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Preparing for Desktop Publishing Conferences and Seminars

How to Get Your Time and Money's Worth

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How beneficial are deskotp publishing conferences, seminars, and workshops? Whose job is it to ensure that you get your time and money's worth? What if you are the one doing the presentation (especially as a first-time speaker), how can you do your part to make sure all participants enjoy your presentation or class?

Both the instructor or presenter and the attendee are responsible for the success of any conference — before, during, and after. Review these pointers so that you can make the most of the next deskotp publishing conference, seminar, or workshop you attend.

Before - Preparation
Presenter: Research the subject of the presentation. Polish up public speaking skills. Prepare informative, professional handouts and presentation materials. Practice, practice, practice.

Attendee:

  • Examine any pre-conference agendas or synopis to make sure that the class covers the topic you want and is geared toward your interests and experience level.

  • Check the typical class size. Some topics lend themselves well to large audiences but for more hands-on desktop publishing training and personal interaction with the speaker and other attendees look for smaller classes.

  • Make a list of the things you expect to learn from the conference or class and the questions you want answered.

  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses in the areas to be discussed, and be prepared to share your own knowledge when asked to do so.

During - Attitude & Attention
Presenter: Give a lively, interesting talk. Answer questions from attendees. Be flexible in the presentation.

Attendee:

  • Pay attention.

  • Take notes.

  • Ask questions.

  • Be open to new ideas or techniques. You are there to learn so don't dismiss anything out of hand until you've had a chance to study it further outside the conference.

  • Give the speaker verbal and visual feedback so he/she knows whether or not their talk is addressing your needs and concerns. (Stuck with a boring speaker? Taking notes and asking questions periodically can help you stay focused and may help to break up the monotony of the presentation.)

After - Follow-up & Review
Presenter: Ask partcipants for their comments and criticisms and use them to improve future presentations. Follow-up on any questions that you were unable to answer immediately.

Attendee:

  • Send a thank you letter (or email) to the desktop publishing conference planners or individual speakers. Let them know exactly what you most enjoyed about the presentation.

  • List the key points, new techniques, and ideas you have learned.

  • Review your notes, handouts, and list weekly or monthly throughout the year.

  • Try the new techniques to see what does or doesn't work for you. An excellent desktop publishing seminar is worthless if you immediately file away your handouts and never review or practice what you learned.

  • Share your experiences with others. Be specific about what was good or disappointing about the conference. (Our Desktop Publishing Forums are good places to talk with others who share your interests.)

Additional Tips

  • Think Local: Don't forget to check local resources such as your area Computer User's Group or community college for on-going or one-time classes for deskotp publishing software training or general graphic design training topics. If you don't live in a major city in New York, Georgia, Texas, or California (where the bulk of the big seminars seem to travel) and don't want to travel far, this may be your best option.

  • Cancellations and Refunds: Before signing up for any desktop publishing conference or seminar, find out about their cancellation and refund policy as well as any refunds given if you are truly dissatisfied with the quality of the conference.

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