I’ve stopped tweeting from seminars, workshops and other live events I attend as a speaker or an audience member. Here’s why:
1. Multi-tasking, research shows, isn’t productive. In fact, the opposite is true.
If I’m in the audience to learn, and I’m busy listening, and busy tweeting, something’s got to give. If you can do both tasks exceptionally well, great. I can’t. So I won’t.
2. I don’t want to miss one valuable lesson from the speaker who’s on the platform or from things I see in the room.
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At Publishing University, sponsored by the International Book Publishers Association, in March of this year, I was a member of three panels that discussed social media and online book promotion. I love hearing Dan Poynter, the self-publishing expert, and attended his presentation on Saturday morning, but arrived late. If I hadn’t been paying attention, I would have missed the clipboard he had sent around the room so audience members could give him their names and email addresses and subscribe to his ezine.
“That’s brilliant,” I thought to myself when I glanced up and saw the clipboard. When I speak, I send a basket around the room and ask for business cards if people want to subscribe to my newsletter. Problem is, people’s email addresses are sometimes old ones, or they’re not even printed on their business cards. I don’t know that until I get back to the office.
Thanks, Dan. I now use a clipboard.
3. I don’t want to have to worry about tweeting when I’m away.
Leaving for a conference for a few days and freeing myself of any social media responsibilities is actually a treat. Try it.
4. These events are terrific places to network, build relationships and recruit joint venture partners.
I don’t want to miss hearing an interesting question from an audience member who I might want to meet later for coffee.
5. When I speak at these events, it galls me to see audience members glued to their mobile phones, texting like mad.
If I had my way, I’d prohibit anyone from even bringing a phone into the room. I want to give the speaker the same courtesy I expect. That means I’m no longer going to encourage audience members to use a special hash tag, or even tweet tips from my presentation. I want their eyes on me, not their phones.
What about you? If you tweet from these events, why do you do it? If not, why not? If you’re a speaker, what do you think when you see people texting during your presentations?