What do People DO with What They Learn at the First Friday Book Synopsis? – Here are some Terrific Ideas

What do people do with what they learn at the First Friday Book Synopsis?

I want to share a couple of pretty cool stories about how people use our book synopses. But before I share, let me comment on the value of attending our event (and, yes, these hint at the value of attending most networking and/or learning events)..

Years ago, a participant heard one of my presentations and said:

It’s “…like CliffNotes on steroids…”

And recently, a “distant learner” from our 15minutebusinessbooks.com web site wrote me and said:

Reading the handout, listening to the recording – it was “…like Power-Reading a Business Book.”

And, just a couple of weeks ago, I gave one of my synopsis presentations to a local Chamber of Commerce group. It was a group of about twenty, and at the end, an owner of a thriving small business (I had never met him before) raised his hand, waved the handout around to the audience, and said these words:

“I’m going to be honest. I don’t read books. I should – but I don’t. But this handout, and Randy’s presentation, have given me something I can take away and put into practice in my business. I needed this.”

As I think about our monthly First Friday Book Synopsis gathering, I think of these three benefits/values to attending:

#1 – You meet great people. You should see the conversations and interactions that go on in our fast-paced gathering (We start at 7:00; we get out by 8:10). People visit with friends, and they connect with new people. I could not list the numbers of times that business connections are made that result in beneficial next-step business success.

#2 – You eat great food. Let’s face it. Gatherings go better with great food. And our monthly event is at the Park City Club. Made-to-order omelet bar; terrific buffet. It really is the best breakfast I can find in Dallas.

#3 – You receive great content. Now, this is why we really get together. (I admit my bias. I do one of the two presentations every month, so the learning aspect is the big one for me.). Since April, 1998, Karl Krayer and I have each read a business book, prepared a comprehensive, multi-page handout for our synopses, and then delivered our synopses presentations. (By the way, my handouts look better, and are more extensive and comprehensive today than they were in the early years. In fact, my latest “tweak” is one I came up with just a few months ago).

My handouts now have four sections:

from the April, 2015 First Friday Book Synopsis
from the April, 2015 First Friday Book Synopsis

Section One – Why Is This Book Worth Our Time?
Section Two —   Excerpts and Quotes Directly from the Book
Section Three – Some of the Key Content and Ideas from the Book
Section Four – Some Lessons and Takeaways

Now, a couple of stories:

Story #1 — Just this week, I learned that a regular participant, who owns a terrific sales training company, on more than one occasion has bought twenty copies of one of the books we presented. One idea from the book makes an instant “this is valuable” connection. So, he buys the twenty copies, puts a post-it note inside (visible – “sticking out”), with a note to a client, saying “Read especially this chapter. Pay attention to this idea.” And then he identifies the key idea clearly. He sends these twenty books to the CEOs of twenty important client companies. The book is valuable – the post-it note attention grabber is even more valuable.

And, yes, that makes him and his expertise even more useful and valuable to these key clients.

What a simple, yet incredibly effective idea. A book; a shout-out to a key concept. Brilliant!

And I’m proud to think that our event helps him find those key thoughts, and helped spark this creative approach.

Story #2 – Another of our regular participants is a top-level business consultant. He conducts meetings for leadership teams at his clients’ locations. For some time now, he has distributed our handouts, and played the audio recordings of one of our presentations to the leadership team. They listen, following along on the handouts. (As Karl Krayer says, you get everything but the breakfast). And then, he leads a discussion focused on implications of lessons learned for their company.

(The handouts and recordings are available at our companion site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com).

Another simple, yet brilliant idea.

I could list more…

Story #3 – A local, very successful real-estate company Virginia Cook Realtors, will buy a table and bring a group of 8-10 to the event. They visit with their own team members over breakfast (always valuable!), and then listen to the presentations, and talk about the implications for their company.

Other companies, other types of companies, have at times also bought a table and shared the experience with their leaders.

Story #4 – Many, many participants share our handouts. They figure out which friends, and which clients, could benefit, and they share the handout (copy; scan) and say “you might find this valuable.”

And, there is no telling the other, countless ways people take advantage of our event, our handouts, our recordings.

But here’s the common thread – life-long learners need to be always learning. And you learn better when you share what you learn with others. (And, as we all know, you haven’t quite truly learned until you put something into practice).

The First Friday Book Synopsis, and our companion 15minutebusinessbooks.com site, are valuable tools for such life-long learners.

Thanks to all who help us by participating at our event, and continue the conversation and learning well after the sessions…


We always give away the books:

FFBS Book Winners, 1,15
Book Winners from a recent session





2 thoughts on “What do People DO with What They Learn at the First Friday Book Synopsis? – Here are some Terrific Ideas

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