Get Their Attention
As adults we are all distracted. We are worried about time and money. Thinking about our families. Wondering what to make for dinner. This does not mean we do not respect the person standing at the front of the room. It just means that we bring our real lives with us into that seminar. Help us park our outside thoughts for a while. Let us get settled. Give us a “five minutes to start” warning. Call us to order and wait for silence. This can be tough. But do it.

Then come in blazing. This does not mean loud and crazy – unless that is your style. I means getting our attention. Show a compelling video. Share a profound quote or story. Shock us with some reality.

Explain Your Objectives
Tell us why we are here today. Post an agenda that is based on objectives. What am I going to be able to do or understand after your seminar. Give me three take-aways and a main goal or reason that you are doing this seminar.

Find Out Where They Are At
We all bring with us some experiences that you can build on. You are the expert but the audience is not ignorant. What problems or hopes brought us to that room to listen to you today? Ask “If there were only one thing that you learned today, what would you like it to be?”  Record their questions or ideas so you can deal with them during or at the end of your session.

This can be done as a fun, interactive ice-breaker exercise. Ask them to interview the person beside them to find out these answers then have them volunteer their ideas to you.

“Tell em what you are going to tell em… Tell em… Tell em what you told em”

Who, what, where, when and why. Right off the top. This is a seminar not a mystery novel. What are we going to cover today? Give us an outline. Our handout should match the order and content and help us focus on it. Deliver your message. Use stories and anecdotes to enliven your content.

What are you going to tell them?  Come up with a maximum three points. Whether it is a ten minute talk or a full day seminar, we can only learn so much. For each point an overview, a story and how it applies to them.  Don’t add more points if you have more time. Go deeper or tell more stories.

Near the end, review what you just told us. Make sure to cover off how your content includes what they expressed an interest in hearing.   Check in did they get it? How will you know?

Take questions
Questions is the second last portion of the presentation. You want to control the timing and you want to then segue to your closing. Ask if anyone has questions on any of the content. If there are no questions, move smoothly into your close. If there are too many questions, give out your email address for additional questions or let them know that you respect that your time is up and you will stay after to answer questions.

Then Close with your most powerful take-away – the idea you want them thinking about on their drive home. Make it clear, compelling and a definitive end to your presentation. On time.

Author's Bio: 

As a long-time Toastmaster, College Instructor and Internet Marketing Strategist, I have worked with dozens of small businesses and solopreneurs to help them understand the power of delivering workshops and seminars to promote themselves, their business and their non-profit cause.

My passion is working with self employed service professionals who are passionate about their service and their clients. These people develop an expertise and naturally find themselves sharing their knowledge to help others. I partner with these people to create strategies, tactics and processes that turn acquaintances or website visitors in to leads. These leads are added to a personalized process that leads them step by step into becoming raving fans. As much as possible, this is done all in an automated process so people don't slip through the cracks.

I raise 5 beautiful children, live with my wonderful husband John on Georgian Bay. In my free time I bake, decorate cakes, go camping and canoeing and write.