U.S. blogger Shama Hyder, a marketing evangelist who does a lot of public speaking, wrote a great post recently on how to get the most out of any speech, talk or presentation when you're in the audience.
(We all know that, within an hour, most people forget everything the speaker said.)
I found three of her points five especially useful.
* Walk away with 1 DO IT point: Every time she leaves a talk or a panel, Hyder chooses one specific action to follow up on and implement. “If you don’t think you can walk away from a talk with at least 1 to-do item, then skip it!”
* Ask for examples: “If the speaker is speaking in theory, ask for solid examples” that will make his or her points more useful or relevant to your business. “Not all points require an example, but when in doubt, ask.”
* Avoid the “I know this” Syndrome: So many people think they already understand a speaker’s message, or that they've heard it before, as if that somehow reduces the importance (and applicability) of the speech. Usually you’ll get a lot more benefit by acting on the things you already know you should do than by looking around for new ideas or a silver bullet cure-all. Never tune out a speaker because you think you've heard it all before: you may be missing a key idea or nuance that will make it all new and doable.
As Hyder says, “If you don’t think you will get anything fresh from a talk, skip it. If you end up there, keep your mind open. An open attitude makes a big difference.”
You can read her full post here.