I spent a few years teaching at a small college when I was younger, and I’ve spoken in front of audiences on many occasions over the years covering a wide range of topics. I’ve always been blessed with the ability to speak in public. I say blessed because I know that many people fear public speaking as much as anything in their life.
While this isn’t a discussion about overcoming the fear of public speaking, you can learn quite a bit about it from this page. But there is a lot you can learn from this article even if you never plan to give a seminar.
No one wants to teach or speak about something and do a poor job. It can be embarrassing to get up in front of a crowd and make mistakes.
The fear of being unprepared drives me to learn as much as I can and plan ahead, so I do a good job. I still make mistakes, but I’ve learned to expect them as well as how to deal with them quickly with a minimum amount of pain. I also found out that the more prepared I was, the less fear I had of getting up and doing what I needed to do.
This all leads to the main purpose of this article. Even if you never actually present a gambling seminar, you can learn a great deal and improve your gambling knowledge by creating one. This can be a powerful way to improve your gambling knowledge and skills.
Here’s a step by step guide on how to create your own gambling seminar.
Choose a Specific Topic
When you pick the topic for your first gambling seminar, focus on drilling down to a specific area. It’s tempting to try to tackle a big topic because you want to make sure you have enough material. But the more specific you can make your topic, the better you can cover what you need to cover.
You also need to pick a topic that you already know quite a bit about. You want to be able to be confident in your knowledge and ability to minimize your fear.
But you also need to understand that you don’t have to be the best in the world on your subject. Some people are scared that someone is going to know more than them, so they never get started because they feel like they have to know everything.
You don’t have to know more than everybody else. You just need to know more than your audience or learn to accept the fact that sometimes a few members of your audience might know more than you.
I struggled at first with this in an early class I taught. I knew for a fact that a few people in the class knew more than me, and I was terrified that I’d look like an idiot. This experience drove me to learn and prepare as much as possible.
Once I got over this fear, I learned two important things. As long as I prepared fittingly and did the best I could, no one cared that I didn’t know everything.
The second thing I learned over the years is that most of my students who know more about specific areas aren’t interested in shaming me for not knowing every detail. In fact, they don’t care. They’re looking for a few tips that I know to help them improve.
The best poker players know more about poker than just about everyone else, but they’re more interested in finding or learning one small thing to help them than pointing out someone else’s lack of knowledge. Just because you don’t know everything about poker doesn’t mean you can’t offer a new insight to a better player.
On the other side, just because you’re an overall better poker player than someone doesn’t mean you can’t learn something from them to improve your game. Keep these things in mind as you prepare your first seminar.
It’s advantageous to create a seminar you already know a great deal about, but when you choose a narrow topic it has the added benefit of attracting payers who want to know more about exactly what you’re teaching, and keeping the players who already know what you’re covering from signing up or coming to your seminar.
Build Your Outline
Once you pick a topic for your seminar, start making an outline. Over the years, I’ve developed a system where I put my entire outline on a single 3 X 5 index card. I use it to get me back on track if I need to. But when I started, I made long outlines that included every possible teaching or speaking point.
This is how I recommend you get started. Write down every single thing about your topic that you can think of first.
This helps you organize the flow of your presentation and helps you find areas where you need to put in more study. As your outline comes along, you can move sections around for a better fit and combine sections that go together.
As everything comes together, you can choose to keep a long in-depth outline or simplify it and use it as a short guide to keep you on track. I suggest keeping your outline long and detailed for your first seminar and only simplifying it when it makes your process easier.
Create Teaching Aids
Different types of teaching aids are available. Some presenters like to use Power Point, and some use audio or video to enhance their presentations. Sometimes a simple handout printed on plain paper is as valuable as anything.
I usually use a simple outline and a few pages of important points or exercises printed on plain paper. But I’ve seen some excellent presentations using audio and visual aids.
As you build your presentation, find the best aids that help you and ignore everything else. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling forced to use something just because someone else does.
Practice and Time Your Presentation
Take the time to practice and time your presentation several times before you present it to a live audience. I find it helpful to video record my presentation when I practice so I can watch it and critique my performance.
But you don’t have to record your presentation. Simply standing in front of a mirror and watching yourself can be quite helpful.
You’re probably not going to be able to eliminate fear before you first live presentation completely, but the more you practice, the easier it gets.
Find an Audience and Go Live
Now it’s time to get in front of an audience and put on your seminar. If you’re still dealing with a great deal of fear, consider asking close friends and family to do a test seminar. This way, you’re in front of people who are more likely to forgive mistakes.
Keep looking for places to give your seminar and do it as much as possible. Your performance will get better, and you will get more comfortable. Once you gain enough experience, you’re going to see that giving a seminar in front of 10 people or 1,000 people is basically the same.
Pick Your Next Subject
Once you create a gambling seminar and present it, start working on your next one. You follow the same steps, so every time you put together a new seminar, it gets easier. Because you know how to do it and what works and what doesn’t work, I recommend picking a topic that you don’t have strong knowledge in for your second seminar.
This is where you can start learning a great deal and expanding your gambling knowledge.
The first seminar you produce should be something you know so you can work from an area of strength. But once you master it you need to tackle something new. As you build your second seminar, figure out what you need to learn to make it a success.
Maybe you’re a poker player, so you put together your first seminar on becoming a winning poker player. But you’ve always wanted to learn more about blackjack. So give yourself the challenge of putting together a blackjack seminar for your second presentation.
You might need to study all different rules and learn how strategy works and how to use it. As you put together the outline for your blackjack seminar, you see what you already know and what you need to learn. As you study each new area, you gain valuable skills.
Keep learning and practicing until you’re as smooth as you were with your first seminar. This can be one of the best learning experiences you ever have. By being driven to master your material before you present it, you can accelerate your learning and shorten your learning curve.
I realize that this article is a bit different than most I write. Instead of teaching you a specific strategy or trick, by teaching you how to create a seminar, I’m giving you a new way to learn more about gambling. By preparing to teach someone else about gambling, you force yourself to learn more and build your skills. This is one of the best ways to learn more about any subject.