Deep work - Professional activities performed in a state of distraction -free concentration that pushes
1 Agree On The Expected Outcome
Before the meeting starts the Chair of the meeting and the notetaker should agree on the expected outcome. How much content will the minutes contain:-
Just Action Points
Key-points said during meeting
This helps the Chair to facilitate the meeting to prise out the required information for a successful meeting and it lets the notetaker know when somebody is talking if they need to capture every word or just catch the main points.
Plenty on pens and paper or notebooks need to be on hand to capture the notes.
Also all attendees including the notetaker should receive the agenda, a list of any questions to be discussed and a copy of any slides that will be used prior to the meeting started.
This helps those taking part in the meeting plan their responses to the items on the agenda or to the questions to be asked and know if they need to what they need to bring with them. Having all the paperwork before hand for the notetaker means they know what is coming and do not have to waste time writing out the agenda item/question and potentially missing important things said by the person talking.
If flipcharts are filled out during the meeting give them or a copy to the Notetakers so they can incorporate them in to the minutes.
If sharing documents on Zoom close all screens apart from the documents you need, this makes it easier to find what you want at the time and stops prying eyes reading possibly sensitive data on your computer.
3 Meeting Content
‘Content is king’, just as with what is needed for good social media posts good content is needed for good minutes to be produced.
Notetakers are not authors or copywriters, they are they to capture what has been said. If people are regularly going off topic or talking for 15 mins but repeating the same thing in 5 different ways or talking without actually giving out any information, then you are not going to receive long and detailed minutes from the notetaker.
4 Do It Whilst Fresh
For the notetaker, type up the minutes as soon as you can following the meeting so things are still fresh in their mind and they can still read their handwriting or make sense of the shorthand notes the have left themselves.
For the Chair get the completed minutes out to attendees as soon as possible so they have time to work on the action points delegated to them before the next meeting or deadline given.
The Chair and notetaker should have regular discussions about how things are going and if the minutes are capturing what is needed. This should be two way and the notetaker raise issues or help needed to capture the information and the Chair should facilitate future meetings accordingly.