The Uncomfortable Truth About Your Seminars. Zzzzz.

Esther Stanhope - Boring Seminars.jpg

When you read this calendar invitation what do you think? 

“Onsite Patient Advocacy Compliance Training”

Yes, me too.  YAWNNNNNNNNNN.

Are you thinking

DULL DULL DULL, I’d literally prefer to go to the dentist than be forced to attend that?”  

I know, me too.

This is a true story!

My client, Ms S, is in the legal department for a global pharmaceutical organisation.  She’s been asked to deliver a 60-minute seminar to the sales team.

Can you imagine, the sales team? 

“Onsite Patient Advocacy Compliance Training”
(You can almost hear the internal screams already.)

What do you think the reaction to this compulsory calendar invitation is?


  • “Ooh what a treat - I can’t wait”

  • “This is really going to help me to make more sales whoopee!”

Or Do you think the reaction is more like?


  • “Oh please no, not another boring compliance lecture”

  • “How can I get out of that torture?”

You guessed it… B.

Luckily, it’s second nature to me to entice & engage an audience as it’s been drilled into me from 20 years of working in a live broadcasting environment at the BBC.  I knew I could use my expertise to help my client, Ms. S, nail it.

When I asked Ms S about the seminar, turns out she was 100% focussed on;

  • Nerves

  • Ums and eeers

  • Getting the right content and ‘information’ across

  • The detail of the risks involved in certain deals

  • The flow of the presentation

  • The time and energy she’d have to put into practicing and perfecting the 60-minute seminar

  • The script, the slides, the ‘clever’ content

  • The technical requirements

  • The stress of giving a professional presentation when she doesn’t feel senior enough to pull it off

  • The fact that the audience might be more experienced than her

She wasn’t focussed on the one thing that would REALLY help her.

The audience. 


I shared this advice to Ms. S and you too can use these quick and easy tips. 

My techniques help you eliminate the worry, nerves, imposter syndrome and fear all in one go.

All I did was ask her this one question.  

“Imagine you are in the sales team and you receive this calendar invite:

“Onsite Patient Advocacy Compliance Training”.  How do you feel?”

Her conclusion was the same as yours ….”RUN! Dull, dull, dull”

So the calendar invitation was literally falling at the first hurdle.

I asked Ms S.

“What’s this seminar REALLY about?”

Her answer….

“Why Fundraising and Sales Don’t Mix” 

She said enthusiastically.  So I suggested she changed the title. Phew, she agreed it was a no-brainer.

Tip 1 – Find a catchy title that resonates with the audience (you could chat to one of them to see what they care about)

“I’ve got some great stories to share.” She told me.

“Great, so share stories and ask the audience about their own experiences and any questions”

Tip 2 – Share stories don’t focus on DETAIL and DATA! 

We agreed they needed to walk away knowing that if they had any further questions they could email her.

TIP 3 – Send a detailed follow up. Put the detail and data in a follow-up easy-to-digest-and-read doc.

So if you want to nail your future presentations with


  • Less prep

  • Less hard work

  • More Impact

  • More fun

  • More powerful takeaways

Use these 3 top tips to nail your seminars, presentations and meetings…

  1. Fancy Title

  2. Tell Stories (instead of dumping data)

  3. Send details in the follow up

Oh yes, my bonus tip – have some fun with it! #eyesandteeth

Do you want to chat about getting more ENTHUSIASTIC bums on seats in your seminars or how to avoid DULL DULL DULL meetings and seminars?  Aha, I can seriously help you with that.  I help global organisations to entice their clients and colleagues and make an impact.  If you need this, get in touch.

Please email me immediately for a free chat.

Esther Stanhope