Last week, I shared some tips for assembling a presentation for your coupon class.
Today, I’d like to share some of the steps I take to get ready for my coupon classes.
Know your audience
I make a point to learn the special considerations of my audience before I finalize my presentation. For instance, I’ve done a number of coupon classes for non-profit organizations. I always like to take the time to chat with the Executive Director or point person there to learn if there are any topics I should or should not bring up. It’s about being respectful, and about being relevant for your audience.
Some questions you might ask ahead of time:
- What are the prominent stores in the area of the class?
- Which paper(s) are delivered to that area, and what inserts do they contain?
- Does the group wish you to focus on certain topics? Avoid others?
- Any special needs or circumstances for this group I should know about?
I recently took the time to ask these questions for a class I was preparing for and learned that one of my opening slides would have been completely out of touch with those attending, and worse, possibly hit a nerve! I was so glad I’d taken the time to listen to the needs of that particular group! If I would’ve upset folks early on, it’s possible that the rest of what I had to share would’ve been tuned out.
Know your Set up
It’s important to mentally prepare for the sort of class you’ll be teaching. I’ve taught classes where there were five people in a living room, drinking coffee. I’ve also taught classes of upwards of 100 people in a larger room, classroom style. Obviously I’d approach and prepare for these opportunities differently.
Some of the things I like to know ahead of time:
- Do you have a projector I can use with my laptop?
- Is this a big room? And if so, will I have a mic? What kind?
- How many people do you plan on having?
- Will the room be set up in tables, rows, or something else?
- How long do you want me to speak, and do we need a break?
- Will there be beverages/refreshments/etc? If so, will people be eating and getting up while you teach?
Knowing what to expect can help alleviate your stress.
The simplest way to prepare a handout would be to take your Powerpoint presentation, go to print, and select the option for handouts.
When you go to print, select the “print handouts” option and choose the layout desired. In this way, you’ve streamlined your class, building your handout the same time you’ve built your presentation.
Other ideas of handouts you could provide to your classes:
- Business cards for your coupon blog or coupon class business
- Take-away tips from your presentation (perhaps with blanks for people to fill in or areas for notes)
- A list of online and other resources for coupon users
I also like to hand out my Sales Cycles download. Incidentally, you are welcome to share this at your coupon classes, too (just tell them where you got it).
What to bring
I like to bring a wide assortment of visuals to go along with my presentation. I then ask the class host if I can have a table nearby to set everything up. Here are some of the things I’ve found most helpful to bring:
- My coupon binders and organizers
- Examples of different kinds of coupons, coupon books
- Copy of the Sunday paper with inserts and ads
- Examples of food, health & beauty items I’ve been able to get for free
- Small items to be raffled off as door prizes
While the presentation illustrates most of my points, I have found it helpful to be able to pick up items as I talk. They have also been helpful during breaks or at the end if attendees wish to come up and chat with me and see my binders.
You might want to also think about bringing some water or hot tea to drink. I’ve run into a couple situations where beverages were not provided and let me tell you, my throat got dry!
I have found the more items I have on hand for my classes, the better prepared I feel to lead the class and address any questions that arise. They are also visual cues that help me through the presentation.
Next week, I’d like to finish this series by sharing some tips for an engaging presentation.
If you’ve been teaching coupon classes, I would love to know what other ideas you have to prepare? What other handouts do you provide or visuals?