Minute Taking Techniques
Minute Taking Techniques
It is a rewarding and important role to take good minutes of a board meeting. The minutes of board meetings are not just a record of discussions, but also serve as an official and legally binding record of each meeting. The minutes can be used for a number of purposes, including to track progress and provide a reference point. Your meeting minutes should include a record of all motions, votes, and abstentions.
As secretary, there are four steps to recording minutes of a meeting. It will take some time to plan ahead, to take notes during meetings, and to write a formal report at the end of the meeting. You will also need to file and share the minutes from each meeting.
It is essential to create complete minutes of board meetings that are accurate and meet the needs for those who use them. This will allow you to make informed decisions and keep records. Let’s discuss best practices to ensure that your minutes are efficient.
Minute Taking Techniques
1. Use Your Agenda to create minutes templates for board meetings.
Planning ahead is crucial to ensure that your board meeting has a clear outline. It’s much easier to take minutes if the board has a template for meeting minutes that is combined with the agenda.
A lot of administrative staff and board secretaries create a note-taking plan a few days in advance of the meeting. As a guideline, you can use the meeting agenda to outline important topics that will be discussed. You will be able to listen more and capture the conversation accurately with a pre-defined structure.
2. Assign a Minute-Taker in advance
It could be a surprise to some that a board member is put on the spot. This could lead to a decrease in the board member’s participation and engagement levels, and even compromise the quality and accuracy of the meeting minutes. You should choose a minute-taker well in advance.
How they should take minutes. Technology can speed up the process of taking precise minutes, but only if the minutes-taker is familiar with how the board minutes system works. These tools are not best learned during meetings so make sure that your minute-taker is trained in advance.
3. Include Pertinent Details.
Nonprofits have to keep minutes of board meetings. These minutes are the official record that shows the meeting was held and the important issues discussed. It is important to keep all details.
4. You can proofread and share minutes securely.
After the meeting is over, review your minutes. Make sure that they are presented in a consistent format. If you have side notes that should be added to the minutes, make sure to do so immediately after the meeting.
Once the minutes are finalised, they should be distributed to all attendees. Board members can access the minutes of board meetings, agendas, and other relevant documents from a secure platform.
5. Record Actions and Owners
Meetings are full of action and delegating tasks to people. Notify everyone involved in the tasks and who they were assigned. Minutes should include all deadlines and tasks completed previously that will be used to review the meeting in future.
6. Before the meeting, speak with attendees.
It is a great way to prepare for the meeting by taking the time to reach out to attendees. You won’t have an in-depth knowledge of all the topics that will be covered at the meeting. While you don’t need to know everything, it is helpful to have some knowledge. This will allow you to identify key details that you need to record during the meeting. Talking to other attendees will help you to better understand the topic.
Although you have prepared for the meeting in advance, it is important to be organised on the day. If your pen runs out of ink, it can be disruptive and unprofessional. It is unlikely that the meeting will be stopped if you leave. You will instead miss important discussions. You may be asked to arrange equipment or make arrangements for the meeting.
8. Sit next to the chairperson.
During meetings, it is crucial that you are seated next to the chairperson. As part of the management team you must be seated with them. This position will allow you to hear all the speakers clearly during meetings.
To create the final minutes document, you must quickly type up all meeting notes. This will improve your memory and allow you to easily add notes if necessary. You will save time by not having to go back and review your minutes again to refresh yourself.
10. Write objectively.
Minutes must be completely neutral and should not reflect any preferences of attendees or ideas. You should give an impartial overview of the discussions and the decisions made.
Minute taking is not only an important reference point for future business management, looking back to see why certain board decisions were made, but it’s also a legal requirement and can be used in court proceedings. This is why board secretaries often feel anxious about this job.
Understanding the topic matter is crucial for the success of the meeting. Once you are familiar with the topics, you will be able to determine what notes you should make and what you should not. You shouldn’t rely on what you hear to dilute your clarity.