As a Toastmaster and teacher, I often attend forums and seminars with knowledgeable, interesting presenters. As I look around the room at the other attendees, I notice that most are taking copious notes, typing or writing down each and every point and idea the presenter makes.
Have you ever wondered what happens to these seminar notes? Some note takers organize their writings in memo pads or in folders on their laptops. Still other not so organized scribes ball up their scratchings, tossing them into corners of home offices.
Often, in our zeal to record every word, most of us miss the most important presentation points. What if the next time you attend a non-work related forum or meeting, before taking notes, put your pen down. Let’s use the listening skills developed and practiced in Toastmasters, and open our ears and hearts to the message. Instead of becoming bored trying to keep up with the notes, absorb the message by listening. Watch the speaker’s body language for non-verbal cues; enjoy the nuances of the speaker’s vocal variety. Immerse yourself in the entire message by listening.
Put your pen down. You’ll save trees, and you just might open your ears and life to new ideas.