How to Teach a Local Workshop

Teaching a local workshop can be a rewarding experience for you, as the workshop leader, as well as for the participants. When teaching a local workshop there are several things to keep in mind.

To teach a local workshop you need to know something about the local people who may attend the workshop and their needs and interests. If you are teaching a workshop that is targeted to small business owners in a certain area, for example, make sure that you know about the business conditions, particularly for small businesses, in the area. Or if you are conducting a workshop for mental health practitioners who all work for the same organization find out what their professional development needs or learning interests are before teaching your workshop.

As with any workshop that you teach or facilitate, it is always a great idea to ask participants for their ideas about what they want to get out of the workshop before you begin teaching it. Then make sure to include their ideas, especially the ones that are useful and relevant, as much as possible while teaching the local workshop. By doing this you will increase participant engagement and interest and also make the likelihood of participant buy-in greater.

No matter what kind of local workshop you are teaching, here are some ideas for making it more interesting.

When you begin teaching a local workshop present the information in a way that should interest and engage workshop participants. It is not interesting, for example, for workshop presenters to use a PowerPoint or other type of visual slideshow presentation that they simply read word-for-word from. On the other hand, it could work to present a PowerPoint presentation for a short time in which you, as the local workshop teacher, have concise bulleted information that you expand upon and explain in greater detail than is on the slides. In general, the more that you lecture or just present information without chances for interaction or audience participation, the less likely your audience is to be interested and engaged.

You can always find ways to get workshop participants to interact with one another. Ask your audience members questions, for example. Also, after presenting a small amount of information, for example, ask participants to talk with one another or in small groups of approximately three to five people. They can reflect on the information presented, ask each other questions about it, or come up with a useful way to utilize the information. You can then ask each group or pair to share what they came up with. Another good idea for teaching local workshops are to ask your participants to perform role-plays or skits utilizing information and expanding upon it. You might also consider asking them to produce hands-on materials, such as posters.