Online Marketing

Judge a Talk by its Title: Why You Need a Better Headline

Let’s start off with a question: Why did you click on this post?

Unless someone you know shared this with you, chances are you saw the title of the article and were drawn in.

Perhaps you noticed it was written for your demographic or you identify with the problem it’s aiming to solve.  Either way, the title of the post motivated you to click… or not.

The stakes are higher for speaking engagements. A well-crafted title for your event may be the thin line between having an audience full of potential clients and having more empty chairs than heads.

In my years of experience as an entrepreneur and coach, I’ve learned that creating a title for an event is a combination of art and science. In just a few words, you have to pique the interest of your target audience and reel them in.

What not to do

But before I tell you what to do, I’ll tell you what to avoid.

I want you to never clickbait. I’m talking about including words in a title that are so outrageous the viewer can’t help but click.

Yes, people click out of sheer curiosity for the obnoxious title. You may generate video views or article clicks, but they rarely translate into actual sales. And the visitors leave as soon as they realize they’ve been tricked.

Sadly, some entrepreneurs use this method for their speaking engagements. But don’t try to trick people to boost attendance at your events. We’re in the business of meaningful relationships, and strangers don’t turn into clients overnight.

Getting people to attend your event is one thing, keeping them is another. Using clickbait may be damaging if the audience feels they were tricked into coming. Don’t risk your reputation just to boost attendance.

Understanding the purpose

Think about movie trailers and how filmmakers’ entice the audience to watch the full movie without giving away major plot points. Similarly, the title of your Signature Talk should give potential attendees a taste of your session without revealing the main points you’ll cover in the speaking event.

You may be wondering, “Eiji, why can’t I just put some buzzwords in my title and call it a day?”

Technically, you could.

But creating your title haphazardly means you’re not maximizing its impact on your target audience. This leads to lower attendance and reduces your profits.

And we all know what fewer profits mean.

A better title for better clients

An effective and well-crafted title lets you cater your talk to a particular group or problem. Different demographics have different needs, and you should always tailor your approach with the target group in mind.

Vagueness leads to uncertainty. And that leads to people responding to your event with a “maybe,” instead of a definite “yes.”

When you know your audience and their problems, you’re more likely to find ace clients. Ace clients are those ideal customers who provide the most support to you and your business — through sales, referrals or other forms of engagement.

A more refined approach cultivates stronger relationships with these clients. If your event  aims to cover every demographic possible, what you’re communicating is watered down and less effective.

A method to the madness

Crafting the right title is part art and part science. And that means understanding the psychology behind an effective title and how they’re perceived by different types of people.

I’ve had clients who simply don’t realize their actually driving potential clients away solely because of the words they use in their event and post titles. So before you finalize your title, put yourself in the shoes of your target audience.

How will they feel when they hear the name of your event? Will they want to attend? Or will they subconsciously hear noise and bury it in the back of their minds?

Your goal is to be of service to your clients, so you should craft your title based on what the audience wants — not necessarily what you personally want.

Test the waters

Since your event title is for your audience and not you, I recommend recruiting a few trusted test subjects review your draft before committing. If you’re wondering who you should ask … it depends.

I explained earlier that each title needs to be crafted specifically for a certain person or type, and your test subjects should represent that target audience. The feedback you receive won’t have a lot of value if you ask a male computer programmer to offer his opinion on a title targeted at female entrepreneurs.

The next step

If you have an upcoming speaking engagement, I want you to rethink your title. Is it geared toward your target audience? Will your ace clients react positively to it?

Will this make them want to sign up and learn more?

Sometimes, the title is all you have to make or break a future sale. This is you target audience’s first sight of you — make them fall in love.

About the Author


Eiji (pronounced "A.G.") Morishita is the Founder of the Movement Makers whose mission is empower 1000 leaders over the next 10 years to start a movement that impact millions of lives. His purpose is to ignite souls to step into their calling.

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