Top Tips for running seminars

In the competitive market of real estate sales it’s often difficult to find a unique proposition that will draw both buyers and sellers your way. Nick Simitzis from McGrath Estate Agents has found a super-successful seminar model that has seen him reap an extra 20 per cent profit from 78 per cent existing and 22 per cent new clients in the past year.

“I knew that running seminars was a great idea, but I had no idea how to go about doing it well and procrastination was holding me back. Eventually I decided I needed a coach to assist me to make my dream happen,” said Simitzis. After much research he engaged the help of a presentation and influencing skills expert, Michelle Bowden, and quickly learnt what he needed to do to become a brilliant presenter and MC. In particular Nick discovered the psychology and physiology of confidence to help overcome his fear of public speaking, as well as a fool proof step-by-step plan on how to put forward a powerful presentation; in short he learnt all the tricks for becoming a brilliant public speaker who can really wow a crowd. Within months Nick had scheduled his first seminar and was attracting new clients to his agency.

Here are Nick’s top logistics tips for running a successful seminar:

  1. Partner. Partner with reputable (even celebrity) experts on interior design, landscaping and finance to add credibility through association.
  2. Venue. Ensure the venue where you are holding your seminar is welcoming. It must be aesthetically attractive and the right temperature – not too cold or too hot – to keep the audience comfortable.
  3. Welcome. Upon arrival, your guests should be welcomed and greeted with direct, connected eye contact, a friendly smile and a confident handshake.
  4. Catering. Have refreshments, sweets and (depending on your seminar) you may even consider a light supper meal for your guests – it shows you care for them and leaves a lasting impression.
  5. Punctuality. Start and finish on time, be organised with your seating arrangements and make sure any technical devices are working prior to commencing.
  6. Collateral. Leave on the seats a company branded, impressive information folder that outlines who you are and what you can do for your clients, for your guests to take home with them.

Anyone can be an exceptional presenter who influences an audience; it’s just a matter of knowing what to do and doing it.

Presenting Tips from Michelle Bowden
Michelle Bowden says, “Anyone can be an exceptional presenter who influences an audience; it’s just a matter of knowing what to do and doing it.” Here are her top tips:

  1. Analyse your audience. Know who is coming by name, where they come from and their reason for attending.
  2. Design your message well in advance and practise so you don’t need to read out any part of your presentation on the day.
  3. Open with a catchy statistic or fact that astounds your audience and impresses them from the start.
  4. Use simple, clear slides with beautiful images that wow your audience and compel them to align with you.
  5. Ensure your body language and facial expressions reinforce your message. Practise in front of a mirror, or film yourself if necessary.
  6. Manage your self-talk. Tell yourself, ‘I’ve done the work and I am ready’. Believe in yourself.
  7. Use client examples to reinforce your points. This is called social proof and is a key influence strategy that works. Just remember that if you are going to use your client’s real name then either state you have their permission, or ideally have them in the room to tell their own story. Stories are way more likely to be remembered by your clients than slides full of numbers.

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Michelle Bowden

Michelle Bowden is Australia's expert on presenting persuasively in business. She's a best-selling, internationally published author of How to Present: the ultimate guide to presenting your ideas and influencing people using techniques that actually work. For more information visit