Sunday, 15 March 2009

Why People Fail to Take Action After Attending Seminars and How You Can

I tweeted the following on Twitter yesterday:

"My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible. All are of no value unless they are followed by action."

This prompted the following response:

"This quote is very good and should be sent to all those that attend seminars in the UK, very few ever take any action."

The thing is that this phenomenon of not taking action after attending a seminar is not limited to the UK. It occurs universally. Obviously, I'm making a generalisation here because naturally there are some people who do follow through and achieve tremendous results. However, sadly it has been shown that the majority of folk simply do not take action and, as a consequence, their lifestyle does not improve.

There are several reasons why people don't take action. Let's take a look at three of these reasons.

1. Lack of Preparation

"Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure."

Many individuals get swept away by the promise of what a particular seminar can deliver. They purchase their ticket and then simply show up on the day but they haven't thought through what it is they specifically want to get from the seminar.

I've attended many seminars and people show up without even a pen or pencil and something to take notes on. As Glenn Dietzel, author of "Author and Grow Rich" says:

"Writing is the doing part of thinking."

And, if people aren't prepared to even take notes what hope is there that they will take action after the event itself.

Decide beforehand what you want to gain from attending a seminar. Maybe you're seeking new information about a particular topic or maybe you want to network and gain new business contacts. You may even want to have the opportunity to have a one-to-one with the presenter of the event. Then decide the best way to achieve what you want.

Be prepared to take notes. Have a list of questions to which you're seeking answers. Have a large stack of business cards to share. I once attended a speed networking event and an individual taking part had hurriedly written his contact details on bits of paper. It hadn't occurred to him that at a speed networking event that a business card would come in handy.

Remember the more prepared you are the more professional you'll come across and the more you'll gain from the event.

2. Lack of Belief

"For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible."
Stuart Chase

I've heard several speakers begin their presentation with the words: "Don't believe a word I say". They mean it sincerely as they are asking you to question and challenge what you hear from them as opposed to just soaking it all in. They're asking you to listen to what they have to say and then come to your own conclusions. And, when your mind is in such a questioning state, you're more attentive and you tend to remember more of what has been said.

However, our sub-conscious mind doesn't process negatives and so to the sub-conscious mind the initial instruction effectively comes across as "Believe every word I say".

Still, there are some people who are very sceptical. Perhaps they were somehow coerced into attending the event so they're unwilling participants. They see the speakers as charlatans and they're ready to pick holes in whatever they say. They close their mind to learning new knowledge and they're definitely in no mood for taking action after the event.

Sometimes, an attendee lacks self-belief. They listen avidly to the presentations but deep inside they don't believe that they can achieve the level of success that the speaker has achieved. They forget or close their mind to the fact that many of the speakers came from very humble origins. They forget that the journey to success for many of these individuals was often years in the making.

They have good intentions but after the seminar they will sabotage all their efforts to follow through.

3. Feeling Overwhelmed

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one."
Mark Twain

At many seminars nowadays, in order to provide value for money and to appease a wide range of appetites, there'll be a line-up of speakers. Sometimes you can hear as many as 12 speakers over the course of a weekend all speaking on different topics.

You'll have the opportunity to witness some stunning presentations and hear some amazing information. You're literally blown away. Most of the speakers will have a program that they'll invite you to purchase and I've seen some individuals buy half a dozen programs.

The trouble is that there is no way that person can do justice to all these programs. They get into a state of complete overwhelm and they end up doing little or nothing. The programs get shelved and maybe even get packed away in the garage where they gather dust and become forgotten.

When you go to a seminar check out who is presenting and what they'll be speaking about. Prioritise the speakers you most want to hear and what you want to learn from them. It's fine to listen and learn from the other speakers as well but refrain from being pulled in too many different directions.

The hallmark of success is FOCUS. It may be that you could incorporate all the different strategies you hear into your business but you'll never be able to do this all at once. Decide what's important or even what you think you can handle at this time. Phase things in gradually.

The important thing is to gain some measure of success as FAST as you can. There's nothing like that feeling of success when your hard work starts to pay off. You can then build on that success.


  1. Wow great post! I will read this before I go to a seminar just in case I forget something in the mean time.

    Regarding the belief in what we hear I remember Bob Proctor's advice...
    "Don't accept and don't neglect anything you hear. Take the idea throw it around and see if it can improve your life. Then decide what to do with it"

  2. Thanks, Kami.

    I'm one of Bob Proctor's Certified LifeSuccess Consultants and so I too recall his advice regarding how you should treat what you hear. It's sound advice.

  3. NO wonder I felt his teaching influence so strongly in your writing ^-^ I am happy to meet you and congratulations for having such a wonderful trainer :)