I spent the first ten minutes asking the volunteer some questions (the research) then wrote a headline, the PS, then some benefits. I think it was a much more useful exercise than simply talking about copy. I was a bit overambitious so next time I speak, I'll take an existing letter and dissect it but I know actually writing the copy was better than simply babbling on.
My goal was to get the audience members to look into the head of a direct response copywriter. Yes...I know that's a dangerous place to be but the audience seemed to enjoy the adventure.
Every person who attended got a copy of my personal direct response copywriting checklist. If you'd like it, leave a comment and I'll be in touch.
Some serious direct marketing people were in the room and it was great to see them nodding their heads in agreement with everything I said. There's little that's really new in direct response...we all simply do what's worked before.