Top Ten Tips for Preparing a Workshop or Seminar Proposal
One way to build your business is to create interest and interaction with potential
customers or clients. Offering a workshop or a seminar is a great way to get started.
You can offer a workshop anywhere, but the best place to get started is by contacting
your local adult education or community center. These organizations often offer
classes, workshops, and seminars and advertise them to the local community both
through printed catalogs and on their websites. You always have the option to rent
your own meeting room and do your own advertising, but if you want an easy, no cost
entry point and want the added benefit of having someone else promote you and your
workshop, try going through an established community program first. Here are some
helpful hints to get you started.
1. Research thoroughly.
If you don’t want to supply your own meeting venue and you want someone to help with
advertising, then you need to find a place to present your workshop or seminar.
Contact various community organizations, adult education and other programs in your
local area. Ask for a copy of their most recent brochure or check their website.
Familiarize yourself with the classes that are offered, the pricing conventions,
class lengths, times and other pertinent information. Also inquire as to when proposals
are due. Often you must submit a proposal 4 to 6 months in advance of the course catalog
Adult education programs usually have strict guidelines around submitting
proposals, signing contracts, and prohibitions on advertising your business or giving
out business cards. Also, find out about their fee splitting policies. Programs hold
back some of your fee to pay for printing and advertising costs as well as for the costs
of providing a room and equipment. Usually, you will receive only a portion of the
class fee (perhaps a 50%-50%, 60%-40% or some other split arrangement) in payment,
but will be allowed to retain 100% of the materials fee.
2. Getting Started.
Most likely you will be competing with many other prospective presenters. There usually
isn’t enough space, either in terms of the published catalog that many organizations
distribute, or with regard to room accommodations, such that everyone’s proposals will
be accepted. To increase your chances, make sure you thoroughly understand the proposal
requirements and guidelines. Find out if you need to submit a resume, professional
references or even a copy of the course materials, in addition to your proposal. If this
is your first application, most likely you will be required to attend an in-person
interview. Remember, you only get one opportunity to make a good first impression.
3. One sheet wonder.
Take the time to design a one page proposal template which will include all the
pertinent information relating to your proposed seminar or workshop. Your class has
a better chance of being accepted when reviewers can easily read, find, and understand
the information. Sometimes less can be more.
4. Describe your workshop.
Create a captivating title for your class which refers to your target audience and
features some benefit they can expect from your class. One example of a class title is,
"Parents: 10 Techniques to Raise Your Child’s Grades in 30 Days!" This tells the
reader who the class is for – parents, that it has content – 10 techniques, and what
they can do with that information – raise their child’s grades. Write a short
description of the class, using plenty of action words and adjectives that can be
printed in the organization’s course catalog. For example:
Discover the underlying factors that draw people to one another in
business and personal relationships. From having strong boundaries and standards,
to creating the space to allow someone special into your life, learn the 7 techniques
to becoming irresistibly attractive. (actual workshop taught by Tara Kachaturoff)