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Tips for Planning Workshops for Christian Women
Tips for Christian women speakers
You know, planning a workshop for Christian women is really no different from planning any other sort of workshop. The issue is in some church circles, people don’t know the basic skill sets associated with training adults, so the workshops tend to be of a lesser quality than those in professional markets. In other words.
Your workshops are dull and BOR-R-R-RING!
In my opinion, we can’t afford to “bomb’! Women’s ministry is so important and can really change lives when done properly. This is especially true with women’s ministry classes, Sunday School Classes, or Christian workshops for women. These events present AMAZING opportunities. Still, many fall flat.
This need not be the case!
Why should we reduce ourselves to delivering mediocre products just because we are churches or faith-based?
If I go to another poorly delivered class or one-dimensional workshop for Christian women, I’m going to scream and it won’t’ be because I’ve got the Holy Ghost!
For years, I’ve been a professional trainer/facilitator, primarily in the nonprofit sector. My workshops are highly effective and rooted in adult learning theory. In other words, I know what works. My post-training evaluations prove it, as do my return clients.
Recently, I’ve been led by the Holy Spirit to leverage my professional expertise to benefit God’s people.
Instead of complaining about boring workshops filled with a bunch of conjecture and incomplete thoughts, why not try to provide tips to help?
We should all utilize the skills we acquire to build the Kingdom. I’m ashamed it took me this long to do it.
A perfect example is my church. We have a health ministry because several people from the medical field (doctors, nurses, etc.) determined to be a blessing to the church. Cool, right???
Aside from attending too many dull workshops, I have two more reasons for sharing tips about adult learning and training.
Why I want to provide help planning workshops for Christian women…
Reason #1: Boring Workshops
Have I not made it abundantly clear I hate repetitive, poorly-delivered workshops for Christian women? If not, stay tuned.
In spite of the fact your content or information is good, people won’t be able to get anything from it if it is poorly arranged and sorely delivered.
They may try and try very hard, but if you don’t have it together, they will eventually “check out” mentally. Before you know it, their minds will roam to a soft, plush beat in Maui. In other words, you’ve lost them.
The Christian women speaker leading the workshop (or sometimes Sunday classes) means absolutely no harm. In fact, they have the best intentions. They simply don’t know how to do any better.
Maybe they are a cosmetologist, a dentist, or stay-at-home mom. Training is just not in their “wheelhouse”.
Although, may be educated in the content, they are not educated in adult learning.
For the life of them, they don’t know how to package the information in ways that mentally “arrest” or capture the audience. If this is you, it’s not your fault. You’re not trained in being a trainer, that’s all.
I could try very hard to change the oil in my car. Perhaps, even, I can find a terrific YouTube video on it!
Really, it blows my mind how many folks say they are “teachers” or “trainers” and have no research-based background to support it. They just make things up as they go along and figure good enough is good enough. That is irrational!
Reason #2: I want to assist…
Anyway, I can help with that. I don’t want people to struggle to figure out how to do something I already know how to do.
Plus, as the Sada K song says: I want to see us all win. I want the workshops at women’s Christian events to be AMAZING! Why? Because I know lives can be changed. People can gain new skills to help them succeed in their Christian lives and that means something to me.
Plus, I’ve had a great career as a training consultant. It’s clear to me now that I’m not to be the only beneficiary of it. I’m paid hundreds of dollars an hour to deliver trainings.
I enjoy that money and tithe on it faithfully. However, the Kingdom should benefit from more than just my tithe. No. Instead, I want to help those who teach in Christian circles how to do it effectively based on the latest research and best practices I’ve acquired. Why not?
I also want women events to be stronger and better.
Women’s events are magical (if they are planned right).
Something really powerful happens when women come together.
I love the enchanting fellowship that happens and the valuable information I can learn.
Not to mention, the rich and meaningful, life-long relationships can develop from these events.
These events are not only fun, but they can provide such amazing experiences and friendships.
Forsake not the assembling…
My son created an app called “Church it UP!” to make it easier for people to find local Christian and church events. I’m so proud of him.
Not only because he is creative (like his mom:) but, also because he is passionate about uniting Christians.
“Christians cannot be strong unless they are around other Christians,” he says.
He gets how powerful faith experiences can be.
It’s like a single charcoal that falls away from the others on a hot grill. While all the other closely connected charcoals burn a bright red, the lone charcoal will soon die out and go cold. Christian women’s events prevent a sort of “dying” out. Still, they must be effective so people will want to attend. The women need good information and good learning experiences to be strong and victorious.
My free podcast will help you plan outstanding workshops for Christian women events.
If you are doing a Christian workshop- and you do not have professional experience in adult learning- listen to the podcast called “planning amazing Christian women workshops”. It will supply the basics of planning a good learning experience.
You may even be an educator of school-age children or young people, but, I still encourage you to watch it to explore what adult learners need. I think you’ll nod your head in agreement after the first five minutes.
Ask them to submit their learning objectives and methods to you prior to the workshop.
Then, you’ll know they are 100% ready to deliver a quality Christian workshop and not just a bunch of rambling. Yes, God equips, but a wise man plans. I wouldn’t want someone doing surgery on me saying the Holy Spirit taught them all they need to know. Get outta here!
No more dull workshops for me!!!!
I have a confession.
It’s hard to find me at a Christian women conference these days because I’ve stopped going. I simply can’t sit through another terrible workshop.
I just can’t.
To add insult to injury, I also have grown weary of boring keynote speakers saying the same thing some over and over again in a monotone voice.
Yeah, I’m done with all that….for now, anyway.
Here are the free tips for Christian women speakers on planning Christian women workshops for women’s conferences and events!
So, I’ve laid a great foundation by telling you who I am and why I’m doing this online training.
Now, let’s get you ready for your next workshop!
Remember, these principles apply to any type of workshop or learning experience, but I’m most passionate about Christian women events, so I framed this data to bolster that format.
If you’re planning a Christian women’s workshop, here are a few things to think about:
Know what you’re doing in Women’s Ministry and Planning Workshops for Christian Women.
Be clear about exactly what you are going to do. Is it a lecture or a workshop?
Lecture is a one-way conversation in which the speaker pushes out information (usually) to a large group of people. This isn’t always the case because a small class can take on the characteristics of a lecture, by the way, it’s designed. But, for the most part, lectures occur in lecture halls.
In a lecture, you can’t really control the interaction that comes from the audience. In fact, the interaction is minimal because it’s all about you at that moment. You don’t really benefit from their energy and you can’t see the indicators that help you know they are learning or are confused.
A workshop is totally different. It’s up close and personal. In this setting, you can almost see the learners mull over the information in their brains. You can feel their energy, you can tell if they are ready for a break or having a hard time learning.
My website named for adult learners.
I love to see learning become almost visible or palpable. Did you know a person’s blinking patterns often change when they are mentally invested or processing new data? It’s a cool thing, yet, difficult to observe in a large-scale lecture.
Again, facilitating a workshop is more personal, more synergetic. It can be a mutually beneficial experience. You can get as much from it as the learners!
It won’t be beneficial if you don’t know whether you’re delivering a workshop or a lecture. Knowing what you’re planning is critical. It’s also important to understand what the “askers” are expecting you to deliver.
If you’re a planner, you must know what you want from your speaker so they can plan to meet your expectations. If you’re the workshop presenter, again, you must be clear on the expectations.
In my free podcast episode, I’ll give you the keys to knowing which is which and why.
Steps in the planning workshops for Christian women events.
Plan your Christian women’s workshop intelligently so you’ll do a good job. Don’t just dump a bunch of content on a page and rely on your personality or humor to carry you through it. No, you’ve worked too hard for that. You can have the best info to share and do an awful job all because it wasn’t delivered the right way.
It’s all in the presentation.
Remember the episode when Vanessa brought home her fiancée, Dabnus, on the Cosby Show?
Cliff struggled with the sudden engagement because of how Vanessa presented her new love to the family. Who could forget the garbage can analogy?
The same is true in your Christian women’s workshop design. You can craft an astounding body of information- sure to help people- but, because you present it poorly, it will bomb.
Make sense? Good.
Let me give you some easy- to- follow steps to help you plan it properly:
Step 1: Begin with asking yourself what you want them to learn.
Learning goals outline the purpose of your workshop and answer the “all-important” “WIFM” question (i.e. what’s in it for me) that will draw the learners to take the workshop and keep them engaged once they are there. It’s sort of like planning your workshop with the end result in mind.
Ask yourself: when the workshop is over and done, what will they leave with? How will it affect their lives? What will they be able to do differently? How will they think differently?
Goals are like a road map to ensure you arrive at the correct destination.
In my free podcast, I’ll teach you how to create SMART goals for planning your Christian women’s workshop.
These goals are the key to your success as a Christian woman workshop facilitator.
People can laugh and have a blast during your workshop, but – yet again – if they didn’t learn anything you’ve wasted their time and yours.
You have to have a way to measure whether the workshop was successful and met expectations.
I like to have a simple (super easy) evaluation at the end of my workshops to let me know if I was effective.
If I did “rock it”, the comments on the evaluation align perfectly with the learning goals I created during the planning process.
I even look for some of the same words [on post-workshop the evaluation] that I used when I wrote my learning goals [prior to the workshop].
It’s like puzzle pieces that fit perfectly together!
For example, say you’re planning a learning goal for a workshop on the subject of prayer. A learning goal could be:
“To help learners discover new methods to find prayer time during the day.”
After facilitating this type of workshop, I would distribute my simple evaluation.
When I review it later for analysis, I would search for comments like:
“I now know to use my lunch hour for prayer time”
“I plan to close my door at work and have prayer”
That congruence between my planning goal and my post evaluation is very important to my success and sense of efficacy.
Sunday school teachers should also create learning goals.
In fact, anyone responsible for teaching should have them.
I even have learning goals for meetings I facilitate. Each meeting I have with the ministers’ wives at my church has a learning goal.
In your workshop planning, aim for at least three. At least that is what works for me.
When writing them, be as specific as you can.
Avoid broad words like “know”. You can’t really measure whether someone “knows” something unless they can demonstrate it.. Sure, you can introduce a concept, but even then, “knowing” is too nebulous to quantify.
Instead try to come up with observable and measurable verbs like create, demonstrate, discover, calculate or list.
Step 2: Plan your Visual Aid for your Christian women’s workshop
Go ahead, Give the folks something to look at – other than your beautiful face. 🙂
PowerPoint and Prezi are terrific tools for creating dynamic, visual learning aids.
PowerPoint has not outlived it’s usefulness, in my opinion. Learning environments still need color, movement, and bold illustrations – especially for folks who learn by seeing (visual learners).
Since a large part of the population learns best visually, PowerPoint is a necessary resource.
If you cannot use it, you are going to need to work hard to compensate with handouts, whiteboards, music, or something. Read more about that in step 3.
I also think each slide should look somewhat different from the slide before it.
Sure you can use a theme, but try to shock them a bit with color and motion so they won’t get bored seeing the same design over and over.
PowerPoint has some great themes, but you can mix things up a bit to keep the interest high.
When using animations in PowerPoint, keep them simple.
I chuckle as I write this. I’ve attended some crazy presentations with stuff flying all around the screen pointlessly.
Yes, we all know PowerPoint has animations. So, no need to overuse them.
Utilize them to gently and methodically to deliver information – not to make a cartoon. Leave that to Disney.
Step 3: Create a stellar handout
I like handouts because they give people something to take home with them. They also reinforce the learning for both the visual learners and kinesthetic learners.
When creating your handout, include lots of white space for note-taking. Don’t cram it with too much information on it. Often, such wordy document won’t make sense to them the following week.
Structure it to enable them to record the cool stuff they learn from you…in the moment. I’ve seen handouts that are several paragraphs and look like a term paper. No one needs that.
No, a handout is a learning tool. People should be able to use it to solidify learning.
Here are some more tips on creating a great handout:
Design it to be pretty.
OK, this is just about personal preference, but I think the handout should be something nice to look at.
After all, it is a reflection of you. A plain white paper with black print is boring and you’re not boring! You’re planning a multi-faceted, interesting workshop. Make your handout reflect it.
Easy to follow.
Organize your handout somewhat chronologically so people can follow it easily.
If the areas to take notes don’t flow with your workshop, it may frustrate the participants.
Instead, organize it so the places to take notes align with the timing of the workshop and the timing of your PowerPoint slideshow.
Again, leave wide margins, though, so they can write their personal “aha’s” on the sheet.
Pictures convey a thousand words at one glance. Use them to help reinforce learning. You can get free images from Dreamstime and other online sources.
For worksheets, I’ll often use clip art to keep the worksheet lighthearted and fun.
Humor is a magnificent resource for learning. A cute little bear can help you minister to the women in the workshop like nothing else.
Yes, I’m giggling as I write this, but it’s true! That’s why emojis are such a big part of our culture.
Two pages tops – front and back.
Handouts are not meant to be textbooks.
Limit your handout to two-pages and keep the font reasonable.
If your handout is too long, people won’t even want to tackle it.
They’ll become intimidated and not use it.
Instead, remember not to crowd it and consider it a tool. Its job is NOT to deliver the information, only to support it.
Finally, put your name and contact information on your handout. You never know when people will invite you to come to their churches or to speak at another event! Brand yourself at the bottom in small print.
Naming that Christian Women’s Workshop
Sometimes, you’re able to name your own workshop. Other times, you have to go with whatever the organizer created.
When I name my workshops, I always go for fun, catchy titles. The name of your Christian workshop is sort of like a book cover, you want to pull people in – you want to draw them to it. Some of my favorite Christian workshop theme titles are:
Walking in my Beautiful Selflessness
Being confident without being arrogant
Who God Made Me to Be
How to be your truest self all the time
99 ½ won’t do!
Striving to be the best you you can be
Tears in my Bottle
Moving pass past pain toward greatness
Building relationships with other Christian women… and liking it
I could go on and on.
I love coming up with Christian workshop titles. It’s the marketing maven in me.
Feel free to use any of these titles for your next Christian workshop. However, if you’re writing a book, song, or plan to profit tremendously from one of them, I’ll sue you. I’m joking (not really, I will).
Well, you are so ready to plan your next workshop now!
Listen to my podcast episode on planning workshops.
However, the full class will help you get a strong handle on planning Christian women events, women’s Bible Study topics and processes, women’s retreats, and more.
GodsyGirl is a Christian lifestyle blog featuring Christian faith articles written by an ordinary Christian woman blogger, Christian inspirational podcaster, and a pastor’s wife. GodsyGirl is about Christian inspiration and living your fullest life as a fabulous Christian woman. Explore GodsyGirl.com to find articles on everything from daily Christian living to hair, makeup, and living your absolute best life!