By Jeffry Farman, director, CountryPlace Conference Centre.
How can I improve my minute taking skills?
Some of us are old hands at minute taking and have got it down to a tee. But many of us may have never done it. So, when the boss says “Jane you take the minutes of the meeting today” you better get it right. Many will depend on how and what you record that took place. What important decisions were reached.
For around 30 years, our CountryPlace Conference Centre, in Melbourne’s beautiful Dandenong Ranges, has been working closely with PA/EA’s to run successful business events. We have seen how important it is to take notes and record what took place. We have a few helpful tips on how to successfully take minutes. Tips for minute taking.
Download our helpful minute meeting template
How to stay in control of minute taking?
1. Do background research
Get a handle on the content that will be discussed in advance of a meeting by reading through the documentation that has been circulated to attendees. A little background knowledge about the subject matter and familiarising yourself with some of the terminology will put you one step ahead.
2. Draw a table plan
Remember that minute taking is not about writing down absolutely everything that is said in a meeting. There are only four things that need to be recorded:
If you don’t know who’s who in the meeting room, ask the chairperson in advance of the meeting to start the session with introductions. While this is happening, draw a rough table plan of who is sitting where.
3. Focus on key information
- Anything that has been decided
- What has been achieved or concluded
- What was agreed
- Actions for the meeting participants
Keep a list of these four elements with you when minute taking to identify what is relevant to keep your notes on-track.
4. Use a template:
Familiarising yourself with a minutes template and following the template during a meeting will help ensure you note down the right information. We can offer a simple template to help you through this task of minute taking. Download the template here.
These tips and many, many more can be found in our new FREE e-book, The PA/EA’s Helpful Handbook.
Our experience, working with PA’s and EA’s, for many years, has enabled us to provide a useful handbook of ideas, great articles and tips on how to effectively manage your time, plan your day, look after yourself and organise meetings. That’s why we have produced a FREE e-book to help.
Our Helpful Handbook for PA/EA’s has lots more on workplace wellbeing including lifting your performance, motivation, mental health, and more. The handbook also offers advice on diary management, personal styling, time management considerations, understanding dietary complexities, PA networking, dealing with difficult colleagues at work and lots, lots more. Here’s some of the topics:
- Tips on diary management
- Time management considerations
- Wellbeing in the workplace (including yours)
- Personal styling and presentation
- Five useful productivity tools
- Tips for minute taking
- Dealing with difficult colleagues
- Handling dietary complexities
- PA networking
- Useful seating arrangements for meetings
- 6 scientifically backed ways to de-stress the conference planner
About CountryPlaceCountryPlace is an Australian family owned and operated venue located in the stunning Dandenong Ranges. Here we specialise in residential:
- corporate conferences
- training seminars
- special weekend events (e.g. yoga retreats).