A meeting – if not conducted correctly – can waste a lot of time. And when we say a lot, we mean A LOT… It is possible that people could spend a lot of time speaking about subjects that are not related to the subject matter of the meeting or sharing colloquial anecdotes. So where does this leave the poor minute-taker? Does he or she need to take down everything that is said during the meeting – verbatim – including every cough and sneeze? Here’s a snapshot of how to take effective minutes.

Always Have An Agenda for the Meeting

Before the meeting, make sure that there is a detailed agenda so that the person tasked with taking the minutes knows what is going to be discussed.

In addition, having an agenda will help them prepare themselves in terms of what to listen out for. This will help the minute-taker immensely during the actual event.

The agenda will save the person taking the minutes a whole lot of stress as they will not have to listen to everything and write it down at the same time.

Write or Type: You Decide

It’s up to you whether the person responsible for taking the minutes decides to write them down or type them. It’s recommended that if they type quicker than they write – or vice versa – they choose this method. This is because this will help them in the long run to keep up with what is being said.

Note Down Key Action Points

It’s definitely not necessary to take down everything that is said:

  • Note down key discussion points. These will be gleaned from the agenda.
  • Also write down the decision that is taken surrounding these points.
  • Lastly, record the person who is responsible for actioning items.

This process will make the minutes more concise. In addition, it will promote people reading them as there won’t be pages upon pages of material that they will have to go through.

Watch Your Language

In a set of minutes, the language that is adopted must always be formal. Use the third person. For example, instead of phrasing a sentence using ‘I’ make use of ‘one’ or ‘they’.

Remember that minutes form part of a company’s documentation thus these need to be reflective of such.

Want to learn more about the art of taking proper minutes? Global Business Solutions’ Minute-Taking Course will teach you the ins and outs of what you need to do to take proper and accurate records of a meeting. Follow this link to learn more.