What Not To Do when delivering a masterclass
Main aims of the masterclass
The main aim of the masterclass is to deliver high quality information to the audience in a way that they can understand and retain the information. It should be interactive where possible and an hour-long masterclass would ideally deliver 3 key pieces of information to take away. The best way for participants to retain information afterwards is repetition or saying the same thing in a few different ways. Repetition helps consolidation. The human brain can only consume so much information but when we hear information a number of times, we are much more likely to retain it. A good idea is to begin with the end in mind. Ask yourself what 3 things do I want my audience to walk away with?
What not to do
Do not make the assumption that your audience are all experts on the topic that you are about to deliver. Do not assume that they will quickly understand the jargon that you are using so you can plough through a massive amount of information safe in the knowledge that your audience can keep up. When beginning to give on-line classes, do not try and demonstrate that you are an expert on the subject matter, by bombarding the audience with information, thinking that this is great they will know now who the expert is. Never think that the on-line class is about you the presenter. It is not; it is about the audience. Do not take your ego into the class with you thinking the more jargon you churn out, the bigger the success the class will be. What will happen will be the opposite, by bombarding your audience with too much information, you will lose them, they will switch off and leave with no take home.
Learning from my failures
Do not be afraid of not giving enough value. If your audience have signed up for your masterclass, they are really interested in your topic so everything that you tell them will be of value. Unless they have previous experience in your subject, then no information is too basic and if they have heard some of the information before it will be of benefit to them to hear it again to consolidate it in memory. Let me tell you about a time that I totally bombarded my audience with information so much so that a few left early and while I got some good feedback, the honest people in the audience told me that they did feel a little overwhelmed, as I had delivered enough information for 3 master classes!
When I set up my own business as a Career, Life & Wellness Coach, I mostly worked with clients face to face on a 1 to 1 basis. I loved this and could take all my cues from my client who was there in front of me. When I got to the point that I wanted to expand my business on-line I thought it would be a super idea to do a masterclass on energy and stress management, an area that I am really passionate about. It would be a great way to give people lots of information and some useful tools and strategies that they could use in their everyday lives. It would also be a fantastic platform for me to sell my Autumn group class which I was about to launch. What was there to go wrong?
I gave them too much information. I was determined to let them know that I was the expert and that I gave real value in my deliveries. I bombarded them with fact after fact after fact. The information was all of really high value, but I completely missed the point, I delivered what had probably taken me the best part of a year to fully understand and know myself, in an hour and a half with one 2 minute break for air. That coupled with the fact that it was at 7.30 pm when most of the attendees were tired after working all day.
My focus was in the wrong place. I was consumed with my own insecurities at delivering to a group on-line, I wanted to show them that I knew what I was talking about, I wanted them to know the scientific evidence behind the facts. I wanted them to know that I was an expert in my field and that I could deliver high value, but I forgot about them. What did they want? I never asked so I still do not know. Big learning for me. To top it off, I was so exhausted by the end of it that I didn’t have the energy to even mention my Autumn course not that anyone would have had the energy to listen to the details. This was so ironic as the masterclass was on Energy Management!
Taking the time to see yourself in the audience for the first time listening to this topic, never having read up on it before, is the only way to determine how much content to deliver in 90 minutes. Don’t deliver more than they can consume. It will have a negative effect on the whole audience.
Do not focus on yourself or your ego. Begin your masterclass with the end in mind. Ask yourself what are the top 3 things I would like my audience to walk away with, not what 10 or 11 but what 3 things? Now elaborate on these and build your masterclass around them. Check in with your audience after each point to ensure that they are still with you. Leave your own ego outside, it is not about you, it is about your audience. Take your time.