Interested in hosting an online workshop? Today we dive into hosting a webinar, how to get started, what to keep in mind, and all the awesome ways hosting an online workshop can support your growth as a Pilates teacher and practitioner. Tune in!
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[00:00:00] Welcome to Pilates Teachers' Manual, your guide to becoming a great Pilates teacher. I'm Olivia, and I'll be your host. Join the conversation and the Pilates community on Instagram at @pilatesteachersmanual and visit buymeacoffee.com/OliviaPodcasts to support the show. Today's chapter starts now.
[00:00:56] Hello, hello everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. [00:01:00] I've got some exciting adventures planned for us today. We'll be discussing how to run a webinar and running a webinar and some of the pros and cons and some strategies for it. If that's something that you are potentially interested in as a Pilates teacher.
[00:01:17] Now, I'm definitely aware that as a Pilates teacher, your audience might be your students. So if you think about a webinar, it's kind of the way, or it would be like running a workshop at your studio where you were working on inversions or you were working on something like the rollover, or maybe you wanted to standing reformer work or something. And you said, okay, I'm going to do a workshop about this.
[00:01:44] So I like to think of a webinar as expanding on the idea of a theme to class. And that is something that I've discussed in the past, where you have maybe a movement that you want to find a bunch of different ways. If you're [00:02:00] focusing on that rolling shape, then you do all of the rolling exercises and really set your class up to succeed in rolling adventures.
[00:02:08] It could be a particular exercise that's really challenging that you want to spend the whole class building up to something like a high bridge or some fancy control balance dismount from the reformer. It could be anything like that. In the case of a theme to class it's often happening during your class time. So it might only be 45 minutes, 50, 55 minutes an hour, something like that.
[00:02:35] The great thing about a webinar is it can be a bit longer. And you might think that a workshop as well could be like two to three hours, potentially. It might be an intensive workshop that is, you know, up to eight hours. Not saying you have to do that, but it is kind of a cool thing to do.
[00:02:53] And I love when I see other Pilates teachers offering, um, whether it's for other teachers [00:03:00] or, you know, tools for their students to use. I think it's a really great way to connect with your audience, whoever your audience may be. I do want to share my personal experience because I ran a webinar in February that was on prenatal clients and working with pregnant clients. And it was actually a homework assignment for the training and assessment course that I was doing. That I had to, you know, lead some on the job training scenario simulation.
[00:03:32] And the cool thing about webinars is that now more than ever, you can totally solo put one together and run it if you wanted to. There's a lot of pros to running a webinar beyond monetary, potentially, if you're charging money for it. And I'd say one of the biggest ones, especially for me, is that one way to demonstrate that you really know something and to [00:04:00] really solidify your learning in any subject is to teach it to someone else.
[00:04:04] So if your audience is other teachers like this podcast, it's like a 20 minute webinar that happens every other week. You can really flesh out your understanding, make connections that you may otherwise not make, because it's very different when you're talking about it to someone else. We know this. It's what you did at all of your teacher training in terms of learning the choreography in your own body and then how can you tell someone else to do the thing that you felt. The highest form of learning, I think, is being able to teach it to someone else.
[00:04:44] So from a purely professional development standpoint, doing a webinar or running a workshop, if you're doing it in person, is a really great thing to do. It's also another way to position yourself as an expert, whether you're teaching [00:05:00] students or teaching other teachers. The fact that you have knowledge that you're offering to share with people and, you know, helping people to learn from your mistakes and, you know, to try this really cool thing.
[00:05:12] Cause it could also be, you know, a choreography workshop. It doesn't even necessarily to be like, here's my dissertation on everything I know about pregnancy. It can be, you know, this is some really cool stuff that I've been playing with on the chair. I want to share it with you. It's something that you can add to your resume, that in addition to teaching your group classes, your private classes, you've also led workshops and I mean, public speaking in itself is really valuable. Being comfortable being uncomfortable is a really awesome skill to have. And so it might be just outside of your comfort zone enough that it nudges you into a place of growth.
[00:05:54] So I think that it's a cool idea. Obviously, that's all I'm talking about today. [00:06:00] There are a few cons, a little bit of a downside to doing it: the upfront investment in your time, and potentially your funds is not something to sneer at, especially if you're doing it solo, you know. Putting together a presentation, whether you're doing a slideshow or you're prepping notes, if you're going to be doing a movement thing, practicing, figuring out the tech side of things, all of that does take some time, but the great news is once you do it once, once you have that infrastructure, and if you've run a workshop on a specific topic, once you have that presentation put together, you can then reuse it and, you know, host that workshop again. Maybe make some refinements, see what worked well with your audience, what kind of missed the mark and then adapt it so that it's even better the next time. So that's something to keep in mind, that there is that initial investment, but it does pay back dividends if you choose to run that webinar again. [00:07:00]
[00:07:00] I think this is also something to keep in mind that if you are interested in presenting at conferences, like the Align Summit, I saw just happened, like the Pilates Method Alliance conference, like Momentum Fest, any of these bigger conferences that teachers are traveling to, it's much- I don't want to say lower stakes, but it's like really useful. It's really useful practice to lead a presentation to other Pilates people about something related to Pilates.
[00:07:40] I've had friends who very much wanted to go the route of traveling lecturer and they wanted to go to studios and, you know, be something of a Pilates nomad and travel around and share Pilates with people. And one way to position yourself as someone who can do that is [00:08:00] if you have this lovely resume of other workshops you've led either at other studios or online. It's definitely a way that you could take your Pilates teaching that you don't have to, you can continue to teach private sessions or group sessions or some combination of the two. Um, but it is another thing that you can do as a Pilates teacher. You can travel and, uh, lecture or provide webinars and not travel. Just do it from your office.
[00:08:29] Even as I'm talking about it, I still have that little voice in my head that says, you know, well, what are you going to talk about? What can you share with your audience? The fact of the matter is if you're a Pilates teacher, you already have a ton of Pilates knowledge. You have a ton of experience with the repertoire, with the exercises, with teaching group classes, with running private sessions, just your experience as a teacher is so [00:09:00] valuable A) to your students and B) to new teachers who don't necessarily have that experience just yet. So you can really share what you know.
[00:09:10] It doesn't need to be a fancy research paper necessarily, unless that's what you're interested in, in which case go for it. Don't let me rain on your parade. But you can share your experience and just, that is so, so valuable. So before you catch yourself and say, well, I can't do that. You definitely can. A hundred percent. You can.
[00:09:32] I think one thing to keep in mind, if you do decide to prepare a webinar, is who is your audience? Are you looking to chat with other teachers? Are you looking to share something with your students that is something that you've seen lots and lots of students struggle and you have some cool strategies to overcome their obstacle? Once you know who you're talking to, it's a lot easier to sort of set up your workshop, your [00:10:00] webinar.
[00:10:01] Coming up after the break, I'm going to share with you what I did for my webinar. Not because it's the best thing to do. As a matter of fact, I learned some things that I will recommend that you do not do, but just so that you can see sort of from start to finish how that went. That's coming up after the break.
[00:10:25] Hi there. I hope you're enjoying today's chapter so far. There's great stuff coming up after the break, too. Be sure to subscribe wherever you're listening and visit buymeacoffee.com/OliviaPodcasts to support the show. There you can make a one-time donation or become a member for as little as $5 a month.
[00:10:44] Membership comes with some awesome perks, including a shout out in the next episode, a monthly newsletter, a monthly zoom call with me and more. You can also visit links.OliviaBioni.com/affiliates to check out some sweet deals on products [00:11:00] I use and love. Now back to the show.
[00:11:22] As I mentioned in the first part, I did run a solo webinar in February on working with pregnant clients. In a lot of ways, it was super successful and in some ways it was less successful. So I want to share with you what I did and what I learned from it. And some things to consider if this is something that you're interested in doing as well.
[00:11:45] This webinar, the content, the topic, and the delivery was up to me, but I did have to do some group presentation on something regarding on the job training for the training and assessment course [00:12:00] that I was doing. So the first thing I asked myself is who is my audience? And we talked about it right at the end of the first part, but who am I running this webinar for? Who do I want to sign up for this? Who do I want to share this information with? Because for me it was about training other teachers because that's what I'm looking to do as a career. So that's where I was going to go.
[00:12:24] So I said, I want to talk to other teachers and you know, what are these teachers' pain points? What is something that they struggle with or an obstacle or a challenge that they face? What is something that I could share that would help them with an obstacle? I thought back to myself as a newer teacher and the things that were kind of the fuzziest from my teacher training or that I had the least amount of comfort working with.
[00:12:55] The thing that came up for me was I was so nervous about [00:13:00] working with pregnant clients. I was so concerned that I was going to injure someone with Pilates. And I just didn't feel confident working with that population. So that's how I decided that I was going to run a webinar on that specific topic, because I knew that if I was a new teacher and I saw someone hosting that webinar, I would want to take it.
[00:13:23] Once I had my audience and my topic down, there was a bit of research and presentation creating that I had to do. So I decided, you know, what do I want to tell people about working with pregnant clients? Like what's the outcome of this? I want people who attend my webinars to feel more comfortable working with pregnant clients because they know the guidelines for best care.
[00:13:46] And in the first episode of the season, I shared with you the ACOG guidelines that are the best practices for working with pregnant clients. So if you didn't get a chance to attend the webinar in February, you can definitely check out that podcast [00:14:00] episode and that's sort of the condensed version of what I wanted to talk about in my webinar. So I knew I wanted to share the ACOG guidelines. That's the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. I wanted to share their recommendations for pregnant clients and exercise.
[00:14:15] So, okay. I'm going to make a slide show because I loved making slide shows when I was in school and I want it to contain this information. Beyond that. I wanted people to be able to think critically about the exercises relative to the guidelines and start to figure out for themselves the best ways to modify exercises based on those guidelines and recommendations.
[00:14:41] It sounds very straightforward when I'm talking about it now, but there was like a lot of fretting is the wrong word, but a lot of- is agonizing too strong? But a lot of, a lot of thought went into what kind of information do I want to [00:15:00] share?
[00:15:01] The way I broke it up was I wanted to share the guidelines. I wanted to talk about how to modify exercises and then I wanted to talk about working in a studio and then a pregnant person comes and then what do we do based on what we knew from the first two parts. That made sense to me and so that's how I organized it. Great thing about running your own webinar, you get to do what makes sense to you. So that's how I ended up putting mine together.
[00:15:27] And so now I've got an audience, I've got a topic, I've got sort of an outline or structure for what I want this session to go. Mine was three hours. I don't think that your webinar needs to be three hours. It could be shorter. It could be longer. It's really up to you. But that's how I figured out what I wanted to do in mine.
[00:15:48] There was a bit of technology involved in creating the presentation and what the best format was for my presentation. I ended up doing a PowerPoint or [00:16:00] like a Google slides presentation because they look nice and they have cute themes. And then there's the technical aspect of how am I going to host this webinar? So there's lots of ways to host it. You could do it on something like Facebook live or Instagram live, and then you can have people pop in. You could host it on something like zoom or Google meet. Zoom did just change their free account options, so now any meeting with one or more people is capped at 40 minutes. So that's something to keep in mind if you did have a zoom account. I, that was a little bit of an abrupt surprise for me on May 1st.
[00:16:42] So how do you want to host it? I choose to go with Google meet because they have an hour meeting limit. And I don't know if it's a loophole or not, but if you sign out of the meeting and then signed back into it, it restarts your hour. So I was able to use it for free. That has pros and cons. Definitely the convenience of not having to [00:17:00] restart the meeting every hour is probably ideal. And I hosted my webinar for free because I was getting the bugs out and seeing how this entire process worked. If I was going to do it again, and I was going to charge people for it, I would want to use something that is convenient. And I would probably put a little bit of money into making that happen for smooth sailing sake.
[00:17:23] So I set up a Google meet and I got the link for that and everything. And then you get to find your audience depending on how you are doing your webinar. Your audience could be the students that you already teach. You say, Hey, I'm doing a workshop on the shoulder. You've had shoulder stuff in the past. I think it would be great fit for you. It could be, if it's happening through your studio, it could be marketed to the people who attend your classes in the studio. If it's other teachers, if you are in Facebook groups or, you know, parts of any Pilates community in person or online, you might be sharing it with [00:18:00] them.
[00:18:00] The big thing that I do on the podcast is the Instagram. So I posted on the Instagram and was like, Hey, are you interested in learning about this? Cause I'm interested in talking about it. I was actually overwhelmed by the amount of response that I received. Like I didn't expect- the podcast is a modest, but a delightful group of individuals and it was really positively received. The spots that I set aside- I was going to cap it at 15- they filled up right away. So that was awesome.
[00:18:30] And if you think about it for your webinar, you don't need hundreds and hundreds of people necessarily. You could. I mean, amazing. You definitely could. If you can have three or four people like that could be really great. And sometimes you can discuss more in that more intimate setting. So don't limit yourself in terms of thinking, oh my gosh, no, one's going to be interested. I totally had lined up for my partner to be there. I was like sending the link to my sister and I was like, okay, I might need you to be here so that the room's not [00:19:00] empty. Like I definitely had that contingency plan. But I think you might be surprised because the stuff that you had questions about or the things that you think are so awesome that you want to share, other people are going to want to be a part of that. Yeah. Don't shortchange yourself, put it out there.
[00:19:15] Worst thing that happens: no one comes and you've got this entire awesome presentation set up and you can run it again at another time. Tell me about it. I'll come. And depending on the time zone, it's sometimes rough. My friends in Australia. But, you know, like there's, there's ways to make it happen.
[00:19:35] And the hardest part is the setup I think, and the behind the scenes running of it, actually delivering the webinar was amazing and fun and cool. And you get to answer questions and engage with people, deepen your understanding and deepen their understanding of whatever topic you're deciding to cover. It's so [00:20:00] valuable, something that you can share with your Pilates community and the greater Pilates community as a whole. And you know, maybe we'll see you at the PMA conference, we'll see you at Momentum Fest, and you can talk about how you got started doing, you know, webinars for three people on zoom.
[00:20:17] You know, it seems like the bio of like a great studio owner that you're like, oh, I did my first workshop for three people on Facebook live. Amazing. I love it. So if you have any questions about running a webinar, I've shared where I think I fell a bit short in my own experience, but also things that I think worked really well. Like just saying that I had it, like, just say it, just tell people that you've got it and if you build it, they will come. Right. That's the idea.
[00:20:49] I think it was a ton of fun. I would definitely do it again. I always offer any webinar or workshop spots to my supporters on Buy Me A Coffee first. So if that's something you're [00:21:00] interested in, hanging out with me and chatting about a specific topic, definitely head to that, Buy Me A Coffee page and support the project so you get first dibs.
[00:21:08] Huge thank you to all my supporters on Buy Me A Coffee, including our newest member. Gina, thank you so much for supporting the show and the podcast. The link will be going out this week for coffee chats and coffee catch-ups in May. So if you want to get an on that 15 minute mini chat about all things Pilates again, head to that Buy Me A Coffee page. It's got information for you there. Thanks so much for tuning in everybody. Hope you have a great couple of weeks and I'll talk to you again soon.
[00:21:47] Thanks for listening to this week's chapter of Pilates Teachers' Manual your guide to becoming a great Pilates teacher. Check out the podcast, Instagram at [00:22:00] @pilatesteachersmanual, and be sure to subscribe wherever you listen. For more Pilates goodness check out my other podcast, Pilates Students' Manual, available everywhere you listen to podcasts.
[00:22:10] The adventure continues. Until next time.