Minute taking is one of the key responsibilities for many administrative positions, particularly roles with ‘assistant’ in the title. Personal assistants, executive assistants and other admin staff are often required to take meeting minutes for their senior.
The minutes are a brief summary of the meeting’s contents and should encompass any points discussed and agreed outcomes. This serves as a record to be used for reference and future follow ups.
Good minutes are short and to the point, covering only the most crucial points of the meeting. Taking minutes can take practice to master, but we have put together some helpful tips to get you started:
If you are a fast and avid typer, then using a laptop is the most efficient way to take minutes. It allows you to use the meeting agenda as a guide and makes formatting the minutes much faster and easier.
However, if you are not a strong touch typer and feel more confident with a pen in hand, then hand-writing notes to be typed up later is also a good way to capture the minutes. If you know shorthand then this can come in useful when trying to get down all the information at speed by hand. If you don’t know shorthand, try to make your own abbreviations as much as possible to keep your notes legible while keeping up with the speed of the meeting.
If you are unsure of what the meeting entails and what information will be consider ‘crucial’, then it is best to speak with the chair of the meeting. They will provide you with previous meeting notes that relate to the topic being discussed or advise you on what they are looking to cover.
It is important to have an awareness of the meeting’s purpose as it will help you to understand what information is important and what needs to be captured.
In meetings where an agreement is arrived at, it’s important to note a summary of the overall response to the decision. This means making note of who agreed and who disagreed, what points were made for and against and the overall decision.
It may be expected of you to involve yourself in the meeting. This should be done, but not at the expense of quality minute taking. If anything is misheard and needs repeating or you need to provoke a response further, then ask immediately while the response is still fresh.
It’s best to finalise and send the minutes on the same day of the meeting where possible. This is because the meeting is still fresh in your mind and the longer it is left the more details you may forget. Once they are finished, send them to the relevant person for approval and distribute as soon as possible, so the meeting is also still fresh in the attendees’ minds.
Want to learn more about taking minutes? Pitman Training Swords offer a quick and effective course in Meetings and Minutes. For more information, call 01 8404075 or email email@example.com.