So, it’s your responsibility to coordinate a lunch and learn for the employees of your company. Where do you begin?
No worries. All you need to do is know a good presenter, the topic your fellow employees are interested in, what the company is hoping to accomplish in this process. What about your own career path? A good event may just be what you need to catapult your own career. How do you decide on what is best for you, the company and your co-workers?
First and foremost take a deep breath. Your employer just asked you to create an event. A clear sign that they have the confidence in you to create a program that all will benefit from.
Here are Five Steps to Coordinate a Lunch and Learn for Your Company:
- Listen – Any good presenter will tell you that the best way for them to connect with their audience is to listen. You are going to do the same. Listen when people are talking around the water cooler, coffee pot and during lunch. There are many topics that we all care about, Pokemon-Go not one of them. But security in the workplace is an important one, as is cybersecurity, health, workplace wellness, effectively using LinkedIn if it is more of a sales office and others. Listen to your audience and when you share the topic ideas to gain final approval, you will be bringing your audiences thoughts, and complimenting them with you own.
- Learn – Has your company done this before? If so then open those files and see what the response was. It would be interesting to see who attended. Employees, Managers and/or the Executives. Be great if you had someone that attended an event beforehand that you could talk with and see what they thought could be improved on, but no worries here either. If your company held one before then they did something very right the first time. Decide what that was and learn from it.
- Time – Time is money and lets not forget the Human Resources Department in this conversation. Before or after normal hours for a meeting and you may have an overtime issue.
- Money – Always an issue but it may not be a large problem. For the employees, light snack, pizza and some other item appropriate to the time of day. But the real issue is the speaker. Who will you bring in to participate in your program. Many speakers are very interested in presenting for no fee or just a small charge depending on the topic. Ask any non-profit to speak and they will gladly do it and most probably at no fee. They look at these as a way of educating the public about their cause. I can think of a number of charities we know that would welcome the opportunity. It may surprise you but plenty of business owners look at this as their way of giving back and would also waive fees. Of course should you desire a longer commitment or a workshop setting fees would come into play. We are very careful finding people that are interested in these situations.
- Talk – Be sure you speak with the speaker you hire to address your company. Ask them why they are interested in speaking to your group. Listen to the response. If it is unclear then be sure to tell them that delivering a 30 minute sales pitch is out of the question. At the Long Island Speakers Bureau, this is something we are very sensitive about: The last thing we want is to have a speaker that is delivering a sales pitch. We ask each speaker to share three actionable ideas the audience can implement today. This does not mean: (A) Buy my book, (B) Sign up for my newsletter or (C) Hire me as a coach. A good speaker will understand, a “salesperson” will not. It means, “What are three takeaways that an audience will receive from the content of the presentation?”
If you follow these simple guidelines, you are sure to have a successful lunch and learn for your organization and probably be asked to manage future events.