At the beginning of all of this. Like, I’m talking wa-hay-haaaaaaay back when I made the switch from my cushy / reasonably well-paid senior management position in healthcare to [gasp!] … marketing, I enrolled in a digital marketing course that cost thousands and thousands of dollars.
My rationale? Well, I figured the more I spent, the more likely that the standard of course content delivered would be of a particularly high/er standard.
I got a disgruntled marketer as my course presenter, who lacked passion entirely, & just … genuinely didn’t seem to want to be there. Y’know, teaching. Heck, they didn’t even hold back from slagging off the organisation they were employed by, & well, yea, … I shed a little tear thinking about all o’ those thousands of dollars I spent, & how they didn’t necessarily equate to quality education [or even at all].
No biggie, these be the lessons we learn in life, & I still sunk my teeth into my digital marketing career with gusto, & passion. Actually, the passion has never dissipated, but I think that has more to do with the fact that I should never have been in healthcare, & should have always been in digital marketing.
Me and digital marketing? Soul mates. Meant to be. Perfect match, really.
I still think about that course and those thousands of dollars spent, because while most people would be like, “damn! What a waste!”, I’ve been genuinely grateful that I “wasted” my money on a course that did nothing else for me other than help me to realise, “yep! Digital marketing is me” and then – much later – helped me to map out what I wouldn’t do when it came to setting up TDP with my beautiful business partner in regards to the delivery of our workshops.
We’ve been workshop’ing for over two years now, & we’ve delivered hundreds of different workshops > met a lot of people > tweaked the delivery of each workshop according to the personality mixes within our workshops > made mistakes > learnt from them > laughed about them > really nailed a lot of workshops > others? Not so much [in our defence, it’s been moreso to do with our interstate workshops, & a bung print job, combined with a really sh*tty venue that couldn’t fix said bung job. Don’t even talk to me about #Sydneygate, I’m still traumatised, ha!], & so we decided that we’ve learnt a lot in these two years! So, why not put together a little list of the five big things we’ve learnt from these two years of social media workshop’ing.
Ok, this is actually the biggest. Anyone – literally anyone – can deliver workshops.
They can have every relevant industry qualifications / a wealth of industry-specific experience / they can be an absolute fountain of knowledge / they can tick every.single.box, … except the biggest, & in our humble opinion? The most important.
They’re not people people.
You’ve got to be a people person. You’ve got to genuinely love people. You’ve got to have a genuine desire to teach them. You’ve got to have a special set of skills that helps you suss out every individual personality, so that you can tailor the way you deliver your information according to how they’re best going to receive it.
That takes really enhanced people skills. That takes an ability to be able to read people. That takes a workshop-super-power to be able to pick up on social cues, so that – God forbid – if you’re teetering dangerously close to boring your audience out of their gahd-darned-minds [hey, it’s really hard to make data + analytics fun, ok?], you can pick up on that quickly, & tweak the information you’re presenting so that you don’t lose them completely.
You don’t want to go there.
It’s a special skill, & – dare we say it – it’s something we’ve realised we possess. We’ve realised this by watching other presenters tap into their wealth of knowledge, but – bummer – neglect to tap into the people.
That’s the most important part. The most important.
Can’t stress that enough.
Turn the lights on.
It doesn’t matter if you’re presenting in the most light-filled studio in the middle of the day, … turn the lights on. We’ve been in the most light-filled spaces, in the middle of the day, but our workshops are an all day event, & Melbourne afternoons can get dark, & you can seriously put people to sleep.
You’ve breaked for lunch. You’ve fed them. You’re heading into the afternoon. They might have little people at home, … who don’t sleep. It suddenly gets a little darker in the studio, & bang. They’re fighting off sleep. It’s not their fault, … it’s too dark.
It’s only happened to us once, & we were like, eeeeep! Turn the lights on.
Bitchy resting face. Or as we’ve coined it, “bitchy learning face”.
Ok, so … this is a thing.
People pull some seriously different faces when they take in new information. And that’s ok, they’re just trying to learn. But when you’re presenting? There’s been some times where Cat & I have said to each other; “wowee, I’m thinking xyz didn’t enjoy the workshop so much?” and then fast forward to 6pm when we send out our automated post-workshop feedback form & bang, … “bitchy learning face” goes & gives us the most incredible feedback.
Because the thing is this, there’s nothing bitchy about bitchy-learning-face. Nosiree, it really actually is just some folks concentration faces. It’s how they learn. It’s how they take information in. Some – like me, for example – stick their tongue out when they’re really concentrating [a really good look, lemme tell you], others enthusiastically take it all in [eyes wide open, lots of “YES!” proclamations, & others have the angriest face you ever will see that’ll leave you convinced they’re not happy.
Now, this brings us to our next point …
You’re not going to please everyone.
So write up your workshop description really well online, so that you set the scene for what your workshop is about / isn’t about / who it’s best suited to / who it’s not suited to at all.
Do you wanna know a little secret? It’s a-ok to include who your workshop is not for, because whilst we all want a sold out workshop, what we don’t want is a sold out workshop filled with people who don’t suit being there. Perhaps they’re a little more beginner, & need to slot into your beginner workshop. Or on the flipside, maybe they’re more advanced & need your advanced workshop. Or maybe – just maybe – they don’t suit your workshop at all, & that’s ok too!
The better your description is, the less likely you’ll attract folks at your workshop who didn’t suit being there in the first place / may go on to leave less than desirable feedback.
And then lastly? And this one is important, guys.
If you’re going to co-present, you’re going to need to be friends [or at the very least, have a small degree of friendship] with your co-presenter. You don’t have to be BFF’s, but at the very least, there needs to be a great deal of respect between one another.
You need to be able to read each other well, so that you don’t end up talking over one another. But then on the flipside, I can now tell when Cat’s just beginning to lose her voice, so I know when to take over so she can get some much needed H2o.
We know what each other’s strengths and weaknesses are, so we barely need to make eye contact now when questions come through mid-workshop. We just know. Yep, that’s a “Cat question”, and ooooo look-ee here, this is a “Cherie question”.
You’ll both need to have manners. You’ll need to have each other’s backs. If one is sick / home with sick children, you’ll need to know how to present their section so that they’re not guilted into presenting whilst sick / whilst husbands + partners are home with their sick children.
It’s all of these little things that build a good co-presenting friendship, because without this? People can read it, & it’s awkward, … & it’s point blank uncomfortable when you get the vibe that the x2 presenters don’t necessarily like each other.
And so, that’s the 5 big things we’ve learnt from x2 years of social media workshop’ing.
Sure, it’s just the surface, but wowee, we have learnt a lot in x2 years.
Did we miss anything?
Let us know in the comments below.
Fancy booking one of our workshops? We promise we’ll turn the lights on 😉
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