How to write meeting minutes?
Everyone, who was at the business meeting, tried to take notes with ideas and thoughts. It is called the meeting minutes. Nine times out of ten these notes were illegible, important information was lost and we do not referred to these notes anymore. However, we still cannot underestimate the value of meeting minutes. If they are taken accurately, meeting minutes will serve as an important documentation and a record of the main decision points. Meeting minutes are used by attendees to remember the pivot points and required actions that were discussed during the meeting. Along with that, meeting minutes are applied to inform non-attendees about main decisions and achievements of the meeting.
Generally, official minutes are recorded during the meeting by secretary, typist or law reporter. They can use recording software and then turn audio records into clarified meeting minutes. For example, board meeting minutes are legal documentation and should be kept for 5 – 10 years.
Meeting minutes of other groups have no requirements for its form. Every organization sets its own rules on how to take notes and who will be responsible for them. The main thing to be considered is that meeting minutes are not the ordinary report of the meeting. It is more important to record information about the outcomes and the final decisions of the meeting, but not about what was discussed in general.
Although there are no requirements and standards for noting meeting minutes, there are still some useful tips and rules we would like to share. Rules of Order are known as the guide to making accurate and complete meeting notes, which can be referred to. Effective meeting minutes start with the name of the body, date, list of all members (not obligatory). Since the main aim of meeting minutes is to record actions and tasks, all essential points and motions have to be included. By motions, we mean proposals for deliberation and consideration during the meeting. It is very important to make meeting notes because they are the foundation for future actions. If they are not well-organized, it will lead to the decline of communication and enhance misunderstanding in the work of this team.
How to write meeting minutes more effectively, reduce over wording and save time? There are some tips that will help you if you are an appointed minute-taker.
- Chose tools, which are the most convenient for you. For example, you can use your laptop, notepad, voice recorder and other devices, that will help you make a draft.
- Prepare template before the meeting. You can create sections of the subjects that is going to be discussed according to the agenda. It will save you time. In addition, you can check with your Chairman if there are other required subjects.
- Record only the essence and leave out secondary information. According to “Rules of Order”, which is widely popular among minute-takers, you should avoid noting everything from the meeting. The most important is to write motions, results of the voting and the name of the person who made this motion.
- Use shorthand in writing, when the flow of the meeting accelerates and you are losing your ability to catch main ideas.
Of course, there are more techniques and useful recommendations for making meeting minutes more productive. For example, you can share your notes on the screen or board, so that every one of the attendees could read, summarize, pay more attention to the main points of the meeting.
Since people have a short memory and lack of attention, the best way to ensure the efficiency of the meeting is to make minutes of the key points properly.
Still, how would you train your employees or how will you improve your own skills in making meeting minutes? There are special courses for minute-takers and secretaries, that are provided by Taylor Mason. What will be the outcome of a minute taking training? You will learn how to catch and record main ideas, how to write easy-to-read minutes, how to improve listening skills, how to deliver main information to those, who didn’t attend the meeting and a lot more. Apart from the course of “How Charing meeting effectively”, there is a course specifically designed for learning effective time management. With successful time management your stress level at any business meeting will be reduced and the higher attention will be paid. On top of it, Taylor Mason offers customized training to help with conference planning and organizing.
Overall, Taylor Mason minute taking courses are created to improve communication, enhance the productivity of employees, ensure that important meeting decisions will reach everyone in the company. Even though there is always a possibility to use the tips from the internet to improve, taking meeting minutes training will give you and your team a unique opportunity for practical experience, using real-life examples.
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