Thursday, June 25, 2009 by Dave Blum

After talking about it for a long time, I finally performed my first-ever teleclass yesterday, on the topic:  “Creating Team-Building Treasure Hunts: The Five Deadly Mistakes (and how to avoid them)”.

Although not perfect (what ever is?), the class went pretty well, I thought.  I spoke for about 50 minutes, to over 30 attendees, with a lively group Q&A section at the end.  Whew… Teleclasses are a cool concept–you get to present great information without actually going out and standing up on a stage in front of a crowd.  But they’re nerve wracking, too.  You’re all on your own, talking! There’s no eye contact or body language to play off of–it’s just you and the telephone.

Here are five things I learned from the experience:

1) Over-deliver:  I promised five learning points but actually delivered seven.  According to the feedback I received, people really appreciated this–said it felt like they were getting bonus content.

2) Recap each section:  Some of my points (ie. how to scout a treasure hunt) were a bit complex.  It helped when I recapped what I’d covered in each point.

3) Use more anecdotes:  Although content is king, stories bring talks alive.  For my next class, I’ll make sure I share even more real-life stories from my treasure hunting career.

4) Recap at the end:  This goes back to point #2.  In your intro, tell people what they’re going to learn. At the end, definitely tell them what they learned.  This helps retention.

5) If you mention mistakes, explain how you overcame them:  My talk was about treasure hunt mistakes, so naturally I commented on some of my own errors over the years.  According to the feedback, I occasionally forgot to mention how I overcame those mistakes!  For my next talk, I’ll make sure to highlight my solutions, not just my errors.