Admittedly, I run all over the country attending one conference after another. Desperately seeking information, knowledge and guidance, I’m the one eagerly scribbling notes. For the most part these conferences have served me and my clients very well. As a business consultant, I use the tips, tricks and strategies I’ve learned at these events to fuel my growth and my clients’ successes as well.
Research provides valuable clues
Conferences, seminars and workshops are great but I don’t think we should overlook the value of everyday learning. The way that we learn best is to take in information, use it and then teach it. Studies conducted by the National Training Labs shows that passive learning methods only produce up to 30% retention. So when we are talking to someone we must remember that they’re probably only getting a small percentage of what we are saying. When we provide the information in written form, their retention increases. If we show them, they’re taking in more, but we’re still topping out at 30%.
The study went on to show that when the student participates in the learning, the retention dramatically increases. So hands on activities are extremely important to deliver actual learning. The average retention rate soars to 90% when students are asked to teach the new material. That’s an amazing leap.
These findings are consistent with the audience measurement information provided by Nielsen Media Research, the primary source of audience measurement information in the television industry around the world. Nielsen concluded that audiences retained approximately 30% of what they heard. Message retention would dramatically increase when text was on the screen and rise additionally when pictures were added.
Here’s what to do
This information could be very useful to us as entrepreneurs. Whether dealing with customers, prospective customers or employees we should be able to increase the impact of our message by adjusting our method of instruction. Here’s how:
Blogging is a great way to deliver information.
Webinars, teleseminars, and webcasts work really well especially if you include texts and pictures or graphs to increase retention.
Don’t just tell them how a product is used. Give the information in written form, show them and have them explain it back to you.
Videos are also a very useful tool.
Workshops offer an opportunity for lecturing, demonstrations, hands-on learning, group conversations, participants teaching each other.
Offering a video, audio and text library helps people learn at their own pace.
The goal should be to incorporate as many methods of learning and information delivery as possible into each encounter.
Here’s how I use this info
After reading the study, it’s easy for me to see why I love attending conferences. They give me an opportunity to be grasp as much information as possible through listening to the speaker. We all receive print materials that have graphs, charts and pictures. I’m actively learning as I take down my notes. There are usually group events for participants and lots of informal chatting. When the event is over, I come back to my office and offer my clients the benefit of what I have learned and coach them on how to use it.
My clients are happy to have new ideas, strategies and tips. The funny thing is that they usually become as big of a fan of the conference host I did. They purchase their books, products and even services. It creates a triple win and you can’t beat that.
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Thanks for reading. I welcome your comments, questions and any ideas you would like to share.
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