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Aspects of minute-taking as a professionWho takes the minutes -where, why and how?
1. What is to be understoodby minute-taking? Minute-taking comprises two activities: 1) to note down in a concise way the matters that are being dealt with and decided on during a meeting; 2) the editing of these notes to produce the minutes of the meeting.
2. Reasons for professional minute-taking • The level of the meeting dictates the need for professional minute-taking: - a minute-taker with sufficient expertise - certainty about getting draft-minutes
3. Who is taking the minutes on a professional basis? • Minute-taking: - from time to time, as part of the job - as one’s main occupation • while being: - an employee - a freelancer
4. The difference between minute-taker and stenographer • Verbatim reporting by stenographers - a general applicable proficiency • Registration of managerial, administrative matters by a minute-taker - requires special knowledge
5. Concise reporting • On behalf of committees aiming at: - taking stock of opinions - negotiation - trying to reach a common opinion • The importance of special knowledge and experience
6. Where is it that professional minute-taking takes place? • meetings of a managerial, administrative, official character • deliberating, advisory bodies
7. Why is minute-taking done? • to have decisions and agreements in writing • to monitor their execution
8. How are the minutes taken? • ordinary handwriting (longhand) • notebook • pen shorthand • sound recording
9. Standards for professional minutes Professional minutes must be: • truthful • concise but basically complete • neutral, well-balanced and objective • ready in time before the next meeting • clearly structured • orthographically and grammatically faultless • readable
10. Standards for professional minute-takers • an adequate educational background • adequate mastery of the spoken and written language • being able to take notes rapidly • being able to distinguish matters of first importance • knowledge of the sphere of action of the meeting • knowledge of the relevant meeting procedures • being able to make the draft-minutes within a fairly short time • trustworthy and ready to serve in the interest of the meeting • an objective attitude towards participants and their opinions