Recording minutes is a job of great responsibility because it is a written record of the most important decisions taken and actions performed during meetings. A record keeper needs to use the appropriate format for the recording, identify and record the most important items, choose a specific writing style, and remain unbiased. The minutes must be precise, easy to understand and follow a consistent pattern. Below are the most important skills that a good minute taker must have:
Identifying the Important
It takes practice to be able to quickly identify the most important decisions taken during a meeting so that they are recorded perfectly. Remember that your role as a minute keeper is to record the three most important happenings during a meeting:
- What decisions were taken
- What was discussed and agreed upon
- How the attendees participated
While taking minutes, keep your mind focused on how the communication is progressing. It will help you to keep track of the happenings now and expect the ones that will happen soon.
Choosing a Style
Depending on the type of meeting, you can choose a formal style, informal style or action meeting style. Make sure that whichever style you choose, you are consistent with it. Consistency helps you to maintain clarity, which is an important aspect of the position of a minute taker.
If your company does not have a template for the different types of meetings, you can create one so that you can maintain consistency in keeping minutes for all the meetings conducted.
Training your ear to capture the important is a required skill for an assistant. To be able to take minutes efficiently, you must train yourself in active listening. It involves focusing on the listening to comprehend communications and retain information. Listening skills help minute takers to quickly get the gist of a communication so that they record it instantly.
As recording a meeting requires you to be very fast, you need to have good organising skills to keep the minute-taking flowing steadily. Get the things you need to keep minutes ready along with things you might need for yourself during the meeting such as water or coffee. Make sure that you are comfortably seated with everything you may need beside you.
While taking minutes, remember that this is only the first draft. You will go back to it after the meeting is over to make necessary changes. It will help you to remain focused on the important – to record the important happenings, and not on grammar and spelling which can be corrected later.
Keeping Yourself Informed
It is almost impossible to record anything in writing if you are not aware of its meaning. Therefore, keep yourself informed about the details of the topics of the meeting. You may research on the Internet, read the newspapers or ask others to get a better understanding of the discussions that are to take place in a meeting.