As a regular trainer, I’m always on the lookout for new tools and techniques to get everyone in a workshop or talk engaged. There’s no better way to illustrate a point or make something more memorable than getting your audience involved and some of these tools will help to make your session more interactive and therefore, worthwhile.

It is also crucial to get feedback, so that you can enhance your future workshops to suit your audience. You might get some fantastic ideas by asking for feedback that could inspire even further events.

I have put together a list of 7 tools that help me in my social media workshops, to ensure your workshops are professional, slick and engaging. Some of these tools are also designed to ensure your audience are switched on, taking part, and most importantly having fun.

Related: How to make a living teaching people what you love

  1. Canva

Tool number one is Canva. If you haven’t heard of Canva, then you are seriously missing out, as this free image editing website is incredible and has quickly become a most used tool of mine. I visit the site at least once a day to create a social media graphic or website image like the one below.

Tools Every Trainer and Workshop Leader Should be Using canva

Canva can be extremely useful when putting together the content of your course – as you can create infographics, slideshow presentations and innovative smart art using the tool. Not only can you create slick decks, but you can brand them by using your own fonts, colours and uploading your logo and images to the graphics.

I use Canva to create social media graphics to promote my workshops, and find it useful to create templates, which you can edit, as this save a huge amount of time.

  1. Eventbrite

If you are looking for an event page and ticket selling solution then Eventbrite is a brilliant tool to adopt. Not only does having an event page make your workshop more credible, but it allows you to experiment with various sales techniques such as early bird rates, and discounts for your network.

Tools Every Trainer and Workshop Leader Should be Using eventbrite

The dashboard allows you to keep track of how many people have registered, and you can download a sales report at the end gathering email addresses and names for your own database. It’s really simple to use, and I’ve had great success with using it to promote my social media workshops.

  1. Instagram

Once you approach the date of your workshop, it can be useful to ask your attendees to download Instagram to their phones ready for your event (if they aren’t already users!). I find that as an attendee, introducing yourself to the room and sharing a bit of information about yourself is quite a mundane task, especially if you go to a lot of workshops.

A great way to liven up the process of getting your attendees to introduce themselves is to ask them to interview each other using Instagram video. The video function within Instagram could not be simpler to use, you simply hold down your thumb on the video symbol to record. Simply ask your attendees to ask each other on film who they are, where they are from and what they want to get out of your workshop.

The great part about using Instagram video is that the length is limited to 60 second, so it’s quite fun to challenge your attendees to keep their videos at this length. If you so wish, you can use an iPhone-to-projector adapter to plug in a few examples from the room to watch on the big screen afterwards.

  1. Notability

Notability is an app that allows you to combine sketching, audio recording and note taking all in one place. Everything is automatically synced between devices, so you can use on your Mac, iPhone and iPad. It’s iOS only – sorry Android users. There is a useful Dropbox integration too.

Tools Every Trainer and Workshop Leader Should be Using canva notability

I have used this app before when sketching on top of PDFs or lengthy passages of text, but I can see a huge opportunity here for anyone wishing to make their workshop slightly more interactive with the audience. You could ask people to come up and make annotations for you, or you could draw diagrams live in your workshop, and save them automatically to a Dropbox for your students to access.

It’s like the modern day projector and film slide!

Related: Organising a workshop? Get this free checklist template

  1. Facebook Live

Perhaps you are delivering a workshop or talk and you know that there are people who couldn’t be there. Earlier this year, Facebook launched functionality allowing you to broadcast live from a profile, Facebook Page or to a Facebook Group.

Facebook Live allows you to record on your mobile phone for up to 240 minutes, which is great for talks or panel events. If you open the floor up to questions at the end, then don’t forget to check your Live Broadcast incase your online community have anything to ask you. The Broadcast will be available to watch back afterwards, and will exist on Facebook forever (unless you delete it).

There are just a couple of things to remember. You are going to need a full battery, to be on the safe side, and a tripod to keep your recording steady and of adequate quality. Also you may need to consider using a microphone to enhance the sound quality. There are more tips here from Facebook.

Related: Is Facebook Live the Next Big Thing in Social Media?

  1. SurveyMonkey (feedback)

Get free feedback after each of your talks by using Survey Monkey. You could ask delegates to fill out the quick questionnaire either in the last 5 minutes of your talk, or you could send it to them via email. Survey Monkey allows you to build your own forms, and ask whatever you want, so you could use it to get some useful insights into how well your audience enjoyed the workshop, what they felt could be improved, and what they would like to see from you in the future.

A great strategy is to ask your audience to recommend someone they know, such as a colleague, that would enjoy the workshop too, along with their contact details, to help you to build your own leads list. You will have access to all of the information from Survey Monkey in real-time.

  1. Talk Book

Do you share your slides or PDF download after your workshops? Talk Book is actually a great way to ensure you are gathering feedback, sharing information and capturing data all in one. I used this a few times last year after speaking at various events, and found it to be really simple and user-friendly. You upload the file you wish to share, and ask your audience to visit a certain URL to collect them.

Once they access the URL they will be asked for some brief feedback and to fill out an email address. There are benefits to both parties, as you can gather feedback and emails and your audience can download a resource, or a discount off a future workshop, like below.

Tools Every Trainer and Workshop Leader Should be Using talk book

Read this next: 9 Ideas to spice up your workshop or training and engage your audience

What tools could you not live without? Let us know in the comments!

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