Images of ears fading into the distance with the word listen spelled out above them and also fading

Source: “Listen,” Ky_Olsen, Flickr
©2008 Ky_Olsen

Listening is a skill most people think they do well but that often could be improved. As you complete high school and go on to college and the workforce, listening effectively will become even more important. In college, many of your courses will be lecture-based with an instructor speaking for an hour or more, stopping infrequently for his or her listeners to catch up. Yikes! The assumption is that you are prepared to listen and take accurate notes.

When you enter the workforce—you may already have—you will likely attend meetings where you are assigned tasks or given instructions to follow by your boss. You might also attend conferences where you are expected to report back about what you heard and saw. Many times, presenters at seminars, workshops, and conferences provide handouts for you to follow, but you still need to be able to listen carefully and take accurate notes in order to remember the points in the presentation when you get back home.

Four people staring at you, saying “That’s really cool,” “yeah, go oh,” and looking bored. The cartoon is titled, “Not Really Listening.”

Source: “Not Really Listening,” Mark Stivers
© 2007 Mark Stivers

In this lesson, you will learn how and why to paraphrase while listening and taking notes.