How to pre­pare for a long trip of work­shops

The Hamilton Spectator - - Careers - BY LIZ REYER Liz Reyer is a cre­den­tialed coach with more than 20 years of business ex­pe­ri­ence. Her com­pany, Reyer Coach­ing & Con­sult­ing, of­fers ser­vices for or­ga­ni­za­tions of all sizes. Sub­mit ques­tions or com­ments about this col­umn at de­liv­er­

Q: I'm go­ing to be at­tend­ing a se­ries of work­shops across sev­eral cities. It's the first time I'll be in such a high-pro­file role with this much travel. What should I keep in mind to be suc­cess­ful and make a good im­pres­sion?

Gina, 32, mar­ket­ing as­so­ci­ate A: Go in calm and con­fi­dent, an­chored in au­then­tic­ity, and don't over­pack!

First of all, re­mem­ber that you have been in­vited to par­tic­i­pate be­cause of the ca­pa­bil­i­ties you bring. Keep this in mind when you feel anx­ious or stressed. This is no time to let im­pos­tor syn­drome kick in.

As­sum­ing that you have a for­mal role in the work­shop, spend a lot of time in ad­vance pre­par­ing.

Be sure you have a crys­tal clear un­der­stand­ing of your ac­count­abil­ity. If you will be do­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion or lead­ing a ses­sion, work with the or­ga­niz­ers to align on the key mes­sages and con­tent. Craft your ma­te­ri­als well in ad­vance, and prac­tice them so that you feel smooth but not overly re­hearsed.

If you are a back­ground ex­pert, know ex­actly what top­ics you should fo­cus on. Then gather more ma­te­ri­als than you think you might need. To pre­pare, an­tic­i­pate ques­tions that peo­ple may ask and know how you will ap­proach your re­sponses. Fo­cus on be­ing con­cise and clear. This prep will also help you with ques­tions you didn't pre­dict.

Con­sult oth­ers to get feed­back. Ad­di­tional sets of eyes, an au­di­ence for a run-through or a mock ques­tioner can re­ally help you put a shine on your ma­te­ri­als.

The so­cial side of these events is fun but po­ten­tially daunt­ing. You may be in ca­sual con­ver­sa­tion with peo­ple who are much higher in the or­ga­ni­za­tion, and you will want to try to be at ease. Again, prepa­ra­tion is key. Plan some ques­tions that you could ask them, stay­ing with safe top­ics like fam­ily, vacations, ca­reer, etc. Also plan a few things you could say about your­self if asked, so that you don't stam­mer around for a re­sponse.

Spend time with peo­ple you al­ready know, too, but be sure you use this op­por­tu­nity to get to know oth­ers in your com­pany.

Watch out for the trap of let­ting a few drinks get you more re­laxed than you want to be. Faux pas can fol­low and be hard to live down.

Work through the lo­gis­tics. Plan for enough travel time, es­pe­cially if you need to change planes. Have some nu­tri­tious snacks with you in case your en­ergy flags. Plan for any other self-care steps you can take to help make the travel less gru­el­ing.

Then there's pack­ing. If at all pos­si­ble, stick to a carry-on roller bag so that you are not the one per­son who needs to check lug­gage. Bring mix-and-match clothes, and talk to oth­ers about ap­pro­pri­ate at­tire so you feel com­fort­able.

At the end of it all, be your­self. Wear clothes that suit you, trust that you are there be­cause you are val­ued, and be will­ing to ask ques­tions and learn rather than pre­tend­ing you know more than you do. That au­then­tic­ity will show and will help you gain cred­i­bil­ity and respect.


When go­ing on a long se­ries of work­shops, an­tic­i­pate ques­tions that peo­ple may ask and know how you will ap­proach your re­sponses.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.