What Are Seminars?

by David Stewart; Updated September 26, 2017
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Seminars are an interactive method of group teaching, which usually enables an audience to gain maximum knowledge. Audience interaction with the seminar tutor allows for debate and discussion based on new ideas generated from listeners. This in turn leads to a more proactive, interesting session in which both the audience and the tutor have a learning experience. Seminars can be of two types--paid or free--and the purpose can be to promote a brand or simply discuss a topic.

Conducting a Seminar

Usually conducted in a small room, sometimes a class room, seminars can have five to 30 or more participants, depending on the topic in question. In such a case, large halls tend to be used. The audiences to be invited for a seminar differ depending on the subject. If the seminar is marketing a brand, the target audience would be potential customers. On the other hand, if the seminar is educational and informative--it can be open to all that are interested.

Methods of Conducting a Seminar

The method in which a seminar is conducted has a huge impact on the results. The methods in which seminars can be conducted vary. It can commence with a presentation comprised of discussion as a whole, or it can comprise a presentation followed by separate, small groups, which discuss and work out solutions.

Importance of a Seminar

In an educational setting, seminars play a significant role in simulating the thought process. They induce people to exchange new information that would not have been available otherwise. In a marketing setting, the way a consumer views a product can change drastically thanks to the process of discussion through presentations, questioning and answers received. Moreover, cutting-edge technology used to present knowledge from an expert helps gain better understanding of topics.

Essentials of an Effective Seminar

When a seminar is conducted at its best, the purpose of the gathering is fully met. It is imperative to keep in mind the essentials of conducting an effective seminar. The main ones are: efficient public speaking, which uses good voice modulation, tone and content; the right presentation method; and rehearsal, which means practicing the way the seminar will be presented by talking in front of a mirror.

The Presentation Strategy

Presentation is everything in grabbing the audience's interest. When it comes to the PowerPoint or slideshow, remember to keep it simple. Cluttering a slideshow is a big negative. The first slide should comprise of an attention grabbing question or quote on which the seminar tutor can elaborate or invite debate. Time limits allotted to each aspect of the topic to be discussed ensures that the seminar does not go on a tangent and off-topic. Confidence and listening skills are important to conducting the seminar effectively.

About the Author

Hailing out of Pittsburgh, Pa., David Stewart has been writing articles since 2004, specializing in consumer-oriented pieces. He holds an associate degree in specialized technology from the Pittsburgh Technical Institute.

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