How to Get the Most Out of Any Seminar

The Success Margin

Sunday, October 22, 2006

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Greetings from Down Under. What a fantastic growing country Australia is.

I’m still in Sydney after speaking at a seminar put together by Mal Emery, Australian best-selling author and direct marketing/internet millionaire.

Mal assembled an incredible group of speakers sharing cutting-edge information on online and offline marketing techniques. Proceeds from the event were contributed to research for ovarian cancer.

A good seminar can be worth a fortune to you.

But, as any attendee knows, the investment in money, including travel expenses, is considerable.

Yet, while speaking at hundreds of seminars I’ve observed that only a small number of attendees derive anywhere close to the benefit of what is possible.

I’ve seen attendees all over the world who are exposed to powerful and life-changing information from real experts. Yet few derive even a small fraction of the golden tips being
offered by the speakers.

I see this situation as a terrible waste. A good seminar can help bring your success to a whole new level.

** Selecting a great seminar **

Choosing a seminar is not as easy as it first may appear.

Unfortunately, I feel at least half the seminars being offered today in the U.S., Europe and Asia misrepresent the speakers’ credentials and accomplishments.

Many of the self-appointed online marketing gurus have never themselves been successful on the Web. Obviously they do not walk the talk. So the value of what they teach is extremely questionable.

To avoid wasting your time and money, seek out seminars where the presenters are living examples of what they teach.

** Preparation before the seminar **

Before arriving at the seminar, it’s always a good idea to jot down some specific seminar goals.

Another equally valuable approach is to seek out some solid actionable ideas that will improve your business. Or yourself.

Once the seminar begins, here are some tips that will make the experience far more valuable.

— Networking. Introduce yourself to as many attendees and speakers as you can. Pass out your business card and request them from others.

Sit in a different seat after each break (at any seminar we encourage everyone to do this). Unless you make an effort to meet and interact with as many people as you can, you will lose out on a great seminar benefit. I’ve seen and/or have been involved with a surprising number of joint ventures from networking. And have made several lifelong friends, as will you.

— Take good notes. Keep a separate sheet with actionable ideas you plan to implement after the event. Before you leave the event, narrow the number to no more than ten. Otherwise, because they will involve some effort, you may not be inclined to do any of them.

— Ask speakers questions both during Q&A sessions as well as during the breaks. Make sure what they present makes sense and is clear to you.

— In a multiple speaker program, choose and focus on just one to three presenters whose work you’d like to further study and implement. (If, for example, there are 15 speakers, it’s not practical to study in depth all of their work.) Buy the books and/or tapes of those you choose for home study after the event.

— Don’t delay. Begin to take action within 21 days after the seminar. Studies have shown that if you delay longer than three weeks, the chances of your ever doing anything with the valuable information are almost nil.

— Get CD’s or DVD’s of the seminar you just attended if they are offered. Review them as soon as possible. You will be amazed that while you thought you heard 100% of the information, you probably got no more than 40% or so. You’ll feel like you are listening to a whole new seminar! People tell me this all the time.

A well-chosen seminar is a great learning opportunity. But you can dramatically increase what you derive using the foregoing ideas.

When I first started conducting seminars, my biggest surprise was this. The most successful entrepreneurs who are attendees are the very best students. The Olympic champions of business, the millionaires, tend to take the most complete notes. They are often looking for that big idea that can totally change their business and their life.

On the other end of the spectrum are the people who take no notes. And within a few days have forgotten most of what was presented. (No one can retain but a small fraction of what is heardjust once.)

I consider myself a perpetual student of business and of life. When I’m speaking at a seminar, if my schedule allows I attend each and every session. And often I discover new ideas and brand new ways of looking at certain things too.

A seminar can be one of life’s best experiences and learning opportunities. My advice is attend as many as you possibly can.

You can dramatically increase your seminar benefits using the above suggestions.

Here, as always, is to your Success Margin.

Your correspondent,

Ted Nicholas