away from you, the presenter.

Bogging your presentation down with tons of slides (regardless of how full they are) can draw the attention away from you and onto the screen.

Here’s an example: have you ever noticed, when a movie or show has subtitles, you stop paying attention to the scene and become more focused on reading the subtitles?

You miss out on all the context clues of body language, facial expressions and background scenery. 

The same goes for presenting; if the audience is more concerned with your slides, you may be inhibiting the opportunity to connect truly.

If you do use slides or other visuals, keep them sparse and focus on strictly the essentials. Offer up a main point or figure, then use your voice and body language to elaborate further.

No one wants to be spoken at. Whenever you can, encourage conversation or debate among your participants. Pose real, not hypothetical questions and probe your audience for answers.

4. Encourage Audience Participation (with You and One Another)

Don’t just ask for opinions or conversation on the fly. Plan your presentation strategically, slotting in opportunities to pose questions and ask for feedback.

Another expert tip for encouraging dynamic participation is to get your audience moving. Organize group activities, requiring participants to get up and move about the room.

Consider setting up stations around the space, where groups have to rotate through and work on various tasks.

Getting your audience to move around not only encourages them to interact with more people (hopefully strangers, too!), but also gets their blood flowing, keeps them awake and THINKING!

5. Leave Time for Q&A

Even if it means cutting another segment short, always create time for Q&A.

Here are a few things to consider for a successful Q&A:

  • How will you accept questions? Do participants raise their hand or line up at a podium/microphone?
  • What is the time limit for participants to ask their question?
  • What is the overall time limit for the Q&A portion?
  • Will you allow audience participation in answering questions?
  • Always be thoughtful and genuine in your reply; for someone, their question is the most burning and relevant one — give it the respect it deserves.
  • Stay calm and relaxed, no matter what the audience throws your way. Remember, you are the expert — use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise.

A Few Final Reminders

  • Aim to create eye contact with as many participants as possible. Eye contact includes your audience in the conversation and makes them feel important and welcome.
  • Plan your presentation well in advance.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Run through your presentation with someone who knows your subject matter, as well as someone who is less familiar, so you get a variety of feedback.
  • Speak clearly and slowly.
  • Don’t read from a script or verbatim from your slides.
  • Never turn your back on the audience!
  • Test your technology beforehand.
  • Be yourself! Your audience is there for you!

I Can Help!

I’d love to speak at your next event!

I’ve been giving keynotes, seminars and breakout sessions for over 20 years! Let me share my recipe for success with you and your business.

Let’s talk about your next event.

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5 Valuable Lessons For Giving Seminars
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I want to share my experience and knowledge with you, any and every chance I get! Here are five valuable lessons, I’ve gained from giving seminars.
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