Big or small audiences?

If you’re a presenter / trainer, which one is better? – to run training workshops for small groups, or to try to get speaking gigs at conferences?

I’ve ended up doing the first one, but was that a sensible career path to choose? I certainly do enjoy doing the occasional conference keynote, and they ARE well paid if you can get them. They make me a bit nervous before I go on stage, but as I do it and afterwards I get a real buzz.

So here are what I think are the pros and cons of the two options. I hope this is helpful summary if you are contemplating which way to go:


Advantages of keynotes – talks to larger audiences

  • Pay per hour
  • Pay per day
  • Only have to work for an hour
  • (although build up beforehand doubles it)
  • Can do it the same every time
  • Difficult people in the group are not an issue
  • No need to interact except in a shallow way
  • The BUZZ


Advantages of workshops –  training smaller groups

  • Easier to sell
  • More repeats
  • Can do more than one subject
  • Less marketing required – showreels etc
  • Don’t need an agent
  • Less tailoring time and effort needed
  • Less scary
  • Potentially less travel required, enough work locally
  • Discussions can be interesting / learn from the audience
  • Closer to the group – you KNOW that some of them have really learned something = rewarding to do

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