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How to craft an efficient seminar

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In this article, we are going to pick up from last month, where you identified your seminar/workshop topic, and move into actually building the presentation. I will share with you the framework that I use to build presentations and some key elements to make sure you include so you can have the biggest impact.

First, make sure that what you are going to do fits you. One of the worst things you can attempt is simply memorizing a seminar that someone else is using without making it your own. I am not saying you cannot start with a current seminar platform, but if you do, just use it as a formal structure. Below is my process for creating an efficient seminar.

For this example, we are going to use a seminar topic about market volatility: “5 Key Secrets That Every Investor Must Be Aware Of.”

1) History: Assume that your attendees do not know certain facts, as they are not in the industry. You want to take the time to set up the backdrop behind what the “5 Secrets” are. This establishes credibility before you get to your own opinion about the situation. Remember, the attendees are meeting you for the first time, so you must gain their trust by establishing credibility though what you say. I would also recommend that it does not turn into a one-hour history lesson, but is rather something your audience can understand and relate to. Think about briefly walking through the markets from 1980 to the present time and the challenges that have presented themselves along the way. This will lead into the problem section.

2) Problem: In this part of the presentation, begin to identify five key problems that investors have faced and what these problems mean to their financial peace of mind. Each one of these problems needs to be verified by a third-party resource. This is an extremely important aspect of ensuring your solutions have merit. As you clearly state the problems, this will naturally move into you reflecting on past/current strategies that have attempted to solve these problems.

3) Current Strategies (Pro/Con): As you walk through these key problems, be honest with the group, as everything has a pro and a con associated with it. Do not show just the cons to make your position seem stronger, as this will be apparent to your attendees and will cause them to lose trust.

4) Solutions: Now that we have clearly stated your case and have buy-in from the audience that the five key problems exist, we can circle back to what the experts say. We are now in a position to discuss the “5 Key Secrets That Every Investor Must Be Aware Of,” which is the title of the seminar/workshop. I would start this section by incorporating something that was taught to me: using “feel, felt and found.” For example: “Do you remember the feeling of watching your 401(k) lose money in the tech bubble in 2001? I remember, and it felt really hopeless. But from that experience, I want to share with you what I found and the secrets that I believe are there to help you avoid this feeling in the future.” At this point, your audience should be with you because of the credibility you have established. As you are going through this process, you can mention that in a few minutes, you will be showing how to implement these secrets.

5) Implementation: Now that you are coming to a close, you want to share with your audience how to execute these solutions. There are many different ways to do this, but I will share with you how my brother and I close our seminars. We get back to stating the two most important questions every investor must answer:

a) How much risk can you afford to take?

b) How much risk are you willing to take?

What you are doing is stating that you have a process that addresses the problems through proper analysis, and from this, you will be able to provide personalized recommendations. Just because there are five secrets/solutions does not mean that all of them apply to everyone.

So there you go: This is our secret formula for creating what we believe are extremely efficient seminars.

I look forward to continuing to share different strategies that will help you grow your practice!

For more from Jason Jenkins, see:

Why efficiency is critical to success

The formula for building relationships that last

The golden circle of sales = why + how + what