Considering getting yourself “out there” by offering a Lunch and Learn? Before you throw all the excuses into the mix and decide it makes you too nervous, take some advice from someone that has delivered loads of them … it’s not that hard. You don’t have to be an expert and you don’t have to be a professional trainer. Ahhh… feel better?
Granted that there is some risk of embarrassing yourself anytime you appear in a group forum like a Lunch and Learn. I’ve walked into a room with my skirt caught up in my belt, and … oh yeah …. I’ve misspoken “customer service” as “customer cervix.” All recoverable, and all moves that endear you to the audience. (How’s that for looking at the bright side?)
Sure, the fear involved in publicly presenting a talk can eclipse any desire to reap the benefits, but let’s look beyond those barriers and assume you’re ready to go for it.
The fact is, you’re likely making it a bigger deal than it really is.
Why the Benefits Outweigh the Time You’ll Invest in a Lunch and Learn
Do this. Consider the benefits and use that as your motivator. Lunch and Learn trainings, also known as Brown Bag trainings, whether company-based or community-based, are a terrific way to boost your name and influence a group of target prospects, all without the onus of a full-scale training or formal keynote.
It’s a low cost mechanism for getting your brand in front of people and establishing yourself as a fearless presenter and a confident business person, not to mention an authority in the subject area.
In your work, do you sell something? Do you want something of others?
An enticing Lunch and Learn format draws in those prospects like truckers to a casino, all now at your mercy for most of an hour. Take this as an honor, and deliver the goods. All you’ll need to do is find their sweet spot, or a subject that provokes their interest.
If you’re a coach or a consultant, or in any business where you need to establish credibility and influence others, this is it. This is a must-do opportunity to boost your professional identity and position follow-up. When you give someone valuable information, they leave wanting more. A Lunch & Learn can leave them with an appetite … and guess where they will go for that? Voila … to YOU!
Pick One of 3 Ways to Format your Lunch and Learn
Presentations can fall into one of three approaches. You are either
Decide which one best fits you, and then drill down into potential topical areas.
Depending on your desired outcome, and your readiness level, think through an ideal presentation and a perfect outcome, then ask yourself which of these is the model you’d like to follow.
The SHARING Approach: a topic that you are adept at and can “teach” to others
I find that too often we have a fear of calling ourselves an expert at anything, especially us women. Drop that silly notion, but if it makes you feel better, substitute the word specialist.
But the fact is, you are adept at something from which others can learn. Find an area of expertise that would adapt well for sharing.
One way to cultivate ideas is to begin with a brainstorm of all the specialty skills you have. If there is a part of your experience that is appropriate to share with that target audience, outline it and explore the pieces of it that you know well and that others would find interesting. To get more depth, consider having a friend interview you and asking you about what you do and what you like about it. It’ll come out.
Examples of topics may sound like:
Little Known Tricks to Managing the Government Contract Process
How Our Customer Base Can Benefit From The New CRM System
Feel free to broaden it to a more personal approach of sharing lessons learned that would be great for others to know
3 Ways to Get Your Staff To Participate in Your Meetings
The 12 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Career
The Top 3 Negotiation Pitfalls That Female Engineers Should Know
Of course, substitute your target audience in there where appropriate.
The EXPLORING Approach: a topic where you lead the audience through the discovery process
What I love most about this approach is how enlightened the audience is through the process of self-discovery. You provide the path …. they follow it and learn. You enlightened, they grasshoppa.
Learn The Path To Daily Meditation
Publishing Your First Book: How To Outline 5 Chapters
The 7 Ways Your Leadership Role is Like A Symphony Conductor
A fundamental piece in this approach is audience activities such as self-assessments or exercises. By the time they have completed an hour with you, they have outlined something about themselves that is valuable and hopefully practical. They walk away with accomplishing something that’s practical and immediately useful.
The INTRIGUING Topic Approach: something that you wish you knew more about and that is trending now
This is a great way to present something that you’re admittedly not an expert in but that you’re curious about. The audience will relate to you in both aspects – the lack of expertise but also the curiosity. So here you are, as the hero doing the background research to unearth more about it and share what you’ve learned.
Pick something that intrigues you and research a little about it. Look up ideas online. Translate those into your words or, as a shortcut, use someone else’s list. Just give them credit so that you’re not plagiarizing.
Ways to Get More Action In Your LinkedIn network
How Mindful Leadership is Positively Affecting Business Bottom Lines
You can be more creative in the approach by drawing a parallel such as:
How Hiring The Right People if Like Trying On Newly Washed Jeans
Or by finding a provocative subject:
Just What The Heck is “Cards Against Humanity?”
Your Title Will Need A Hook
If you don’t have something compelling in the title, the interest won’t be as substantial as it could be. Generally, titles with a number in them help the audience to see that you’re presenting something with some structure (3 tips, 12 steps, etc). Most humans like a methodical approach or a strategy, but they also appreciate hearing how that positions a solution to some problem they might have. For that reason, I include some impact in the title or subtitle as well as in any description paragraph that may be available. Tell them how your session will make a difference and why they’ll be interested.
Is your mind buzzing just a little bit? That’s good news for you, since you’re that always-looking-for-good-brand-exposure business woman. Consider that a sign that you’re ready. Pull that skirt out of your belt and start creating.
If you’d like to delve in this more deeply with my help, join my online training webinar next Tuesday, May 9, as we discuss How To Deliver a Terrific Lunch & Learn
YOUR FIRST SUCCESSFUL LUNCH & LEARN: Learning How To Do One
You’ll learn how to:
1 – Frame Your objective & scope
2 – Outline the content
3 – ID 3 interactions to involve them
4 – Craft a powerful wrap-up
We will also address the fear factor. Join moi!!!
Purchase the Online Training (in work … available Sept 1, 2017)