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You’ve been assigned the role of minute taker for your next meeting but you’re feeling apprehensive. Recording relevant notes can be a challenge and one of the most difficult aspects is knowing what to write down and what to leave out. It is important to remember that minutes are not a transcript of everything that was said, but rather a summary of the main points and subsequent actions that were agreed. It’s impossible to scribble everything down and you’ll quickly fall behind and miss important points and actions, ending up with a document that isn’t useful.

Before the meeting, an easy fix to avoid falling victim to the above is ensuring you are prepared. Study the agenda and establish a good understanding of the meeting topic and what discussions are likely to take place. This will help you to follow the meeting easily and produce effective notes that highlight the key information. It will also help you form the structure of your minutes so that they remain coherent and easy for attendees to follow once they’ve been circulated after the meeting has taken place. It is also important to remember to write objectively and to not express any bias towards attendees or preference of ideas.

If you follow the above advice on how to take minutes in your next meeting, you will have laid the appropriate foundations to record clearly and simply what discussions took place. This will make writing up the final document a breeze and make sure you do this as soon as possible. When the meeting is fresh in your mind, you can easily expand on points if you think you have missed any information. It will also save you time as you won’t have to revisit your notes to refamiliarise yourself with what topics were covered.

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