Companies of all shapes and sizes have meetings, whether it be a global corporation launching a billion dollar sales drive in Europe or a small family business deciding to update their stock. Minute taking is usually an essential component of company meetings, giving companies an accurate record of important events such as shareholder votes, worker disputes and discussion of future strategies.
Examine the agenda from the previous meeting. There may have been points raised that need following up in the current meeting. Knowing these themes before the meeting will allow you to take in information more quickly and make briefer notes.
Tape the meeting with a recording device if you think you may struggle to keep up with discussions. Taping the meeting means you can transcribe relevant points later with fewer time constraints.
Sit near the person chairing the meeting. This will allow you to ask for clarification on any points raised that you find ambiguous or unsubstantial.
Write the time and date at the head of your notebook. Make a note of the person chairing the meeting, the minute taker (yourself) and the venue.
List all attendees other than the chairperson and yourself. Pass around a sheet of paper and request every attendee to fill in their name. This information can then be transcribed to your full minutes later on.
Keep track of the meeting agenda. Meetings usually have numbered points for discussion. Conversations can often go off on tangents however, meaning items get missed or are discussed out of sequence. Stick to the numbers on the agenda and note them as they are discussed, even if out of sequence.
Document any motions made regarding decisions on rules or future company direction. List the individuals who propose motions and, if a vote takes place, record who and how many voted in favor of the motion. Document how the motion was carried, too, whether by verbal confirmation, show of hands or secret ballot.
Write up the minutes as soon as you can after the meeting. The information is likely to be fresh in your mind, so you can recall more details than if you left it for a later time.
Record your own name at the end of the document so that colleagues can contact you with queries about the content.
Wilkie Collins started writing professionally in 2007. She has submitted work for organizations including Venue, an arts-and-culture website for Bristol and Bath (U.K.), and "Sound and Vision," a technology magazine. Collins holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and media studies from the University of Bristol.