By Erika Flint
In my last article, I covered Top 10 Ways Teaching Community Education Classes Can Grow your Hypnosis Practice. In this edition, I’m going to give you a list of 7 principles for creating an effective workshop to increase your authority as a local expert, improve your speaking skills, and promote your business.
Start with a topic that interests you and one you have expertise and experience in. You may want to start with something that is related to hypnosis, but not overtly a hypnosis topic. This will make your class more widely appealing. Topics such as healthy sleep and stress reduction will likely appeal to a wider audience than selfhypnosis, but you also need to take into consideration the other class offerings in your area.
If this is the first time teaching this class or workshop, I recommend using a 90 minute workshop duration. I like a 90 minute format because it’s enough to get people interested, but not too much overhead for you or time commitment for them. This is a great place to start with new classes because you can always create longer versions of a 90 minute class or trim it for a lunch class.
Once you have your topic, apply the following principles:
- Come up with a good, catchy title for your workshop
The title of your class or workshop will need to catch people’s attention, and also help them know what they can expect to get out of the class. I’ve had success with including the word “workshop” in the title it means handson, and people expect to walk away with something when they leave. For a healthy sleep workshop , the title could be as simple as “Healthy Sleep Workshop” and the subtitle you’d create using the formula below.
Here’s a quick overview on creating a catchy sub title (note this works well for blog posts too).
- Use numbers : our brains love numbers and lists
- Include a rationale : reasons, ways, tricks, secrets, hacks
- Use interesting adjectives : effortless, seamless, essential, absolute, surprising
- Use trigger words : what, why, how
- Make a bold promise : what will participants get out of this workshop?
Here’s an example : 5 surprising tricks that will help you sleep better every night.
Put these two together, and you have something like this :
Healthy Sleep Workshop
In this interactive workshop, you will learn 5 surprising tricks that will help you sleep better every night.
- Open with something thought-provoking
Open the workshop with something interesting something that will get your participants thinking right away. You can open with a question, or with something you want them to think about and possibly write down.
If nothing else, you can ask participants to imagine something “I want you to take a moment and just imagine what it will feel like to fall asleep easily every night, waking up refreshed the next day”.
Use your skill as a hypnotist to help your participants get engaged right from the start of the workshop. Participant engagement is critical if participants are open to sharing and enjoying themselves it will be more memorable for them and they will get more out of it.
- Establish yourself as an authority on the topic
Make sure you provide your audience with enough background information about you so they know you are an authority on this subject. This is not a time to be shy about your accomplishments, remember if your participants believe you are an expert on this topic, they will be more likely to follow your advice and be successful.
You can do this by having someone introduce you, or you can simply talk about how you’ve helped people with this in the past, that you’ve written books or articles on the topic, and given other classes or workshops on the topic. Make sure you take time to mention your credentials as a hypnotist including your business name and where you are located, and why people come to see you in your office. It helps if you’re able to tell participants you help people with this type of thing every day.
- Use numbers and lists to help participants learn
People love lists, and it’s a great way for us to learn. Whatever it is you’re teaching, break it into a list for your participants so they can remember it easier. This can also become part of your title or subtitle of the workshop.
This is especially useful for the 90 minute format, which you’ll find will go by very quickly and having a shorter list of items to cover will be beneficial to you and your participants. Keep in mind that you will likely not be able to teach your participants everything you want to in 90 minutes, and that’s good because you can often suggest they attend a more comprehensive version of your workshop at a later date.
- Use an interactive workshop format
If you want your participants to walk away feeling they’ve learned something valuable, then use a workshop format where you provide short exercises throughout the workshop. This is more fun and interactive for participants, and they’ll walk away with a sense of accomplishment.
Ideally you want your participants to leave feeling that you overdelivered on your promise and that can happen if your students walk away with a clear idea of what they need to do to change their life for the better. Again, participant engagement is key ask if anyone wants to share what they came up with in an exercise or if anyone has questions. Keep the format light and interactive and encourage participation.
- Bring handouts for participants
For the interactive portion of the workshop, bring handouts that the participants can write on and take home. The handout should have all of your contact information on it your name, credentials, business name and logo, email address, phone number, and physical address. You can also include your picture and a list of upcoming classes.
You don’t know where the handout will end up, but if your participants have learned something of value in your class they are likely to keep it and refer to it later, and possibly call you or check out your website for private sessions or more class offerings.
My favorite handout format is on cardstock, with my information on one side, and the other side ready to be filled in by the participant with what they learn as they go through the workshop exercises. Cardstock is sturdier than regular paper and will likely last longer, but it’s also more expensive and harder to print yourself so it requires more investment and planning.
- Hand out feedback forms with an invitation to join your email list
Before the close of the workshop, hand out feedback forms to all students with an option for them to include their email address and be added to your newsletter and email list.
This provides you with two important things 1. feedback on the class to make it better, and 2. the potential for return students in future workshops. You can also include a checkbox indicating that the participant allows you to include their feedback as a testimonial on your website.
It’s also a good idea to take pictures of you teaching the workshop and post to all of your social media outlets. If you can get your participants to join you in a class photo, that is even better.
Teaching workshops can be a good way for you to get your name out in the community, promote your business, and improve your public speaking skills. By using the 7 principles above, you can increase the likelihood that your participants will remember you, get something of value out of the class, and contact you at a later time for a one on one session or another workshop.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of articles on community education and workshops and I look forward to answering any questions you have on the topic.