If you are willing to go from author to speaker, a whole new world of opportunities opens up to you. Additionally, your ability to earn money increase as well. Since most chapters of your book can be turned into speeches, talks or lectures, which you can present to group of all sizes and types, you can now turn these into larger teaching opportunities—workshops and classes. That means you can transform yourself into a workshop leader or a teacher, not just an author. And your book becomes the source of content for these educational events.
How to Impact Reader Beyond the Book
I believe you can have the largest impact on readers when they can see and hear you “up close and personal.” It’s great to speak to a large crowd. Even in this scenario I believe someone in the room (in fact, lot’s of “someones”) may feel you are speaking only to them and that they were meant to hear your message on that particular day. You can change a life or many lives with your story and your message from the lectern. However, when you teach a workshop or a class, the numbers get smaller, and you get to work with people in a more intimate setting.
When you really teach over several hours or days, you connect with your students and readers in a different way. They may become your readers and customers for life. Why? Because you impact them and their lives. You help them. You not only give them information, but you provide them with tactical tips and advice, transformative experiences, and, hopefully, ways to transcend their current situation. You touch them personally.
How to Turn Your Talk into a Workshop or Class
It’s not that difficult to turn your talk or speech into a workshop. First, determine if the talk or talks you’ve given lend themselves to workshop or if you need to combine several of them. Ask:
To teach this as a workshop or class, do I actually need to cover more than one chapter?
With that decision made, take the outline or outlines you produced and return to your book. (Read this post for more information on how to turn your book into a talk.) First, for each section of your talk and each bulleted point in each section, ask yourself these questions:
- Is there information in the chapter I didn’t include in my talk that would be important to include in a more in-depth workshop or class?
- What types of written exercises might support this material?
- What types of questions might I ask the participants to support their understanding or discovery at this point?
- What checklists, guides or tools could I create for them to use in class for each of these sections?
- What resources can I provide to support them in learning this material or doing what I ask?
- What types of group activities or dyad or triad exercises could I have them do to facilitate learning?
- At what points will we have group discussion?
Create a Visual to Go with Your Content
I find the best way to put a course or workshop together is with a PowerPoint presentation. You can use Keynote if you have a Mac, and there are other alternatives as well. Here’s my four-point workshop- or class-building process:
- If you already have a PowerPoint presentation for your talk, begin with that. If not, create a new presentation document, and put the major points from the original talk on individual sides. For example, you might place each of your main topics might on individual slides, and then you might create new slides with heading and three of your bulleted points between two other main topics for secondary points. Or maybe each of your secondary bulleted points go on individual slides as well. (Tip: Save this document as a different name at this point so you have two documents—one for the workshop and one for your general talks on the topic. Come back to it later and add graphics so the next time you speak on the topic you have visuals.
- Flesh this out with the additional points, questions, exercises, resources, etc., you decided upon after answering the questions above.
- Add graphics to illustrate your points.
- Conduct a practice run to see how long it takes to get through the presentation. Add or delete slides as necessary.
Don’t go overboard with content on your slides. You can make notes instead. It’s best to keep the slides as simple as possible; usually a snappy heading and those bullets points you used to remind yourself what to say when you speak are more than enough. Sometimes a cool picture does the trick.
You Can Earn Money as an Expert Teacher
Although leading workshops and classes involves speaking to smaller groups, this doesn’t mean you have to earn less money than you might speaking to larger groups. Remember, you are an expert as well as an author, and people pay to learn from experts.
Usually, you want to leverage yourself. If you can reach more people at once, you can charge less and make more. However, with a workshop or class, you can charger per person at a rate that equates to a reasonable hourly rate when multiplied by the number of people in the room. For example, if you offer a workshop based on your book, you could charge $299 for six hours. If 20 people attend, you have netted $5,980. That’s $997 per hour before any expenses. Not shabby. (Of course, you might have a room charge or other expenses to deduct.)
Often, you can get an organization to run the workshop for you for a percentage. Even doing it 50-50, you take home $2,990, which means you earned $498 per hour. Pretty good money for an author—definitely better than selling books, which you will have done at the back of the room on breaks for some extra change.
Do you think you can make a chapter of your book—or two or three—into a workshop or class using this model?
Photo courtesy of Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com