ProdPod, a Productivity Podcast The Podcast of Personal Productivity Lessons in Two Minutes or Less

August 2, 2011  

This episode's tip: How to leave a presentation ready for action with handouts.


Productivity and presentations can almost be considered antonyms to the common seminar or  workshop attendee. Everyone's time is limited and they usually don't take the information gained into action. I've heard statistics that over two-thirds of individuals use *none* of the actionable information from professional conferences. One of the main reasons, I believe, most people accomplish so little when they leave educational events is that they do not design their experience for the outcome that's most advantageous to them. This episode's tip: How to leave a presentation ready for action with handouts.
Initially, I assess the information and giveaways I receive from tradeshow exhibitors or sponsors. Are really worth keeping? They become distractions once you're seated if you don't properly commit to putting them out of sight once the speaker begins. While I'm at it, I usually try to get a seat early on to make sure I have a clear view of the presenter, I am within audible range in case the speaker doesn't have suitable amplification, and I confirm any visual aids I've identified are in sight.
So, with no external distractions that are within my control, I pull out the materials and give it a general context and content overview. I quickly underline or star the margins in areas where I'll want to make sure I pay special attention. On a separate sheet of notepaper, I use my flavor of Note-Taking explained in Episode Seven. As soon as the presentation is over, I make sure to follow GTD practice to process what I captured and then organize it into its proper list/tool (calendar, reference file, project, next-action, someday-maybe and so forth). Because I managed the information well both before and during, I can now engage in networking and getting refreshments with ease of mind. When I get back to my office, I'm very likely to take my hard work to the next level and it's all ready for me...ready for action.

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