Leading an Online Workshop

onenote-socialmediacalendarThis past week I led my first online workshop. The workshop is called Get Your Writing Life Organized and is one of my favorites to deliver.

This is a workshop that has been evolving over the last ten years or so. It didn’t start out as a writing workshop, but as a workshop for professionals at the large tech company where I work.  At first it was a 1 hour quick-hitting list of tips to all new hires who came through my department. I covered topics like keeping your email inbox organized, task management, meeting best practices, etc.

Eventually, that workshop, plus a few other things, evolved into a position as the Efficiency Program Manager for the Americas sales region at my company. I started delivering these tips during a webcast each Friday as well as through blog posts in an online forum. At work alone I’ve delivered this org class (along with a few other workshops) to groups as small as 2 people and as large as 200 in person. Those Friday webcasts can be much larger, as they are called into by sales folks across North and South America.

During my MBA, I offered the workshops to my fellow MBA cohort members outside of class. Then, last year, I started delivering the workshop to companies, churches, and other groups in my local area. I booked these mostly through word-of-mouth via friends from my MBA class. At the same time I started a blog called abigailorganizes.com where I blogged about various organizational tips (a passion) – including many of the topics I covered in my workshop. (Caveat – After getting that blog chalk full of posts, I don’t blog there often at the moment. Family, work, writing needs, and a cross-country move are demanding more time. Gotta make choices sometimes.)

Of course, over the last 3 years that I’ve been pursuing my writing more seriously, I started applying my own tips to keeping my author life organized. At a writer’s cruise in February, I had a 1:1 session with a website expert and showed her how I tracked all my stuff. She suggested I consider offering this workshop, but geared toward authors with the specialized methods I used in my own life. I love doing this workshop, and so thought, what a great idea!

This past week was my first time both to deliver this workshop to authors as well as online. Now, I do have to say that online is much harder. First, when in person I do a lot of showing on the computer where to find things or how to do things. Second, it’s difficult to judge how successful the information is because you’re not getting immediate feedback or able to read facial expressions and body language. I did get a lovely message from one of the participants declaring it a “worthy class”. My hope is that everyone who participated got at least a few tidbits that they can apply to their writing life and get that little bit more organized in the process. I had a blast putting it together. We’ll have to see if I continue to offer it!

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