Step 7. Run Your Class, Workshop or Retreat
You’ve created your class, workshop or retreat, dealt with all the details, marketed and promoted it well enough that you have sufficient participants, and now—it’s time to run it!
Here are some things to keep in mind:
+ Keep in touch with participants beforehand. Have a way of reaching them so that you can tell them about a room change or any last minute details.
+ Be prepared for last-minute questions and concerns. Someone will forget when the workshop starts; someone else will get lost driving there; someone else will wonder if it’s all right to arrive an hour late. Don’t stress out about any of this: just be helpful and upbeat.
+ Get there early. There may be a problem getting into the venue: that sometimes happen. Will you have coffee, tea, and/or water? Other refreshments? Do you need to set up the room? Do you need to put out any materials or items like sign-up sheets? Come early and get this all done.
+ Try to start on time. There’s a balance to be struck between starting exactly on time and allowing for folks who show up a little late, as that always happens. You may want to wait a few minutes; but do begin pretty promptly. Then, when a “late” person arrives, just say, “Welcome!” and continue with your presentation. Try not to be distracted by latecomers: acknowledge them but do not interact with them or get “hooked” into their anxious “late energy.”
+ Explain the schedule. Folks need to know when the breaks will come, where the bathrooms are, when lunch will happen, and so on.
+ Keep track of time. If you intend to present a certain number of ideas or techniques, you need to “divide” up your total time so that you actually cover all your ideas or techniques. For example, for a six-hour workshop (a typical number of “contact hours” for a one-day workshop) in which you intend to cover six ideas, devoting two hours to one idea shortchanges the other ideas and runs the risk of causing the workshop to end up incomplete. Be mindful of the time and be mindful of the relationship between the time you have available and the things you intend to get done.
+ End on time. If you end your workshop early, folks will likely feel a bit shortchanged; if you cavalierly go over—and even if you have a lot more to say and do—people are likely to get itchy and rather short-tempered.
Running your workshop, class or retreat is both real work and great fun. Treat it like the work it is—but remember to relax and smile!
You may be interested in Dr. Maisel’s low-cost, pick-your-own-price class for artists called The 12 Keys to Creativity; or a second one called Overcoming Creative Anxiety. Check them out here:
The 12 Keys to Creativity
Overcoming Creative Anxiety