5 Tips From #DECAELS for Running a Successful Workshop

Anna Sumpter | #DECAELS Social Media Team

This past week, DECA leaders from both the chapter and the association level traveled to Tysons, Va., to attend the Emerging Leader Summit (#DECAELS).

The association officers had the great pleasure of attending the EMPOWER program for most the conference, learning important skills to help you empower chapters and engage DECA members. Throughout EMPOWER, we were given many tips for giving a successful workshop, concluding with us developing a workshop we could use back in our home state.

Workshops can be powerful tools to share information, generate new ideas, or align people on goals. Here are the top five tips I found for running a successful workshop:

1. Play by the 7-Minute Rule

It is said that the average attention span for an individual is seven minutes. Therefore, it is very beneficial for both you and the attendee if you change the way the audience inputs information every seven minutes or so. For example, have your audience switch between listening to the presenter, watching a video, listening to each other speak, or having a round-table discussion. This will allow for your attendees to stay energized and engaged throughout the entire presentation.

2. Remove All Energy Gaps

No one enjoys a boring or awkward workshop! Keep everyone awake by selecting a brightly lit and colder than usual room. It is also suggested that you don’t allow for people to be spread throughout a space, but that you ask them to move closer to both the front of the room and each other.

3. If You Memorize Anything, Memorize the Beginning

First impressions are made within the initial 30-seconds of someone presenting. Whether you’re someone who doesn’t need to memorize the entire presentation or you’re someone who wants to know it word for word, take time to understand the beginning of your presentation so your audience feels that they can trust the information you’re about to discuss.

4. Have Your Audience Take Notes

You never want your audience to leave the workshop without any means to access to the content that was just presented. Therefore, have your audience actively take notes throughout the presentation by simply saying, “Write this down.” This will not only help them remember the information so they can go home and apply it, but it is also a great tool to keep them awake and engaged throughout the workshop.

5. Begin Planning Now

It is said that the best workshops are planned at least 21 days before they are given, to allow time to memorize and know the content being presented. If you understand what you must say in advance, you can better spend your workshop time focusing on the audience and ensuring they are getting the most out of your presentation. (Quick tip: The best time to memorize is first thing in the morning when your brain is fresh after a good night’s sleep)

#DECAELS was an amazing experience, lending many opportunities to learn and grow as a leader. I hope you use these conference tips to develop some engaging DECA workshops and presentations. Whether it’s discussing public speaking, professional dress, or social media use, the opportunities for teaching other members is truly #Limitless.

This article was written by Michigan DECA Association Officer, Anna Sumpter. You can follow Anna on Twitter @Anna_DECA.

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