Why You Should Co-Lead a Workshop with a Colleague

Collaboration yields up-to-the-minute content and conversation.

Speaking is one of the five best ways to attract new business. In a workshop setting, for example, you and your colleague demonstrate mastery of the subject matter and analyze successful projects. Your presentation also entices attendees to hire you, so they might achieve similar results for their organization.

Plus, it’s beneficial when your co-leader is a client, who will attest to the value and impact of your services.

Consider teaming up with a colleague in an allied field, or someone whose business aligns with that of the session’s participants.

Co-presenting offers several advantages to a solo session:

  1. Speakers of different professions attract a wider audience; attendees may connect better with the person who shares their background.
  2. Collaborating lightens the burden of developing and giving the entire presentation.
  3. You will gain access to timely knowledge and insights of another profession, while preparing the material.
  4. You will capitalize on the co-presenter’s existing relationship with the event host, or further ingratiate yourself if you are the connector.

Recently, I collaborated on two different workshops to groups of attorneys; my partners were networking contacts.

One session was a reprise of a webinar on media relations that patent attorney Patricia Werschulz and I had developed. After I proposed the topic to the webinar producer, I invited Werschulz, whom I had met at a networking event, to co-lead the presentation. In my segments, I explained the nuts and bolts of professionally introducing oneself to reporters and the how-tos of press releases. in her sections, Werschulz discussed ethics and the Rules of Professional Conduct that applied to interaction with the media. Her remarks qualified the presentation for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits, a magnet for attorneys who must log CLE credits every two years. Following that webinar, Werschulz and I have given the presentation as an in-person workshop three more times.

The second workshop, which I had previously led four times for professionals at financial, public relations and start-up companies, focused on networking. When customizing this speaking engagement for attorneys, I recruited Kimberly Rice, editor of the monthly publication Marketing the Law Firm, to which I have contributed articles for five years. I presented a unique pre-event marketing strategy for attendees at networking events. Rice covered ethics and the Rules of Professional Conduct relevant to networking, again for CLE. In addition, she shared best practices in marketing of particular interest to attorneys from a small law firm or with a solo practice.

Here’s why Werschulz and Rice agreed to co-present:

Werschulz: “I wanted to learn more about the subject matter of ethics and media relations, so I had to research my part of the presentation. I also had the opportunity to learn from my co-presenter. Every time I present or teach, my network expands with new potential sources of referrals.”

Rice: “I enjoy presenting to different audiences of qualified, targeted prospects whose interests align with my expertise. I was curious about New York City lawyers and found they were a bit more engaged than audiences in other parts of the country. Working with the New York County Lawyers Association will perhaps open the door for future speaking opportunities.“

Collaborating on a speaking engagement is a win-win all the way around. You and your colleague gain mastery of new material as you promote your respective expertise and services. Both of you also access new markets of potential clients and referral sources, as well as an organization to host subsequent programs. Your audience receives proven tips, best practices and up-to-date insights on industry trends.

This Month’s Tip

Your partner for a speaking engagement may be a client, a referral source or a networking contact:

  • Propose a workshop collaboration to someone whose experience aligns with the attendees and offers a counterpoint to your own business.
  • The paired perspectives will provide a more comprehensive view and may include technical aspects of a different field that are less familiar to you, yet vital to the audience.
  • The interplay between two speakers –- when one asks the other a question, for example –- enlivens the session and keeps the participants engaged.


Ready to create your own workshop with a colleague? Let’s brainstorm some hot topics and consider who might best share the podium with you. Contact me at Janet@JanetLFalk.com , set an appointment here or call me at 212.677.5770. Let’s discuss who you might tap to join your presentation team.

See also Do You Lead Workshops for Free?, Back to School — As a Teacher and Create Your Own Traveling Classroom.

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