Are you in a rut in your research? Attending a webinar online or a genealogy presentation in person can help you learn more about resources in that time slot than you could possibly discover on your own. Below are a few things that will help you get the most out of presentations that you attend.
How to locate presentations
Do you feel like you are finding out about presentations at the last minute, or do you miss notices all together? If you take advantage of social media by following people who share information about events in your area, you can find out about presentations much sooner than folks do offline. Another thing you can do is to connect to your local library or genealogical society using the proper channels they use to promote events. For some, that may be e-mail or newsletters.
For events that attract a broader audience and that may require some travel, follow Twitter accounts that come up when you search "genealogy." Also, do this for Facebook. You will learn about other expert people from the posts made by those you follow. This Calendar of Genealogy Events will help you to find presentations in 2015 and 2016 and beyond.
Review topic ahead of time
If you have not kept abreast of your genealogy topic, you will get more out of a presentation by learning what you can on the topic beforehand. Choose a few articles posted or authored by the people you follow. Visit their blogs or websites, and search your interests. Write down the specific questions that come to mind as you review. You may be allowed to pose questions and receive feedback during the presentation.
Get to the presentation as early as allowed. Get a good seat from a vantage point allowing you to see and been seen when you raise your hand. If the presenter is there just waiting to begin, you may be able to visit.
During the presentation
Sometimes ample time is provided for questions and answers during a presentation. Others may have the same question that you will pose, so do not be hesitant to speak up. Refrain from giving too much of the story or description, and ask a specific question. This will keep you from taking up too much time from others who may also have questions. Try not to ask questions that are too far off the topic being covered.
Stick around to listen and thank the presenter. Exchange contact information. You may get invited to join the group at a local restaurant. This can be a great opportunity to learn more. Be careful not to overwhelm the presenter, but you are very likely will find the person anxious to engage in conversation and share expertise.
Follow on social media
Do not become frustrated if you come away not understanding some concepts. You will find that you need more clarification than what can be absorbed in the time frame of the presentation. Most presenters are very active on social media. Find out where they share the most, and follow them to continue learning. Do this right away after a presentation so that the presenter will recognize you. Great friendships are forged this way.
Put into practice
Walk through all the resources and processes that you learned while they are still fresh in your mind. Look for other presentations on the same topic to receive additional insights, but give yourself time to absorb what you just learned.