5 Time-Saving Tips To Take Better Meeting Minutes
Minuting a meeting really is an art. You have to listen to the discussion, contribute where necessary and ensure you document the most poignant elements. And, if you want to keep everyone engaged, you should employ these time-saving tips.
Why Do We Even Have Meetings? Aren’t They A Waste Of Time?
Yes, meetings have value- maybe even more so now than they did 20 years ago. As organisations rely on more diverse opinions and need to adopt agile decision-making processes, meetings enable strategic decisions to be made quickly and by the relevant parties. That is, of course, if you can keep them on track.
The meeting is only the beginning of a longer process to realize organisational objectives. The minutes need to call everyone to action and actualize the parameters surrounding the tasks required. The meeting minutes need to extrapolate the decisions that were taken and assign the necessary roles so that tasks can be carried out.
Let’s take a look at some of the fundamentals of taking minutes, and how to retain control of a meeting.
Preparation And Pre-Minuting: Control the Meeting
Usually when minutes are hand-written or typed into a template, it helps if the person taking the minutes does not have a major role in the meeting. Otherwise his or her focus becomes split and the minutes may not be accurate.
When you work with Cosapien, all the essential fields are captured for you, so all you have to do is fill in the information relevant to your discussion. Because the structure is taken care of, the person hosting the meeting can still capture the minutes and retain control.
The Critical Information
Effective minutes should include:
- The meeting date and time
- The purpose of the meeting
- The name of the chair or meeting lead, as well as the attendees
- The action items and who they are assigned to
- Details of the decisions captured.
Don’t Reach For The Pen And Paper
Why not? Well if you are writing your notes down, you can’t go back and re-order or re-prioritise your points. You might need to add some detail to a discussion that is three points up. You also have to contend with rushed handwriting and illegibility.
Don’t Take Minutes Verbatim
Why not? It’s neither humanly possible nor optimal, no matter how fast your PA or secretary might shorthand or type out, to get it down word for word. Focus on the actual discussion points, not what is being said. Record the decisions being taken and who is responsible for tasks being actioned.
Don’t Wait Until After The Meeting To Finalise The Minutes
Why not? It’s vital that you take minutes during the meeting not afterwards. You run a greater risk of making mistakes and omitting important information if you try to reconstruct the discussion from memory. Review your notes straight after the meeting and get clarity on any points you may not have understood. It is also a good idea to do this when everyone can still remember the events and discussions vividly. It is recommended that the meeting lead has a chance to review the minutes before they are circulated or published. Why not share the minutes on a projector at the end of the meeting to get approval from the group?
Take control of your meetings today and test our time-saving tips. Sign up for a free, no-obligation trial and see how taking care of the minutes can add hours to your organisational productivity.