Having given seminars in various parts of the country in the past 10 years, I have observed that people who attend seminars—particularly franchise seminars—need to learn how to get the most out of them. So how do you do it? Note the following:
• Check on the topics before signing up. Organizers often recommend which seminars are suitable for the particular needs of potential participants. If you feel the topics are vague, contact the organizers to clarify.
• Attend a seminar with an open mind. A seminar is meant to impart and share knowledge. However, you won’t learn much from it if you are not ready to process the ideas being shared; hence you would do well to avoid distractions, to focus and to take down notes.
• Don’t be shy about asking questions. Seminars are fruitful in and by themselves, but they impart even more to participants when lifted by probing questions. If you feel too shy about asking questions, at least write them down and make sure they reach the intended speakers or resource people.
• Get the handouts—but read them later. Every time I conduct a seminar, I advise the organizers to refrain from giving the handouts until they are needed or the session has ended. You see, participants tend to read page after page rather than listen to the speaker—and often miss out on some important details that the speaker has discussed. Remember that handouts are supplemental reading materials that reinforce what the speaker has shared. But they must be read later.
• Take notes properly. The technique is to jot down key words that will remind you of the ideas being shared. But taking down notes is less important than listening well and understanding what the speaker is saying.