When people quickly take notes … what did I say so important?

Estimated read time: 2 minutes


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 70,828 other subscribers



Body language, laughing at jokes and other things are indicators that our audiences are engaged with our presentations and talks.

Another is when everyone all of sudden writes something down. On paper! It’s especially noticeable when they get out paper.

Some take notes on their phones, but don’t we all still think that people are texting or doing something unrelated when they do that … even if they are actually taking notes.

When people take notes I wonder:

What did I say? LOL. These slides are online, too. I’ll post the Periscope video later, too. No need to take notes.

But maybe taking notes isn’t about convenience.

When we hear something that struck as important, have aha moments and hear other information we don’t want to forget we write it down.

Even if we never look at the notes again, writing it down longhand helps us remember – at least that’s what I read somewhere.

As I’ve said before, every presentation is also a practice for the next one. I always try to gather intelligence on what works and what doesn’t. What jokes get laughs and which one routinely don’t? It’s not a hard and fast science for sure. I’ve told the same jokes before and on Tuesday people laughed for a while and on Thursday they were borderline offended.



It’s important to learn what works and what doesn’t. It doesn’t mean that we change our authentic stories but it helps us tell them better.

When audiences are engaged they open up. They listen. They are ready to learn.
Speakers can learn by picking up on behaviors – the ones that indicate engagement.

People taking furious notes is a good sign. No need to keep reminding them that the slides are online and can be downloaded.

Keep doing more of what prompted the note taking.



Don’t miss my new book

Move your content from happening to performing. The 2020 textbook: