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Monday, December 11, 2017
Article written by Gary Simpson

Are You an Information Front-Seater or a Back-Seater?

During my never ending quest for knowledge on business, investment, motivation, personal development and other topics that interest me I have attended countless seminars. Some were excellent and some were - well, let's just say... interesting.

Something always strikes me at these seminars. Oh, I'm not talking about something falling on my head. Rather, what falls into my head.

You see, I am a keen observer. I notice things. I make it a habit. I always have. Now I just have an eye for detail. I guess you could say I am a curious type.

So, having explained all that - what do I see at seminars?

First, I see that most of the people who attend them are already successful at something. That's obvious. I won't go into that. Let's just say that successful people are always on the hunt for more knowledge.

Next, I see certain folk who sit close to the front and certain folk who sit right down the back, where it is easy to "escape" and not be noticed. The key to that last sentence is the last three words - not be noticed.

Those who sit right at the front almost always appear more confident. They also come prepared with notebooks, calculators, journals and pens.

I also observe that during intermission (there usually is one), these people make a bee-line for the presenter and completely monopolize his or her time. They ask questions. When they do this what do you think the crowd down the back do? Well, some have had enough and go home, others slip into a nearby bar for a drink and many race outside to get a quick-fix of nicotine.

After the seminar is over, those in the front rows are always the ones to purchase books, tapes, videos and other materials. And again they descend upon the presenter for what I call the "good oil."

By contrast, those at the back of the room, while deserving congratulations for attending in the first place, are usually already gone. They rarely take notes, they tend to conduct private low-level conversations between themselves (I detest that!), never approach the presenter and rarely purchase any further information.

Sometimes I sit at the back of a seminar to observe these things. I want to see who is there for the information and who is there for the social aspects. So I watch. However, my preferred position is somewhere down the front - not necessarily in the very front row but somewhere near it where I have clear and unimpeded access to the presenter if I need it.

To finish up, let me ask you a couple of questions:

  • Do you avail yourself of seminars and courses?

  • Are you a front-seater or a back-seater?


  • Might it be to your advantage in future to take a front seat? There are already plenty of back-seaters. They're everywhere - and not just at information seminars.

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