Holy cow, I wrote a book!
At Microsoft, the take-away is the essential message of
a presentation or the conclusion that you are
expected to draw from a situation.
It is something you are expected to remember when the whole
thing is over,
a piece of information you take away with you as you
leave the room.
XYZ demo take away (title of a document)
The preferred intensifier is key,
and you probably see it attached to the phrase take-away more
often than not.
This example comes from a presentation on the results
of a user study:
Results: XYZ Tough to Use
Migration to XYZ will be difficult
Need to show value of using the power of DEF
In fact, every single slide in this presentation had a bullet
point at the bottom called Key take-away.
(And, as you may have noticed, the heading is the singular
take-away even though multiple take-aways were listed.)
Another use of the term take-away follows in the same
spirit as the "essential message" usage,
but the idea of "taking away" is taken literally:
A take-away is a small information card
that sales and marketing
people give to potential customers.
Think of it as the business card for a service rather than for a person.
[Raymond is currently away; this message was pre-recorded.]