Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Presented to 40+ People at Networking on Lakewood Today -- Fun Fun Fun!

In what is at least some kind of mini-miracle, I talked about copy writing for eight minutes at noon today in front of more than 40 people at Networking in Lakewood, James Fowler's group that takes place at the YMCA. 

I must have been on auto-pilot (or semi-hysterical) because I only remember one or two things I said during the entire time... one of which got a big laugh (which I intended, thank God!). The real miracle is that I don't remember being scared--not even a little bit, although certainly I must have been! I'm usually miserable when the center of attention at large gatherings. I'm MUCH better one-to-one (but even then I'm not comfortable; I've just learned to cope! It wears me out to interact with people. Gregarious people love it; we shy types usually go along to get along and hope no one notices how out of place and "fish out of water" we feel!)

It all happened so fast that I didn't have time to get scared or even to organize my thoughts--but after it was all over, several people came over to say I did GREAT--and I could tell they meant it!  Some of them even reiterated on the NIL Facebook page later in the day (by LIKING one gal's comment) that I did well, putting their own names and integrity on the line while doing so!

It blows me away.  I usually stew over presentations for days or weeks before I feel "ready". Maybe it's because I know almost everyone there after all this time... and because I feel absolutely confident when it comes to copy writing tips and tricks after five years of writing copy as a full-time profession. 

Whatever the reason(s),   the presentation didn't  feel threatening at all...even though, had I messed up royally, I would probably NEVER get a writing gig from any of the 40+ people there! (Had I thought about that beforehand, I might have become catatonic and been unable to speak at all!)

Anyway... eight minutes is waaaayyyy too short a time to share much about copy writing, so I'm going to offer a free 30 minute or 60 minute class in a month or so.  A number of people told me they want to hear and learn more.  

Today's handout was nine pages (five of which were "do later" homework for those who want to); my actual copy writing crash course is 32 pages long! It would be fun to try it out live before I offer it for sale to the public.  It'll give me an opportunity to receive feedback and see if there's anything I left out that I should include...

Oh!  But I'm sure you want to hear about the line that got the laugh!

I was talking about how writing great copy requires cadence and rhythm so that a sort of "hypnotic" effect sets in.  I said, "Adding a lot of links or exit points to the home page confuses the issue and your visitor; knowing they're supposed to go somewhere else eventually keeps them rattled and from relaxing sufficiently to succumb to the mesmerizing effect that good copy should have on them.  So... instead of capturing their attention entirely, it's like this... You know the Beatles song, 'Something in the way she moves attracts me like no other lover...' ?  There's a story within the lyrics that seduces you and brings you along, almost against your will, isn't there?  Good copy writing should do that. But when there are a lot of links or exit points staring your visitor in the face, the effect is like this... (I began to sing): 'Something in the way she moves.... attracts me... SQUIRREL!' (said the same way that cartoon dog did)!

The roars that reverberated across the room were so joyous and delirious that they embarrassed me! I expected a laugh, but not one like THAT!   Twenty minutes later when Rebecca Joy stood up to speak, her first word was, "SQUIRREL!" and the roars reverberated again!

I got the point across, for sure!  It was memorable!  They won't forget what too many links and exit points do to a great piece of copy writing! That's for sure!

I have to come up with more analogies like that when I teach!

1 comment:

Rachel Rogers said...

Thoroughly enjoyed article about presentation. You have a wonderful talent and I am a great admirer of your work. Much appreciate the beautiful Facebook page which provides unlimited inspiration and humour.