Getting the Most Out of a Professional Seminar

Whether your attending a professional development seminar for your job or a presentation about a personal interest, I wanted to share with you some of the things I do to get the most out of my investment of time and money.

1. Bring a way to take notes, whether that be a paper and pen or your laptop.  You will be bombarded with ideas and new information during the seminar, and you will never be able to remember it all. 

2.  As you take notes, focus on the following:

  • Quotes/Key ideas – Capture the little “nuggets” that you want to take away, remember, and share with others
  • Ideas to Try – You’re not commiting to anything here, but if you hear a new idea that you may want to try back at work (or wherever), write it down.
  • Resources/Products – Hear of something that will make your job easier?  Learn of a new company that provides a relevant service?  Write it down!

3. Bring a drink and some snacks to keep you alert as the day goes on.

4. Review your notes the next day to refresh your memory and consolidate some of the new ideas that have started growing in your head.

5. Identify 1-3 clear, concise next steps based on what you’ve learned.  Write them down!

6. File your notes for future reference.  I have a file folder for each professional development seminar that I’ve attended.  Years later, I still am able to go back and find “new” ideas to help me.

Happy Learning!


Image: graur codrin/


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