Preparing well for recording board meetings is not only a wise practice; it can serve as the foundation for accurate, concise minutes. Spending time before the meeting to get ready for note taking will help avoid confusion during board discussions, reduce errors in the recording process and increase overall efficiency. Follow these steps to take clear, forward-moving minutes.
- Carry out research beforehand. Gaining familiarity with the topics highlighted in the meeting agenda will streamline the recording process during the actual meeting. Reviewing minutes from the previous meeting can also provide valuable context and insight for the upcoming one. Further actions to fully prepare include looking through the detailed agenda, key documents, board books and any other support material that will help paint a more detailed picture of meeting goals and anticipated outcomes.
- Use a template. Developing a document that spells out information known ahead of time eliminates the need to spend time writing down these details during the meeting. The note taker will then be able to better focus on and record key motions and decisions. A template can include items such as the location, date and time, type of meeting, attendance lists and the name of the person who developed the minutes. Wording for proposed motions and board actions can be inserted prior to the meeting, along with key references to documents and materials. Leave blank space between each section to allow room for notes during the meeting.
- Sit near the board chair. Taking a seat next to or close to the board chair creates an opportunity to easily communicate during the meeting. This allows the note taker to quickly ask for clarifications or details from the chair without disrupting the flow of the meeting. Gathering these key details during the meeting pays off, helping reduce the risk of inaccuracies and eliminates any post-meeting back-and-forth.
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