By: Shama Hyder
For the past month, I have been buzzing around the US giving talks-on everything from online marketing to social media marketing. And, I have been noticing how the audience observes and interacts. There is a lot said about how to give a great talk, but I believe there is also merit in knowing HOW to make the MOST of a talk given. Here are my tips to make the most of any talk!
1) Don’t give advice unless you KNOW for a fact. This is a pet peeve of mine as a speaker. An audience member will ask a question and another will chime in with their two-bit. Often, with the wrong or partially correct answer. If you feel the speaker didn’t answer the question fully, talk to the person with the question later and offer your insight.
2) Walk away with 1 DO IT point. This practice has improved my business tremendously. Any time I walk away from a talk or a panel, I choose 1 do-it point. Meaning one action I must implement. If you don’t think you can walk away from a talk with at least 1 to-do item, then skip it!
3) Ask questions (during and after). I LOVE an interactive audience. Ask questions, get involved, speak your mind! And yes, be respectful as you do it. Questions really allow some of the best takeaways to surface.
4) Ask for examples. Applicability is key! If the speaker is speaking in theory, ask for solid examples so you can learn how to do the same. Not all points require an example, but when in doubt-ask.
5) Avoid the “I know this” Syndrome. I haven’t personally encountered this as a speaker, but I have as a participant. Someone inevitably believes “i know this already…” 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.