I’ve been running a mini series on how to teach a coupon class, and today I’d like to conclude with some tips for creating an engaging presentation.
In case you missed them, you can read the previous posts:
It’s important to note that apart from visual aids, a nice handout, or a great powerpoint – those things are not the presentation. They should serve to enhance it. It’s really all about you and your ability to deliver an engaging class.
Diving right in
I mentioned this in my post on organizating your presentation, but it’s so important to capture your audience’s attention right off the bat. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience: what would catch your attention?
As a freelance copywriter, one thing I know is it’s all about a compelling headline. A well written headline gets you reading the rest of the ad, magazine article, or clicking through to the post, doesn’t it? I think of my introductory sentences much in the same way.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Share a personal story of how couponing has helped you.
- Share a personal story of how you used to shop before you used coupons.
- Share some misconceptions people have about coupons.
- Share startling images – amazing receipts or shopping trips.
- Ask a question of your attendees or some other ice breaker.
The goal of the opening few minutes is to “hook” your attendees and make it clear that you’ll be able to take them from Point A (new to coupon user) to Point B (ready to incorporate couponing into their lifestyle).
Keeping the presentation rolling
Here are a few tips I’ve learned through trial and error.
- A little humor goes a long way. I love it when I can get my class attendees to laugh! It’s a good gage to know that they are listening and engaged. For instance, when I talk about why you shouldn’t be obnoxious at checkout, I often act out how a cashier must feel when an obnoxious couponer walks into her store (“oh, there she is again. I hope she doesn’t come in my lane…”). While your presentation doesn’t have to be a stand-up routine, I have found a little humor is excellent for keeping the energy high.
- Please don’t read your notes. Remember, people came to hear someone teach, not to listen to someone read.
- Move around. Don’t just stand in one spot or refuse to make eye contact with anyone. During the course of my class, I’ll walk to the screen to point at items, walk across the front of the classroom, walk to my table and hold up coupons, etc. Work on varying your body movements and not standing still the entire time.
- Ask your attendees questions. Occasionally I’ll get a class that is…quiet. This can be disconcerting if I’m about to talk for two hours and I’m getting blank stares. If this happens, I’ll start asking my attendees questions. For example, I might ask where they have found manufacturer’s coupons at their store, what freebies they have found on Facebook, etc.
- Repeat key concepts. It can be easy to get diving into all the ins and outs of coupons. Make sure you repeat key concepts at least a couple times. If you’re also using a Powerpoint presentation, make sure you’re reinforcing those points!
- Let attendees know how you wish to handle questions. Do you want people to be able to ask questions at any time? Or save their questions for specially designated portions of the class? Remember: you are the presenter. Don’t allow endless questions to prevent you from getting through your content. I like to also offer up break times/before/after class to have folks come ask me their questions privately.
What other tips do you have for presenting a coupon class to a group? Or, have you attended a coupon class and have some insight as an attendee?
I hope you’ve found this mini-series helpful! Let me know if you have other questions on this topic.
Photo courtesy stock.xchng