I still remember everything about that day; what I wore, what I felt, and what I was thinking. I felt a vague sense of panic as I thought I might mess something up. My heart was pounding, and my mind was blank. For a brief second I closed my eyes. When I opened them again, everyone was still staring at me. It was at that precise moment I realized I was ready for this. I took a deep breath and I started … to talk.
I am pretty sure when anyone conducts their first seminar it is a nerve wracking experience; mine sure was! At the same time, I LOVE people and I love talking. So once I started, I was in my element.
My first seminar (co-taught with AddressTwo‘s Nick Carter) covered marketing basics for new business owners. As I reflect on the experience, I feel I did a pretty good job of providing practical lessons for my students. There were several specific elements they took away from the class which they could immediately apply to their new businesses. I have had several follow up conversations with my students which confirmed the benefits of the program.
An added bonus of the experience were the things I learned as I went through the process of the planning and teaching the class. Such as:
1) People find value in having something to do: Each segment of my seminar was accompanied by an action item with which my students could apply the theories I was teaching. Collectively these action items create a blue print they could use to begin developing a productive marketing plan, which will continue to add value long after the class is a distant, but pleasant memory.
2) If you work hard enough in advance, the material comes to you: I was TERRIFIED I would somehow screw up my first seminar. I thought I would draw a blank, stumble or completely forget the content I had created. Most of all, I thought I would go talk too long or run out of content too quickly. So what did I do? I practiced; over, and over and over, again. By the time the seminar actually rolled around, I could have taught the course in my sleep.
3) Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed: I couldn’t have done this seminar without Lorraine and Nick believing in me, encouraging me and challenging me to do better then I thought I could. I didn’t want to let them down, so I put everything I had into the program.
And when it was over, I knew it was what I was meant to do. I had a great time, my students enjoyed the program, and I learned so many things I can’t wait to try again. I am looking forward to doing it again soon, and seeing you in the front row!