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Minute Taking Secrets for Secretaries

Updated on December 10, 2016
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Minutes are a document that is distributed usually to all attendees of a meeting. They help people to gain understanding of what was agreed and act as a confirmation of any action plans. In short, they help make the meeting productive and encourage progress after the meeting.

They constitute a written record of a meeting and can be held as a formal record of the business covered at the meeting. They can then be referred to by anyone who attended the meeting or some of interested party.

The Chair and the minute taker are the key parties in any meeting.

What is the role of the chair?

One key responsibility of the Chair is to communicate with the minute taker. They will need to brief the minute taker on the purpose of the meeting, the time of the meeting, who should attend and the items to be covered. Not all Chairs will do this, so it is important that minute takers press for this information in order to fully understand the items covered in the meeting.

An invite should be sent out by the minute taker to all attendees and in the invite they should circulate the agenda. The agenda is normally numbered and will be followed in order, when the meeting commences. This structure actually makes it easier to take minutes and it helps the Chair lead the meeting. The Minute Taker will find that it is easier to follow comments with clear subjects on each item.

The Chair should introduce each attendee and this detail should be taken by the minute taker. Most attendees are referred to by their initial in the body of the minutes.

The Chair should guide the minute taker on what are the significant points, when a discussion becomes too long to decipher the overriding points. They should also check that these points are agreed by attendees and then lead the meeting to address the next point.

Finally, the Chair will summarise the key points at the end of the meeting, ask for any other business and also clarify all action points.

Source

The Chair of the Meeting

One key responsibility of the Chair is to communicate with the minute taker. They will need to brief the minute taker on the purpose of the meeting, the time of the meeting, who should attend and the items to be covered. Not all Chairs will do this, so it is important that minute takers press for this information in order to fully understand the items covered in the meeting.

An invite should be sent out by the minute taker to all attendees and in the invite they should circulate the agenda. The agenda is normally numbered and will be followed in order, when the meeting commences. This structure actually makes it easier to take minutes and it helps the Chair lead the meeting. The Minute Taker will find that it is easier to follow comments with clear subjects on each item.

The Chair should introduce each attendee and this detail should be taken by the minute taker. Most attendees are referred to by their initial in the body of the minutes.

The Chair should guide the minute taker on what are the significant points, when a discussion becomes too long to decipher the overriding points. They should also check that these points are agreed by attendees and then lead the meeting to address the next point.

Finally, the Chair will summarise the key points at the end of the meeting, ask for any other business and also clarify all action points.

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