How good content writing skills help create great F2F seminars and workshops

Despite the increasing popularity of webinars, podcasts, hangouts, SkypePeriscopeMeerkat or Blab sessions and other online/mobile means of sharing information – or perhaps even because of them – the face-to-face offline variety is still very much alive and kicking.

How good content writing skills help create great F2F seminars and workshops

Good content writing skills can be used to help create a powerful group dynamic and focus enthusiasm.

Although many beat the offline variety for convenience and cost savings, I have still yet to participate in a Facetime or Twitter chat and experience the same energy and buzz you get in a roomful of real people.

What is it that makes a F2F meeting different?

Maybe it’s the close-up body language or primal sniffing of each others’ phenomes … let’s not go there. But technology just hasn’t been able to replicate the dynamic of a live group.

People in the same room spark off each other. And there aren’t any live screen-based apps that I know of which can provide 3-D body language, subtleties of facial expression, and the instant cameraderie of humour.

Creating a F2F session = good content writing skills

Good content writing skills can be used t0 help create a powerful group dynamic and focus enthusiasm. You should not use them to script a session, necessarily, although some parts of it may need to be scripted – see this article for more on why that’s helpful.

You should use your good content writing skills to shape and form your session just as you shape and form written content, so your session:

1.Is designed in language and at a level participants identify with

2.Has a beginning, a middle and an end

3.Focuses on key issues without going into endless detail (see below**)

4.Is entertaining (where appropriate) as well as informative

5.Is broken up into digestible chunks

6.Contains a variety of sections – mixing up discussions, activities, breakouts, plenaries, etc.

7.Uses illustrations that enhance, not repeat, the main messages and add relevant  colour and interest

8.Always involves the participants so you’re sharing with them, not preaching at them

9.Allows them the flexibility to interpret the new information as it relates to their own needs

10.Leaves them with the satisfaction of having learned something useful without drowning in too much detail

11.Provides them with any required **detail separately, e.g. in a document

How bad content writing is like a bad seminar

Can you imagine reading a blog or white paper that shows only excruciatingly busy illustrations, with text that replicates exactly what’s said on each slide?

Where it takes you at least one hour to read through thousands of words in one long block – no breaks for subheadings, a bit of video, a short anecdote or even a new paragraph?

Where the style of writing is boring, monotonous and rather pompous?

Makes you lose the will to live, right?

I have attended many seminars and workshops that are exactly like this.

Wearing my cancer survivorship hat I have the dubious honour of going to medical training and seminars and most of them consist of a live, 3-D version of what I just described above.

One droning voice you can hardly hear because they don’t know how to use a microphone, using a little too much jargon and a pompous tone … reading every single word on a PowerPoint slide that’s so crammed no-one behind the front row can make out a single word.

No discussion, no audience participation, no examples, no questions and answers. Just wall-to-wall monotone. ZZZzzzzzzzz….

And I’ve been to a few business sessions like that, too.

So take my advice – next time you want to put a F2F seminar or workshop together, dig up those good content writing skills of yours. They’re worth their weight in gold!

Do you agree that good content writing skills work like this, and in other ways too?

Please share your views!