But the Workshop Title Sounded So Good

I just returned from a national conference with a program as thick as a phone book. At any given time, there might have been up to 50 concurrent workshops being offered. How do you decide which workshop to attend? You guessed it – by reading the clever workshop title and the well crafted description promising an action-packed hour long session. I’m sure that I’m not the first to notice that some workshop titles are far more clever than the actual workshop itself. But it seems to be a growing problem, and the people who attend these promise-filled sessions are growing more and more leery about devoting an hour to something that might not pan out. I’m seeing more people sit in what I call “fast get-away” seats at the ends of isles or in the back of the room… just in case. Even worse, I’m seeing a growing number of people who just pack up their stuff and walk out in the middle of the workshop (much to the horror of the presenter). Why were people leaving? The workshop title and description was better than the actual workshop.

Okay, so what’s my point? This just serves as a gentle reminder to all of us who speak at conferences: Let’s make sure what we present in our workshops exceeds the promises we make in the program description.

5 replies
  1. Rhonda
    Rhonda says:

    You really hit the nail on the head with this one, Steve.I wish all committees planning the programming for conventions could require an audition tape – 5 minutes would do. That way they could be more discerning in their acceptance of proposals.

  2. Sophia
    Sophia says:

    Boy, were you right! It is painful to sit thru a workshop where the speaker keeps repeating the phrase, “Your students are gonna LUUVVV IT!!”, but you never get to the actual experiments. It seems like anyone with a lab coat is able to hold a workshop at a national convention. Steve, keep up the good work!

  3. Bernadette
    Bernadette says:

    Hi, everyone! I am deciding for a good (“motivating and catchy”) reading workshop title that I will conduct in the Philippines in December. Is there any good suggestion out there? The workshop is intended for 1st to 3rd grade teachers.

    Thank you very much.


  4. suman
    suman says:

    So true!!!! we can judge the book by its cover page but often we end-up in such sessions seeing the program title and its description.

    Undercommit and overdeliver is the real mantra for success.

    We said steve. its a very good advice.

    suman Kumar


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