“Minute taking has changed. The requirements and
expectations of the
21st century are very different from the expectations
even 10, but certainly 20 and 30 years ago.”
David Julian Price, CSP
Minute Bombshells create a whole new outlook and erase outdated notions.
- Minutes are written for people who were at the meeting, not for people who were not!
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- Around 60% – 70% of the minute taker’s work is done before the meeting begins. Most but not all of this work is in the preparation of the agenda. The agenda is essentially the draft minutes!
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- If the minute taker is to do the job properly, then he or she must be involved in physically preparing the agenda. The Agenda is your secret weapon!
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- Shorthand is not a necessary skill for a good minute taker. People who take minutes using shorthand sometimes take very poor minutes.
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- The last type of paper to take into a meeting for the minutes is an A4 pad or a shorthand notebook. You need to taking in pre-prepared blank “forms” which you complete as the meeting progresses.
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- With a tiny tiny number of exceptions, recording the names of who said what and the details of the discussion which takes place is no longer required in minutes. There are in fact acts of parliament and court rulings which have determined that the discussion should not be a part of minutes.
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- Modern minutes are action oriented, and record issues and decisions and action only, not discussion.
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- Many modern minutes are taken in a table format like a spreadsheet.
- Using a tape recorder is counter-productive and creates far more work rather than saving work as well as some FOI complications. Smart minute takers never tape their meetings.
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- Modern minute takers spend very little time “transcribing” their notes – the minutes are virtually finished as the meeting finishes.
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- Modern minute takers take the minutes directly onto a laptop computer, edit as they go, and then email them to the participants (often from the meeting room) so that the minutes are “at the participants’ desks” often before they arrive themselves.
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- In every type of meeting, the minute taker has a crucial role to play and therefore needs to be an active, although perhaps relatively silent, participant. There will be times when you must To do this you must sit next to the person in the chair. (A chairperson who understands their own role and yours, will not let you sit anywhere else!). Also discussed in Module 3.
Listen to or Download Audio Track 13: