Wednesday, April 23, 2014

5 Steps to Getting More from a Conference or Devotional Talk, Part 1

1. Read the talk instead of just watching or listening.

If listening is all you can fit in, it's better than nothing! I often listen to a conference talk while I get ready for the day, which is great. But there are definite advantages of reading -- you can highlight, slow down, read again, and ponder. It's nice that you can choose to do these things on paper or on an electronic device. Some people think the best is to watch and read at the same time. 

2. Mark your favorite parts as you read. 

Highlight. Write notes in the margins. 

3. Choose a favorite quote and draw a box around it. 

Here's how I do this. I skim through the article a second time, reading the yellow highlighted parts. This time I use a pencil to mark my favorite things. I also add notes in the margins. 

Decide if it's worth memorizing. If it is, and it's short enough to memorize quickly, say it aloud several times. Then see if you got it right. Write the quote down in your journal, perhaps in the back where you can collect a list of your favorite quotes worth memorizing. Of course going back to review it later will help you retain it. Family scripture time or family home evening is a great time to memorize meaningful quotes and scriptures. 

4. Write a summary of the talk at the top. 

You could ask yourself, what are the main principles in the talk?  Or if I wanted to persuade someone else that this is worth reading, what would I tell him or her? 

5. What did the Spirit inspire you DO? 

Write down at least one action item at the end of the talk. Or you could write these in your journal or task list -- whatever works for you. 

DO something right away to get started on that action item. If the talk inspired you to say more connecting personal prayers, kneel down and say one right now. If you feel inspired to be kinder to your daughter, write her a note or go tell her several things you love about her right now. If the action is something you can't do until later in the week, write it down on your task list right now. 

If you want to write a journal entry about the talk, that's great too. You may want to write how the talk applies to you, how it reminds you of a certain scripture or story or personal experience, or why these principles matter. 

See how theses steps worked for me today in Part 2.

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