Masterclasses: how do you deliver them?

Unlike webinars or classic online training, masterclasses are refresher courses. They are intended for a well-informed audience that already has some familiarity with the topic.

Masterclasses: how do you deliver them?
Doriane Stagnol
Doriane Stagnol

How to organize a masterclass?

Do you want to organize a masterclass as a trainer, coach or expert on a particular subject? All fields can benefit from this type of distance learning: management, personal development, human resources, the music industry, etc. In contrast to a webinar or a classic online course, the masterclass is an advanced course. As such, it is designed for an audience that is already familiar with the subject and is well-informed. To ensure participants have an enjoyable virtual event experience, it is crucial to prepare it well. Here are the steps you need to follow to deliver a quality masterclass.

1. Choose a relevant topic

In order to select your theme, you can:

  • Consider recurring requests from your target audience;
  • Discuss a current topic in your field;
  • Focus on a specific problem your audience faces.

Masterclasses are unique in that they cover very specific topics. You can, for instance, create a virtual course on a newly released camera if you are a photographer. If you are a pastry chef, your audience will appreciate a live demonstration of a particular technique. Do you coach parents? Young parents will surely be interested in the topic of baby sleep.

A good masterclass topic should meet the following criteria:

  • You should choose a topic that relates to your experience, activity or status. Maybe it's a subject area you have encountered in your personal or professional life. Ultimately, you need to have expertise in the field to be perceived by learners as a credible instructor for the masterclass;
  • Participants will benefit from this subject. It is important that participants leave the event with concrete benefits (added knowledge, answers to questions, solutions to problems, etc.).

2. Select an appropriate format

Masterclass recorded or live?

It all depends on what you want to accomplish. Live masterclasses, however, allow learners and facilitators to communicate directly in real-time. This makes it more friendly and interactive. Additionally, it is the most effective way to get audience feedback.

There are several advantages to pre-recorded content. The audience can access them at any time and can play them indefinitely. Organizers can fine-tune the content for a polished, high-quality final product by recording videos in advance.

Masterclass in audio or video?

It is more appropriate to use video for certain subjects since images facilitate the transmission of certain concepts. Organizing a video masterclass, however, requires more logistics: a professional camera, adapted lighting, etc.

Ensure that the video is of high quality. Your event will appear more professional and more enjoyable for the audience.

Audio masterclasses (like podcasts) are easier to set up for the organizer. Learners love it because it's easy to listen to no matter where they are or what time it is. 

The lack of interaction between the trainer and the audience is a major drawback. In addition, it is not suitable for some topics that require visual assistance.

3. Deliver a quality masterclass with well-prepared content

Follow these tips to achieve this:

  • Prepare attractive presentation materials;
  • Practice body language (posture, tone, etc.);
  • Be clear on the learning outcomes (the knowledge, skills, or results that viewers can expect from attending the masterclass); 
  • Be sure to write a detailed and clear plan. Having a plan allows you to respect the timing, stay coherent, and not lose focus;
  • Be prepared for questions;
  • Get ready to interact with participants.

Don't hesitate to structure the program into several videos or divide it into different presentations if the content is long or several experts will be speaking. By doing so, the subject will be better understood and the event will be more dynamic.

You will be more comfortable in front of the camera if you do this exercise beforehand.

4. Choosing the right platform for a masterclass

A masterclass can be broadcast using a variety of video conferencing tools today. Make a list of your constraints and needs before making a decision.

  • What is the expected number of participants?
  • What is the duration of the event? There are some platforms, like Zoom, that limit the number of guests to 100 and the duration of a session to 40 minutes in the free version.
  • Is there a fee for the masterclass? Payment systems can be integrated directly into platforms. This will greatly benefit the organization.
  • Will there be a question and answer session? There should be a live chat function;
  • Would you like the exchanges to be recorded?

To avoid the public and organizers having to juggle between different platforms, the maximum number of functionalities should be present on the same platform.

Further, both sides should be able to access and use the tool easily.

Make sure the registration process is quick and easy if this is needed to access the content.

5. Make your community aware of the masterclass

Make use of all communication methods available to you.

Create a dedicated page on your website that provides all the information that might interest visitors: the date and time, the speakers, the content, and the registration link.

The public can also be reached through social networks by promoting an event. Make use of the different features available on these platforms (stories, directs, etc.).

Send email to your email list a few weeks before the event to inform them of the event. As the date approaches, follow up regularly.

6. Effectively facilitate the masterclass

On the day, here are some simple tips to follow:

  • Finalize your setup 10 to 15 minutes before the start;
  • Follow the plan you wrote beforehand;
  • Keep an enthusiastic attitude. Keep the audience's attention by remaining dynamic throughout the presentation;
  • When appropriate, ask the audience for their input;
  • Having feedback from each participant at the end of the training will help you improve your future sessions. Be sure to send your audience a satisfaction survey.

Now you know how to organize a masterclass. This type of virtual workshop relies on quality content and a reliable delivery platform to be successful. Lemon has all the features you need to make your masterclass a success if you are looking for a comprehensive and intuitive tool.