A few weeks ago I had the honor to Sketchnote at the Manifesto Conference in SF. It was a lot of content to visually stay on top of with ~7 speakers throughout the day.
A few observations of the speakers... (1) Overall excellent. Each talk had several salient points that were important, but all fell under a single overarching theme. (2) Origin stories make talks more interesting. It helps to set the context of how somebody came to where they are. (3) As hardwired as we are to love origin stories to start with, a general overview. Knowing what you are getting into is also helpful. It is similar to knowing what the score of a game is before you watch it... it gives you something to look forward to.
A few observations of my sketchntotes (1) Warm-ups are so important! Unless I am drawing every day for 4+ hours a day, I need a warm-up. A warm specific to sketchnoting is the most useful as it puts you in the right zone to do real time synthesis. A good day of opportunity for this is to note the hellos and introductions that a conference starts with. (2) Paper works better than white boards, as the drawing tools are so much better. Yes, I know you cannot erase, but working with paper feels so natural. (3) In terms of audience engagement... simply put, more people should be sketchnoting. I would glance behind me and see a sizable portion of conference attendees on their phones or even napping. Sketchnoting is such a robust way to remember what you heard, and a great resource to refer back to.
Take a look at a few of my sketchnotes I managed to take snaps of. If you were one of the people at the conference with a big camera taking professional photos of these... can we connect?