The other day I had a meeting in a client’s office. She was at her desk. While I was taking notes I caught myself placing my pad flat on her desk. It felt awkward. Is there etiquette about taking notes?

Home / Answers From Ask! The Image Guru Blog / The other day I had a meeting in a client’s office. She was at her desk. While I was taking notes I caught myself placing my pad flat on her desk. It felt awkward. Is there etiquette about taking notes?

When taking notes, be sure to ask your client if he or she minds. Place the notes where only you can see them. Do not use your client’s desk when taking notes by laying your portfolio on the desk or leaning on the edge of the desk.

Hold your portfolio at an angle while writing. Also avoid placing the portfolio in your lap to take notes. Otherwise you might get “caught up” in taking notes, not taking a moment to look up at your client. Instead, use one hand to hold the portfolio at an angle while writing with the other.

There are a few things to keep in mind when taking notes. Do not write down word-for-word what someone is saying. Stay focused on the conversation, but jot down words that will jog your memory. For example, writing the words “Executive Development” would later jog your memory to ask more about the Executive Development Program he or she is talking about.

One thing to keep in mind it is important to have a nice writing pen. Like other accessories, a pen is essential to a professional wardrobe. When going to business meetings you want to ensure attention is paid to the smallest detail. One of the biggest mistakes people make when accessorizing for meetings is bringing an inappropriate writing pen.

You do not have to spend a lot of money to have a good quality-writing pen or pencil. A simple pen in a gold or silver finish is very inexpensive, and looks much better than a plastic pen. The same goes for promotional pens, avoid using such pens for meetings.

The rule-of-thumb for a writing pen is to keep the colors neutral such as black or dark burgundy or in a silver or gold tone. Avoid any logos or messages on the pen. The more understated the pen, the less distracting and more elegant you appear. A writing pen should not jump out, but instead, reflect the polished, professional image you project during the meeting.

On a side note, if you are in a business meeting taking notes and there are others attending, be sure to jot their names down on your pad so you can remember their names.

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