Writing a Program Description That Sells

When its time to describe your carefully crafted speech or workshop, are you suddenly at a loss for words? Writing a program description that stands out – and attracts the people who will benefit from your wisdom – is an essential marketing skill for speakers.

To draw people to programs at their beautiful location on Cortes Island in British Columbia, Hollyhock Retreat Centre provides “Clarifying Questions” to their faculty. Once answered, a professional copywriter develops a program description for the catalog. Hollyhock asked me to describe my new “Spirited Speaking” program – including bio – in no more than 175 words! It seemed like a tough assignment, but the clarifying questions were invaluable in focusing my thinking.

What I liked about the process was that it allowed me to write first for myself, a principle recommended by communications specialist Isabel Parlett, founder of Parlance Communications. (www.parlancetraining.com). The six questions Hollyhock asks are ones to consider when you are writing your own copy. They are listed below, along with my responses so you’ll see what they created from the information I provided.

1. What makes your program unique/compelling?

Public speaking is usually taught as a series of techniques that cause people to be removed from their true passion and to distrust their originality. At Spirited Speaking, they get to revel in their magnificence as who they really are comes to the forefront through group processes, dyads, and fun!

2. What would you most like conveyed about your workshop?

That there is nothing to fear about authentic self-expression. In fact, it is where we experience our greatest power and where we learn to appreciate and trust ourselves.

3. What will participants learn?

• how to access their “home zone,” the place of their personal power and authentic expression
• how to make an emotional connection with others through stories
• how to diffuse hostility
• how to have a courageous conversation
• how to speak with confidence & clarity in both introductions and professional presentations.

4. How are participants going to learn/what will they be doing?

• exploring deeper issues in dyads
• speaking out to the full group about their discoveries
• practicing speaking from the “home zone”
• receiving coaching in the four primary speaking skills
• learning inner tools to support outer success.

5. Benefits of taking this workshop?

Increased capacity to speak in public with confidence and success. A deeper connection to self and what they have to say that is their unique gift to the world. Excitement about being heard!

6. For whom is the program designed?

Anyone who wants to improve his/her capacity to speak out and be heard. The skills are applicable no matter what age or field; however, it is important that participants want to draw on their inner life and experience and be real rather than get “fixed up.” It’s great for mature teens – this is the time to learn this!

Here’s the result.. Consider joining us at Hollyhock!

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