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Yes I can do Minute Taking

Coming from an education background I am very proficient at minute taking. I first started taking minutes for exam and award boards when I worked for Staffordshire University - this was 20 years ago, and the minutes for each meeting ran into pages - but this detail was necessary as these board were awarding student degrees, and we needed all justifications minuted for every decision made.

Following my career at the University, I then worked in Secondary and Primary Schools, and again was involved in minute taking, primarily at governing body meetings. The minutes required had to be succinct, to the point but also contain all the decision making process. I became proficient at listening to protracted discussion and picking out the salient points that needed minuting. School budgets can run into millions, and this is public money - so all financial decisions made in governor meetings had to be minuted and justified.

Taking minutes is a skill. I attended a course on minute taking many years ago, and it was excellent - I can still remember the course now - it definitely set me up with the skills required to not only take, but then type up and produce the minutes of meetings. The course taught me some great tips;

  • Take you time to discuss the meeting with the chair prior to the meeting - especially if you are new the meeting, this discussion can give you valuable insight and history.

  • Always make sure the chair gets the members of the meeting to introduce themselves.

  • Ask for a list of members and their position prior to the meetings.

  • Do not be afraid to ask questions - you need to understand the meeting to produce excellent minutes.

  • Make sure you get the Chair to proof read and approve the minutes before they are circulated.

All the skills learnt on the course set me up to take excellent minutes over the years. However the world has changed alot since I went on the course - meetings now could be on zoom, or they may be recorded and you are sent an audio or video of the meeting. One top tip I will give for minuting a zoom meeting - is once the participants are on screen - get them to update their screen name, with their full name and title - this again will save you much time and confusion later - especially if you are new to the committee.

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