Take Notes: Because You Ain't the Rain Man
I have presented to small and large groups, teaching simple skills and complex skills to smart and not so smart people. Those who are smart take more notes than those who are not. When I train my employees on how to present or coach, some take notes and some do not. I always strongly suggest everyone takes notes whether learning how to sell or learning a new job but they usually take very simple notes and not complete notes. I find this habit concerning and suggest you consider what changes you will make in your note taking.
Have you seen the movie Rain Man? It came out in 1988. It starred Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. It won four Oscars. It’s about a man—played by Hoffman—who had a very high-functioning form of autism and could remember and learn an astounding amount of information.
A guy named Kim Peek from Salt Lake City is the real Rain Man. The movie was based on him. He was able to read books over 1000 pages in length in less than an hour and remember every word. By the end of his life he could verbally repeat or write down—nearly word-for-word—the contents of 12,000 books (some of these were books he had read decades before). If you gave him a date—July 22, 1984, for example—he could tell you what famous people were born on that date, news events that occurred on that date, high and low temperatures in major U.S. and world cities on that date and pretty much anything else you could ever want to know about that date.
Most astounding to the teams of scientists who studied him, Peek could remember every word of presentations or lectures he attended. He was able to write down exactly verbatim what the speaker had said several weeks after originally hearing the speaker.
This was a man who could literally remember everything. He was the real Rain Man. He didn’t need to take notes.
Here’s the problem: you are not the real Rain Man! And yet, you still don’t take notes!
Why Take Notes?
The quick answer is: because you and I are pretty dumb. We forget, and we forget quickly.Continued on the next page