Minute Taking Made Easy. By: Rhonda Scharf, CSP Presented by: Robin Cochran, CPS/CAP. Don’t Let the Thought of Doing Minutes Stress You Out!. What Are Minutes? Minutes are the official, written, permanent, formal record of what transpires during a meeting.
By: Rhonda Scharf, CSP
Presented by: Robin Cochran, CPS/CAP
The word MINUTES has to be shown
What Should Minutes Not Contain?
The recorders input (give input only if requested)
Formal minutes adhere to the strict use of Rules of Order. Large meetings are likely to be more formal than small meetings. The larger the meeting the more control is necessary to expedite the business at hand, to assure legality.
Examples of Formal Meetings:
Annual Membership Meetings
Monthly Board Meetings
State and Regional Conventions
Federal and Local Government Meetings
Definition of Robert’s Rules of Order
Provides common rules and procedures for deliberation and debate in order to place the
whole membership on the same footing and speaking the same language.
As indicated, this type of meeting conducts its business with relaxed Rules of
Example of Modified Formal
Use of formal motions, but informal discussions
Informal meetings use few or no Rules of Order to conduct business.
Examples of Informal
Social/Civic Club Meetings
Sort out the comments/suggested actions and decisions expressed at the meeting and produce an accurate summary
Keep track of attendance/absence at the meeting
Store the minutes and all related materials
Request the chair to temporarily halt the meeting if the comments are flowing too quickly
Authenticate all the records and documents associated with the meeting by having the chair add his/her signature
Be familiar with the procedures used by the group
A Minute Taker Must Be:
Be a Good Listener
Discuss possible agenda items with Meeting Chair
Draft a tentative agenda
Reserve meeting location
Send meeting notice and tentative agenda
Assemble and take to meeting all necessary materials
Prior to Meeting
Send reminder day before
Make copies of meeting materials
One hour prior to meeting set room up (lights, heat, air, recorder, laptop, etc.)
Prepare template for meeting minutes
Provides comfort zone
Easy to play back if uncertain about topics
Voices hard to recognize
Minutes too detailed
Tapes must be archived with hard copy minutes
Hi-light key words
Use colored inks (for follow-up items)
Tend to write whole sentences, not use key words
Lose track of conversation
Faster use of time
Clicking noise distracting
Key pads are hard to type on
Not ergonomically correct
Motions and resolutions verbatim
Objective summary of what is being discussed
Record a comment only once
Never inject your own personal opinions
Never give one person’s comments more weight than another’s
Be consistent with reference to the attendees ( Ms. Jane Doe verses Jane Doe)
Preparing the agenda is not part of the Minute-taking process but many recorders help the chair to write and circulate them. The purpose of the agenda is to familiarize all the participants with the topics that will be discussed at the meeting.
There is no correct way to set up an agenda. There are many ways an agenda can be formatted.
The agenda for an informal meeting may be done as a simple numbered list of topics
The agenda for a formal meeting will typically call for a more structured list of topics
The Layout of the Agenda
The heading of the agenda should be consistent with the heading on the minutes
The word “Agenda” can be at the top or bottom of the page
The agenda should be sent out before hand to allow the participants time to reflect on themeeting topics and to do research if needed
Agendas should be sent out at least 3-days before the meeting (a week is preferable)
HeadingThe heading should be 1 inch from the top of the page. Each heading line should be centered and be typed in either capitals or in upper/lower case letters. Use the same style for all of an organizations Minutes and Agendas. The location, time and date may be placed in the heading as well. In a formal meeting the Minutes should state if the meeting is a special or a regular meeting.
AttendanceYou must include the names of people attending the meeting and the people who are absent. The attendance record is necessary to show a quorum.. Guests must also be listed. Meeting chair must also be listed.
Minutes of previous meetingMinutes of the previous meeting should be approved at the beginning of the meeting (this is mostly done in formal meetings). The recorder stands to read the Minutes in a formal meeting. If minutes are corrected the changes occur in the margin near the correction or amendment.
ReportsThis refers to the reports received from any of the group’s members. Committee reports should be submitted in writing and dated. Copies of the report should be received in advance and attached to the agenda for members to review.
5) FinancesFinances are usually discussed under the treasurer’s report.
6) CorrespondenceLetters sent to the group are usually read by the recorder and then either filed or attached to the appendix of the Minutes.
7) Unfinished businessThis involves motions or issues raised at an earlier meeting and carried forward to the current meeting. Old business is always listed on the agenda.
8) New businessThis portion of the meeting is devoted solely to the introduction of new information. It may also include assigning tasks to members of the group and setting deadlines.
9) AdjournmentThe meeting is closed due to no further business or discussion. This is recorded in the minutes.
10) SignaturesIn the past, the phrase “respectfully submitted” was considered appropriate, now it is considered “old fashioned”, but still used by most organizations.
Draft the minutes as soon after the meeting as possible
If time does not allow this, reread your notes to ensure they are detailed, so you caninterpret later
Minutes need to be completed in a timely manner
Minute Summary – Small Informal Meetings
Full minutes are not always required
Minute summaries are more useful for staff meetings where a multitude of topics are discussed
The summary simply records the meeting in an abbreviated format
Minutes should be maintained in hard copy form with signatures (minutes should be kept for 5 years)
If you record your minutes, the tapes should be kept and dated
If you use a laptop to record your minutes make sure you always have a back up disk
If there are any questions or concerns about the minutes, the recorded and chair are the responsible parties
5) After drafting the minutes, they should be distributed to the meeting attendees for review before finalizing and distribution
6) All finalized minutes should contain the signature of the recorder and meeting chair
Stage of Argument Degree of Certainly Consequence or Result
Initially Certainly As a rule
At the onset Surely Therefore
Up to the present time Indeed As a result
So far Perhaps Hence
Currently Anyway Otherwise
In sum Basically Apparently
Lastly In any case Fortunately
Finally Naturally So far this reason
After all Of course Consequently
In Conclusion Probably Accordingly
Secondly To a degree
Indeed To summarize
In fact In brief
In other words In short
That is On the whole
To illustrate In essence
For example Thus
For instance Briefly
Relationship of Time Concession Defining
Foremost After all This
Lately Although this may be true Those
Beyond Even though That
Later I admit These
As soon as granted Contrasting Point
At last Anyway
As long as Similar Point Despite this
Until Moreover Still
At first Similarly While
Presently In addition Then
In Connection With Also But
Relating to Besides After all
Affecting Once more
Pertaining to Again
Applying to And
Have a Great day!!!!!!!!