In This Episode…

A lot of thought goes in to putting together one of my Productivity Masterclasses. I have one tomorrow and so I go behind the scenes to show you how I plan one of mine. It is a sneak peak behind the curtain at what goes into designing a session for a client.

Episode Show Notes…

How I Put Together A Productivity Masterclass

Tomorrow I am delivering a Masterclass for a group of entrepreneurial accountants. So I thought I’d explain my thought processes about how I put together a session.

The first thing I do is check the responses to the survey I send out to participants in advance. This has proved to be an important step in my process. Being able to tailor the session to the needs of the group is vital to its success.

It would be very easy to assume that as I’ve been doing this a while now that I think I know what the main challenges are going to be. Now I encounter variations of the same problems all the time. However it would be complacent to assume anything. Which is why I invest time to discover more about the group ahead of time.

Now this group is a little different from my large audience masterclasses. The session is going to be facilitative and consultative in nature. So ahead of time I have set them the homework of tracking their time for 5 days. Will they do it? Probably not.

After reviewing their responses, I then start to put together the big chunks that I want to cover. I am always mindful of the outcome which is for them to walk away from the session with practical takeaways they can immediately apply. So with that in the back of my mind I begin laying out the content I’ll cover.

There are usually a few key points I’ll want to make:

  • Explain how the brain is hardwired for procrastination and distraction
  • Why they shouldn’t multi-task
  • How to develop new behaviours

And there are a few strategies I’ll definitely share that will help them structure their day more effectively, help reduce if not eliminate any distractions and get them more focused.

The key thing is to get them on my side right from the start. I’ll clarify the objectives and make sure I understand their individual outcomes at the beginning of the session. Even though I already have some idea of what challenges they are facing from the survey experience has taught me to get crystal clear.

One of the biggest challenges all presenters and trainers face is getting the participants to apply what it is they have discovered in the session. There are a number of ways to try and achieve that, but ultimately it will always be down to the participant themselves.

Once I have gathered together everything I start to map out how I am going to navigate the content and exercises I have chosen from my files. The plan is only ever that – a plan. And in this type of situation, it rarely survives first contact with the participants. But it is always good to start somewhere. Flexibility is key. So it is highly likely I may have to go off piste tomorrow.

Do I give them a handout to take away at the end of the session? No. The reason is they think “I’ll read that later” – but they never do.

I am looking forward to the session – I always do. I never know how these are going to go but I always learn from them.

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