Minute Takers: Taking Meeting Minutes
How to take minutes in meetings is a skill that every member of the team must learn. During a meeting, there may be several points that are brought up, but only one or two can get read because everybody else has to write them down. Writing down all the points that are brought up will make it harder for the team members to remember later. You also have the chance of forgetting important points and that will negatively affect the outcome of the meeting. To learn how to take minutes in meetings, take note of these tips.
Write down all the resolutions that are brought up during the meeting. You will also need to write down and file the minutes of each individual meeting if you attend many meetings. The minutes of the entire meeting should be filed so that future meetings can be held on the same topic.
Move the agendas to the next section of the agenda. Most people prefer to look at the entire agenda rather than read through the entire minutes. However, if there are important points made in the minutes, the agenda will help refresh the minds of the executive officer and members of the committee. When the agenda is out of sight, the members may get distracted and begin looking for other things to do rather than working on the points that were made in the current meeting.
Use bulleted points as the main text in the minutes. Most people use the top line or item headings to write down their points. These headings can be real bullet points or they can be written down in a general manner. It is recommended that the bullet points are written down in large letters. The bottom of the page is a good place for the summary of the item headings or the resolution. Use your best judgment when determining what to use.
Most committees have an order of business. When this is the case, it is important to have the minutes of the last meeting on the agenda before any new items are brought up. Then all new items will need to be dealt with before the next executive officer meeting. This means the minute items should be in the same box and marked accordingly. The general rule is that the majority of minutes should be used to describe the current state of affairs and then the outstanding issues should be in the box marked "resolutions".
As an example, let's say that there was an item on the previous meeting that was not resolved. This must be noted in the "resolutions" box. This can also be done with closed statements. Once you have decided on the format of your writing minutes, then you are ready to go forward with the writing minutes.
The key to writing good minutes is to understand tenses. Tenses can help you summarize the points you are making. You may find that you need to do some research to determine which tense is appropriate to use in a particular situation. Some people find that active voice is more professional and therefore use the active voice when they are reporting. If you would like to sound like you are a reporter and are presenting information to the board, then passive voice is usually the way to go. Other people may find that using a mixed voice is more effective so that they are presenting information as if they are speaking to a colleague.
When you are done, then you can review the minutes to see how well they were written and organized. If they are well organized then you have successfully completed the task of how to take minutes. If not, you should go back and make some changes until you find that you have achieved the level of organization and clarity that you are looking for. No matter what style of writing you choose to do, you must keep in mind that a well-written report is one that is full of relevant points made in a clear and concise manner. This will attract the attention of your audience and the executive officer involved will appreciate the fact that you took the time to properly outline and organize your report.