Activity descriptions are your event introduction to the non-toastmaster. Just like with a speech, your first few sentences need to hook your readers to keep reading. Your first few sentences will also serve to entice them to attend your event out of the many virtual and in-person events that are happening in their community.
Here are some tips to help you write a great activity description.
- Think journalistically: use the who, what, where, when, why and how formula when crafting your description:
- Who are the presenters? Include the name of the member(s) leading workshop or activity, and list their expertise along with their website (if they have one). Not only is it good to acknowledge the event speaker(s), guests might know of them and want to attend for that very reason.
- What will happen? Briefly describe your activity. Ensure it accurately reflects what the guest will actually gain by attending the event.
- Where is your event taking place? Some guests are only interested in attending virtual events. Some are looking for in-person. Regardless of the meeting platform, make it easy for your guest to find you and join in.
- When will the activity occur (date, start time and end time)? Listing an end time is a courtesy and important for the guests who may be juggling family or other time commitments. Indicate if anyone can drop-in or if pre-registration is necessary. If it is important that people arrive by a certain time to the event, make it obvious for your non-toastmasters guests (for example, you don’t want someone disrupting a contestant in the middle of their contest speech, so your guest will need to know in advance that if they are late, their may be a delay in their admittance). Always keep the customer experience in mind when inviting guests who many not know the protocol).
- Why should the non-toastmaster want to attend? Give them specifics: will they be entertained? Or educated? Or inspired? Tell them something that is unique or interesting to your event. Tell them what they will gain by attending.
- How will attendees engage? Avoid generic words such as interact, or participate without indicating how they will do these things. For example, instead of saying “in this workshop, attendees will interact with the presenter,” say, “in this workshop, you will walk away with three compelling presentation openings to use for any business occasion.”
- Keep your description short. Convey all essential information in three or four compelling sentences. Societally, our attention spans are shorter, and most people will view your event information from their mobile devices. Viewers will move on if you have too much text on the screen.
- Provide a web address for your attendees to go to for more information. People need the option to go to a website or a landing page if they want to get additional background information about your club, your speaker(s), and/or your event. Having a link to your landing page, social, or website also provides a valuable cross-marketing opportunity.
- Always good practice; have someone else proofread it for typos, spelling mistakes and grammar before you post.
- Avoid too many exclamation points!!!!!!! Exclamation points lose their meaning if overused!! Instead, use descriptive words to convey event excitement.
- Don’t try to be all things to all people. Riches are in the niches. Be clear about your target audience.
- Borrow from the best. Take a look at other activity descriptions of events similar to yours for ideas and inspiration. These don’t need to come from other Toastmasters events. You may find some wonderful event descriptions from other industries and organizations that “hook” you more successfully; analyze what drew you in, and use this to inspire you to write your own compelling event description.
- Include visuals. An eye-catching image can go a long way to attracting guests to your event and to set it apart from the others.
A good activity description has the power to stand out in crowded social feeds, and convince a person to take action by attending your event. Happy event planning!
Nancy Movrin has been writing program, activity, and event descriptions in municipal and non-profit settings for over 30 years.
Created by Nancy Movrin DTM Public Relations Manager 2021 – 2022