Tag Archives | training

Icebreakers, energisers and gamification

GamesAs a copywriter, I know that sometimes the best way to get your message across is verbally, rather than via the written word.

But that doesn’t mean a list of bullet points in PowerPoint.

Years ago, when I worked at Freemans home shopping, I was asked to design some slides for an IT presentation.

“I want you to put a lingerie image in the middle of the slideshow,” my client said, “so it will wake the audience up.”

I refused, saying: “Why don’t you just rewrite it so it’s not boring?”

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“Good writing works!”

Daniel was a delegate on the ‘copywriting for recruiters’ course I run every month or so with Mitch Sullivan. Here’s what happened next:

A LinkedIn post for a Business Development Manager on 14/12/16 (edited on the course) got 900+ views = a personal record
We had multiple approaches direct and to the hiring manager
This resulted in 11 applications
Arranged 8 first stage interviews
A shortlist of 3 for final presentations
A verbal offer made on 12/12/16 and accepted 14/12/16.

Cost = £0 ( apart from time and resource)
Time = 4 weeks
Start date = 23/1/17

Notably, a high quality / calibre of applicant; some active and some passive.

Thank you again – this course has completely reinvigorated my general attitude to my job!

Daniel Grinsted
Recruitment Manager
KR Group


How to irritate your audience on a webinar


How I felt.

I’m increasingly invited to share copywriting tips on a Google Hangout or webinar. To get some ideas, I listened in to someone else’s webinar recently. But it left me feeling annoyed and frustrated. Here’s why, and what I learned about what to do and what NOT to do when I run my own webinars:

  • Don’t do too much preamble and introduction; get straight to the content
  • Do not spend too much time taking about yourself. No-one cares! (This presenter didn’t get started properly until after 26 minutes – 26!)
  • Use more visuals. Otherwise, people will click away to check their email while half-listening
  • Do not over-run the allotted time (This presenter ran over by 17 minutes – 17! This is highly disrespectful of listeners’ precious time – especially as it was on a Saturday. It left me seething.)
  • Allow time for questions. The webinar may be recorded, but people on the live call can type them in the sidebar and get immediate answers. That way, you know you are delivering what they need, even if it drifts away from what you’ve prepared
  • An interview format might work better than a monologue. It sounds more natural and gives variety. Practice with your interviewer first, so you know who’s going to do which bits of talking
  • Switch between video of the presenter talking and screenshare or slides
  • Use big images that tell a story instead of bullet-point lists
  • Be your authentic self (Some people will like you, and it filters out the ones that won’t. This presenter was too giggly and twee for my taste. She may be lovely, but I don’t think we’re on the same wavelength so are unlikely to work well together)
  • Do your upsell before you give your final content, and ‘tease’ the final content in advance so people stay on the line and don’t log off early (This was the best idea I took from the webinar I listened in on)

Photo by Marco Bijdevaate via photopin cc


How to confuse your audience at a live presentation


Not my audience!

I’m often the speaker, but recently I was in the audience for a full day of talks. Here’s what I learned from my experience off-stage:

  • It’s confusing when the MC introduces the speakers but also delivers presentation/s of their own
  • It’s confusing when a speaker delivers a talk that is not about their core subject (which you only find out afterwards)
  • Attention spans are really, really short. It’s easy to get bored, distracted, and worry that you’re wasting your valuable time
  • Interaction really, really works. It creates an unbelievable buzz and engagement
  • It’s irrelevant when a speaker uses their first slide to tell us who they are and what they do, because, at that point, we don’t care. We already assume they have something useful to say, otherwise they wouldn’t be on the agenda in the first place and we wouldn’t have booked to attend the event. The MC can introduce them, then, if we like what the speaker says, we will take what we want out of the talk. Only if they’re a really good fit with what we need, we’ll take up their call to action at the end
  • It’s useful when a speaker repeats audience questions so the rest of us can hear
  • There is never enough time for audience networking. The most useful conversations and opportunities arise from the discussions we have with each other
  • Counter-intuitively, the less speakers do, the more the audience gets out of it

photo credit: francisco_osorio via photopin cc