The multi-tasking attendee is a challenge for professional speakers and trainers. So whenever I give a training workshop or conference presentation, I respectfully request my audiences’ complete attention so they can fully engage in discussion and applied learning.
Attendees who are focused during the session benefit from new and/or reinforced knowledge, insight, and ideas – individually as well as collectively. As the presenter, I benefit from an attentive audience that actively participates by asking questions for clarification or elaboration and sharing their ideas and experiences – all contributing to a dynamic session. I bring my professional skills and dedication to help my audiences get the most they can from my sessions so their time is well-spent. Recognizing that learning is a dual responsibility between a speaker/trainer and attendee, here’s what I ask of my audiences in return.
Attendee Guidelines for Respectful Engagement
- Please bring your complete attention so you can fully engage in discussion and be able to apply the information and ideas to your organization.
- Out of professional and personal courtesy to everyone in the audience, please silence your cell phone.
- If you know in advance that you might be contacted during the session – for example, you’re waiting for an important message from your boss or key customer – then please keep your phone on vibrate and attend to it quietly; leave the room, if necessary.
- If you’re alerted by an emergency call or text from a family member or someone at work, please excuse yourself quietly and leave the room to do what you need to do. If you’re unable to return to the session, consider getting in touch with me afterwards (via email or phone call) to let me you had to leave for this reason.
- Please refrain from sharing session content during the session. If you want to tweet an idea or learning takeaway, please wait until a break or after the session. In the meantime, you’ll be able to better digest the ideas discussed, including how you might actually apply them to your business/situation. (Note: This guideline will vary depending on session-content. Many of my colleagues who speak on social media topics encourage in-session tweeting.)
- If you find you’re not interested in the topic and are inclined to email, text, or check your social media networks, I prefer you leave the session to avoid wasting your time.
Pay attention if you really want to learn, and avoid multitasking that distracts you and those around you.
“If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention than to any other talent.” – Sir Isaac Newton