Video 3

Module #6. Teaching the Method

Video Three: Preparation for a Seminar
First of all, be sure to be there early to set up the room so that when people start arriving, you are relaxed and not still trying to get things together and looking flustered. You’re there ready to welcome people, looking good, and well dressed. I like to welcome into the room, shake their hands, and ask their names,
and have a little chat with people. Have some calming music playing, and candles lit, and some nice flowers in the room.
It’s always best to have someone to take care of the registration process as people come in, making contact, and getting to know their names. It’s important that whoever does this gets their names and email addresses for your mailing list. These names are like gold for you.

It is absolutely essential that you start on time. They’re always going to be a few stragglers but begin your presentation no later than 10 minutes after the advertised time — no later. It dishonors those who come in on time, and it makes them angry. So never go more than 10 mins over the start time. If there are still people coming in after that time, tell them to go sit down and have them register and pay during the break.

But here’s a tip for you in that regard. Tell your helper that when they register the people to give them a name tag. That way you’ll be able to tell during the break who has not yet paid by checking on who is not wearing a name tag.
As far as the seating is concerned, plan to arrange the chairs in a semi-circle unless you expect to have more than 20. The circle gets too big after that. So, if you have more than 20, make it theater style. And, the rows can still be arranged slightly bowed, so it looks a little bit semi-circular or horseshoe-like.

Now, here’s another tip. Only put out enough chairs for the least amount of people you feel confident will be attending, but have more chairs ready to one side that you can add in if more people turn up than you expected. It doesn’t look good if you have many more chairs put out than people fill. It indicates to people
that it is a disappointing turnout for you. On the other hand, if you have too few chairs set out and more people arrive, and you have to bring out some more chairs for them, it looks as though that you have been a lot more successful than you anticipated.

So, welcome everyone, make sure you’re making eye contact with everybody. You need to develop what is known as the roving eye. This is where you keep sweeping the group with your eyes so that everyone feels that you are connecting with them.
Acknowledge them for their commitment for showing up and promise that you will do your best to make it.

Introduce yourself and your helpers and be sure to explain your relationship with me and with the Institute. Give them your credentials and perhaps a short story about yourself, so they get comfortable with you and trust you.

Let them introduce themselves if it is a relatively small group. Invite them to say, in 30 seconds or so, “Your name, where you’re from, and how you heard about Radical Forgiveness.” If it is a big group, then just their name. I like to do at least that so they bring their energy into the room and become present. But, be sure to
ask them to turn off their phones.

As far as pre-planning is concerned, make no assumptions. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve turned up at a venue having made a number of assumptions about what to expect which turned out to be wrong.

Therefore, make no assumptions and, if possible, get as much as you can in writing beforehand.

When preparing for a class, lecture, or other public program, always contact the facility and make an appointment to go look at the room a day or two before the event. You need to have it in your minds-eye
when you get there on the day, as well as to make sure everything is there that you need.

Some of the things to go over are:
• Make sure you know the name of the person who will be responsible for the facility during the time of your
program and where you can find him/her, as well as a backup phone number for someone who will be
available if there is a problem with the facility. And, will you need a key? Will you be responsible for locking
up or does someone else do that?
• Have a checklist and go over it with the person in charge. Make sure that everything they said they would
supply will, in fact, be there when you get there and not still stored away in a cupboard somewhere.
• The issue that most often comes up for me is the flip chart holder or white board. If it’s a whiteboard, make
sure it’s large enough. If it’s a flip chart holder, determine whether it’s a sturdy stand or one of those cheap
tripod deals that topple over as soon as you try to write on them. If it is, bring your own.
• Ask about the sound system if you need music. Are they going to give you a boom-box type or do they have
a sound system, a CD player if you need it, or a phone dock?
• Ask about the microphone if you need one. If you do, will there be one available? Ask for a lapel mic or a
Lavalier preferably. Handheld mics are a bit of a nuisance, especially if you need to write or draw on the flip
• And then, finally, make sure that all of your agreements have been put in writing, both with the facility that
you are using and with any others who may be working with you. Make sure you know what, if any, financial expectations others might have when they’re assisting you. Don’t assume anything. If you have any products to sell, make sure you have a table and that you have someone to handle the sales.

That’s all for this Module. Next, we look at teaching classes.