VPJ1I 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!